When looking to start in the world of sustainability, it can be overwhelming. If you don’t know where to start. Start with these 5. They are easy buys that require very little effort- perfect for someone wanting to get their foot in the door.
These 5 sustainability swaps replace single-use items that are merely used because of the convenience. BUT, these swaps are easy and make a huge impact.
1: Switch plastic shopping bags for reusable tote bags
Who else has a bag full of plastic bags in their house waiting to be reused? Why not have just a few bags that you reuse every time you go to the store!
I throw two tote bags in my purse and I always have them wherever I go. This allows me to avoid using plastic bags on spontaneous and planned trips.
It is a simple swap that can save you at least one piece of plastic everytime you go to the store. Those plastic bags NEVER break down. Why not just bring them with you or leave them in your car?
If I forget my bags and I only buy a few items, I normally just ask for no bag and carry them out. If you have too many items, ask for a paper bag if available.
2: Switch plastic produce bags for reusable produce bags
These are those little plastic bags that you use for the 20 minutes you’re in the store to keep your cart organized and then you throw them away when you get home. Yes. I did the same thing.
Just bring your bags and then you can keep your cart AND your fridge organized without having to transfer anything!
You can start with just a few of these and you’ll be able to never use those bags again. My reusable produce bags have lasted me years! Buy once, use forever.
3: Switch plastic water bottles for a reusable water bottle
Plastic water bottles need to be used in times of a crisis, but not for places that have safe tap water.
You can find a water fountain just about anywhere you go. Bring your water bottle and fill ‘er up!
I would highly recommend getting an insulated water bottle. They keep your water cold for HOURS!
An average American uses 165 plastic water bottles a year. Out of these 165 bottles, only 38 get recycled on average. By simply using a reusable you can eliminate all of this plastic from being disposed of.
Plus! It is proven that there are plastic particles in your plastic water bottles. Filling up with filtered tap water can avoid this consumption. Filtering tap water is a great tip if you do not like the taste of your tap water.
A cool, natural filtering method is filtering with activated charcoal. Check it out!
4: Plastic cutlery for reusable cutlery
When going to restaurants or stopping for a snack, you normally will need a fork or a spoon.
Instead of reaching for the single-use plastic utensil, reach for your reusable one.
You don’t need anything fancy with these- head to your kitchen drawer or thrift store to pick some up!
The bamboo ones are lightweight and small if you are looking to buy some to carry with you or leave in your car.
5: Plastic toothbrush for a bamboo toothbrush
One billion plastic toothbrushes are thrown away every year in the US. That is enough to stretch around the Earth 4 times. Woah. Right?
Bamboo toothbrushes are 100% compostable and remove all of this waste from happening.
The handles are made of bamboo and the bristles are biodegradable plastic that can be tossed in the recycling bin (try to put them in a jar or box to keep them together).
My bamboo toothbrushes last me months. I have loved this switch.
Why is bamboo so sustainable? Check out this post.
Bonus Switch: Disposable feminine hygiene products for the menstrual cup
Honestly, this is probably my favorite swap I have done. It just doesn’t apply to everyone so it’s a bonus.
The menstrual cup has made the entire week process just SO much easier. I absolutely love it.
Plus, they say they save you $1000 every 20 years. I’ll take it!
If you are wanting more info on menstrual cups, check out this post.
There ya have it! The Big 5 (or 6)! I hope these helped!
If you are looking for other beginner low-waste posts, make sure to check out these!
- 21 Sustainable Lifestyle Swaps That Will Save You Money
- How to Order on Amazon More Sustainably
- Ways to Reduce Your Plastic Use
- How to Create Less Waste On-The-Go