Sustainability is a hot topic. The planet is reaching a critical point where we can’t ignore the damage that we’ve done and are continuing to do.
It seems everywhere you look someone is preaching about how to be zero waste! (heck, even I write some of those articles!)
I’m not saying being zero waste isn’t a good thing. It’s a great thing! The less waste we can produce the better!
However, it’s important to realize that being zero waste is in fact a privilege.
The lists of all the reusable items you need seem to be everywhere! And again, don’t get me wrong, I love those lists. But it can be quite costly to replace everything you own with something non-plastic and reusable.
Everyone who goes zero waste or plastic free seems to become extremely wasteful one last time by purging their house of anything plastic. Plastic containers, plastic bags, plastic you name it!
And they end up in landfills or recycling plants somewhere which, honestly isn’t that much better.
Getting rid of all your plastic and replacing them with reusable items is great but it’s not something everyone can afford to do. And it’s unsettling that not only do we believe that in order to make a difference we can’t come within 5 feet of plastic but also those who use plastic aren’t doing their part.
I believe plastic is terrible. But if you own it, its already here and recycling it or getting rid of it won’t change that.
Here’s how you can make sustainable choices without shelling out for reusable products:
1. Reuse your plastic instead of getting rid of it –
I still have plastic containers that I use on a daily basis. It’s not a perfect solution but it’s cheaper than buying glass ones and more sustainable than throwing them out.
Also if you can’t afford reusable shopping bags, re-use the plastic ones you get from the store. They won’t last as long as reusable ones but it’s better than getting 10 new bags every time you go shopping.
2. Just skip the straws –
You don’t need a reusable one, in fact you don’t really need a straw for most drinks. When grabbing a drink to go, refuse a plastic straw. Yes, even for iced coffee. Mouths are like natures straws.
3. Bring your own containers –
Yes, even the plastic ones. Try bringing a container to restaurants to package your leftovers to go. Or bringing glass jars when buying in bulk.
4. You don’t need produce bags –
You should always be washing your fruits and veggies before you eat them anyway so skip the little plastic baggies at the grocery store. Just place em in your cart and give them a good wash before you eat them!
5. Unplug electronics –
When you’re not charging your phone or your computer, unplug it. You’ll save a TON of energy.
6. Ditch paper towels and napkins –
Single use items are out. Chances are you already own some cleaning rags or dish cloths, and those make great alternatives to cleaning up messes and faces! Plus, you’ll save money too.
7. Ride your bike, walk or carpool when you can –
Finding a more eco friendly way of transportation isn’t always easy but can be so effective if you can!
If you live in a city or within a short distance from your destination try walking or taking your bike. And if you and your friends are all going to the same place, try packing as many people as you can into one vehicle!
8. Thrift whenever possible –
For clothes, furniture, dishes, you name it! Check out a thrift store or two before you buy new.
Check out all the benefits of thrifting here.
9. Switch to electronic bills –
Check with your monthly payments and see if it’s possible to go paperless!
10. Wash your clothes in cold water –
Majority of your washers energy goes into heating the water.
Try incorporating these simple ideas into your everyday life and you’ll be surprised at the difference it’ll make! A step in the right direction is always an accomplishment, no matter how small.
You don’t have to splurge on a hundred different items just to cut back on waste and live more sustainably! You can do it with the things you already have!
I think if more people knew this and weren’t made to feel bad for not having a metal straw or bamboo toothbrush, we’d start seeing a difference a lot sooner.
Let’s help the planet by helping educate one another. You can do so by sharing this post!
As always, thank you for reading this post! It shows you care and want to make a difference.
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