Plastic has become one of the most harmful materials to our environment. It pollutes our oceans, harms wildlife and fills up landfills for decades without decomposing. Plastic is cheap, economical, and easy to mold, so it’s no wonder companies have relied on it so heavily for decades. As a society we have become increasingly dependent on plastic products, so making the shift to living with less plastic (and, eventually, living plastic-free) can seem daunting.
This year I challenged myself to reduce single use plastic products. Here are some of the everyday eco-friendly products I use to reduce my carbon footprint. Hopefully this inspires you to reduce the single use plastic products in your life!
Americans used about 50 billion plastic water bottles last year. More than $1 billion worth of plastic (38 billion water bottles) are wasted each year. With that said, everyone should start using their own reusable bottle. I have numerous bottles in different shapes and sizes, my favorite being my insulated Klean Kanteen 20oz bottle. I like to pack an iced beverage in it on a hot summer hike. There’s nothing more refreshing than an ice cold drink after a long day of hiking. I also use it in my everyday life including road trips, gym workouts, and even at work while I sit at my desk job.
Klean Kanteen makes a wide variety of insulated travel containers including thermoses, tumblers, and mugs, perfect for the person on the go. As an avid coffee drinker I started bringing my own Klean Kanteen mug to my favorite coffee shop. My coffee stays hot for up to 6 hours and iced drinks cold up to 24 hours in my 20oz tumbler. As an added bonus most coffee shops offer a discount on your order if you bring your own cup!
The Plastic Pollution Coalition states that the United States uses over 500,000,000 plastic straws everyday. We use straws once and then toss them away without a second thought, and this waste creates a lot of plastic pollution. A natural solution is to start using reusable straws. Companies have come a long way and created biodegradable paper straws, silicone straws, and metal ones. Klean Kanteen makes stainless steel straws with removable silicone mouth piece. I keep a few straws in my purse so I can use them on the go while consuming my favorite smoothie, iced coffee, or tea!
Klean Kanteen makes durable and insulated stainless steel food canisters that keep food hot up to 8 hours and cold up to 8 hours. An easy way to pack a meal on a picnic or hike or even use as a takeout container when dining out at a restaurant. This food canister is made from high quality stainless steel that won’t bend or flex and is free from chemical coatings. Klean Kanteen also has a lifetime guarantee on all their products, encouraging you to really give up on single use plastic and invest in one product that will last you a lifetime!
While grocery shopping I noticed how many small plastic bags I was using to store my produce. I thought it was pretty wasteful as I only used it to hold my food and quickly discarded it once I got home. I did a quick online search and found reusable mesh bags by Naturally Sensible. Strong and durable, these bags last a long time through repeated use and wash.
I use Ziplock bags on almost all my hikes to store my snacks, however after one use they usually go straight to the garbage. I recently started using (Re)Zip, leak proof, reusable bags. Ideal for use at home or on the go and can be used for snacks, sandwiches, travel, home organization and more. Transparent design allows for a quick glance at contents inside and double-lock closure provides an airtight seal.
One no brainer to going plastic free is bring your own bag. Whether grocery shopping, or clothes shopping I try to carry my own canvas bag on me to transport my purchased items. I keep a few in my car so I always have a bag on me. Have old plastic bags laying around the house? You can recycle them at drop off locations such as your local grocery store. Those old plastic bags are broken down into pellets and shipped to a company like Trex to be manufactured into plastic lumber.
Beeswax wrap is a sustainable, natural alternative to plastic wrap. Wrap up cheese, fruit, vegetables, and bread or cover a bowl or pack a snack for your next adventure. Bee’s Wrap is washable, reusable and compostable! They are also made of organic cotton, sustainably harvested beeswax, organic jojoba oil and tree resin–even the packaging is made from 100% recycled paper and biodegradable cellulose.