Sustainable Living & Sustainable Lifestyle

Single-use plastics represent one of the single worst items many households use every day, but there are more products than ever available to replace them.

4 Simple Ways to Ditch Single-Use Plastics

Single-use plastics are convenient, easy to use and have become such a part of the everyday landscape that they are almost invisible. And yet they are one of the worst enemies of a sustainable household.

4 Simple Ways to Ditch Single-Use PlasticsThe facts on single-use plastics are fairly depressing for anyone interested in a sustainable environment. For example, it’s estimated that extraction of the fossil fuels used to make plastics – as well as its transportation to plastic factories – emits 12.5 to 1.5 metric tons of greenhouse gasses every year, according to the University of Colorado.

The act of refining plastics emits another 184 to 213 million metric tons of greenhouse gasses per year. And because millions of tons of single-use plastics end up in landfills, they contribute to the 15 percent of all methane emissions worldwide that come from landfills.

Eliminating Single-Use Plastics From Your Home

Anyone interested in contributing to the health of the environment is interested in cutting down or eliminating single-use plastics from the home. It’s a problem people can act on immediately and make a difference.

The Environmental Protection Agency reports that plastics made up more than 12 percent of all municipal waste in landfills in 2018, or about 35.6 million tons. People recycled only about 3 percent of plastics. So, the first step for households that can’t eliminate all single-use plastics is to make sure they leave the house via recycling, not the regular trash.

As for replacing plastics, more options than ever are available for households. While the following options have been around for many years, there are more options than ever. And they offer a good reminder of how quickly you can make a positive impact on the environment.

Reusable Cleaning Bottles

Rather than buying new cleaners in plastic bottles every time, instead use reusable plastic bottles that you simply refill with water. A tablet is then dissolved into the water that creates a cleaning solution. You can use the same bottle more or less forever. An example comes from Blueland, which offers a Clean Essentials Kit.

Reusable Water Bottles

These days, you can get any type of reusable water bottle you want, including alternatives to aluminum water bottles. Glass, stainless steel and ceramic bottles are popular choices. Of course, you can also reuse a plastic water bottle if that is your preference. The idea is to ditch the single-use water bottles.

Reusable Storage Bags

Any household with children can go through an astonishing amount of plastic storage bags in a very short period of time. Parents now can buy silicone storage bags that hold up well even after repeated washings. For professionals who pack a lunch, glass containers work just as well as plastic and you can use them indefinitely.

Reusable Grocery Bags

A long-time favorite of the sustainable-minded grocery shoppers, and for good reason. A trip to the grocery store can mean getting dozens of plastic bags back into your house each week – and many of them end up going into the garbage, adding to the problem. Reusable grocery bags have become such a widespread thing that you can get one with any type of design you prefer.

None of these ideas are groundbreaking. But the statistics around plastics in the waste system show plenty of people haven’t made the switch to sustainable products. Using any one of these items can cut down on single-use plastics in your home, and help you make a real contribution to saving the planet.

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