I wrote about why I’m quitting single-use plastic here. But now I want to share with you a few things I’ve collected (some old, some new) that have aided me in my decision and helped me stay on track with my goal. Here are eight alternatives to single-use plastic.
Eight Alternatives to Single-Use Plastic
01. Reusable Coffee Cups
Keeping a reusable coffee cup in my car allows me to be prepared for an impromptu coffee shop visit. The KeepCup is my personal favorite of the reusable coffee cups out there. It’s made of glass so there isn’t any risk of hot drinks having plastic leach into it. Plus, they’re adorable. I love the cork on the outside. I keep one in my home for when I make coffee to-go. The other stays in my car in my zero-waste kit for when I go out for coffee.
02. Reusable Grocery Bags
I know the reusable grocery bag has been out there for awhile, but I’m going to be honest. I’ve only been using them a year or so. I had several but they usually lived in my trunk untouched. It was so disappointing to have them just sit there unused, so I made a commitment to start using them each week, and I have been for around 18 months! It’s great because we aren’t disposing of TONS of completely useless plastic each week.
03. Reusable Water Bottles
Reusable water bottles are such an easy way to start kicking a single-use plastic habit! I know this one is an old timer too. The reusable water bottle is finally becoming trendy! I see high school students carrying their Hydroflasks; decorated with stickers to personalize them. I think it’s so amazing! I have a giant 32 ounce Hydroflask that goes everywhere with me. Additionally, my toddler loves her pink 12 ounce reusable water bottle. In fact, she ONLY drinks water because of it.
04. Reusable Silicone Straws
Reusable silicone straws are a wonderful substitute for plastic single-use straws. You literally only have to buy them once and then they last forever. Plus you can live guilt-free knowing the sea turtles weren’t harmed by single-use straws.
05. Reusable Bamboo Flatware
I’m extremely new to the whole reusable flatware scene. Yes, it’s a tad more work, but if it means keeping plastic out of my life, then I’m committed. I keep a set of bamboo flatware in my zero-waste car kit, and two extra bamboo spoons. I also keep an extra little baggy for the dirty flatware. When I use it I typically wash it right away and replenish the car kit so I’m not stuck without it!
06. Reusable Produce Bags
I’m embarrassed to admit that I only recently started using reusable produce bags when I grocery shop, and it’s been a game changer. Not only do I have to create extra plastic and trash for us to dispose of, but my food lasts longer when stored in the mesh bags in my fridge.
07. Reusable Smoothie/Cold Drink Cups
Want to stop to get an iced tea? A smoothie? A green juice? No problem. I keep a zero-waste kit in m car with a 20 ounce HydroFlask cup and a silicone straw.
08. Reusable Sandwich/Snack Bags (Stasher Bags)
I used to pack my husband’s lunch for work a few years ago and I’d use 3-4 plastic bags PER DAY. It was EXPENSIVE, and it honestly felt so wasteful. The Stasher bag is probably one of my favorite products of all time. I put apples, berries, crackers, pretzels, sandwiches… everything goes in them! They’re the easiest to clean and hold up super well. They’re pricey up front but completely worth it, as we’ve been using the same ones for over a year. We currently have five and find that it’s a pretty good number for our needs.
I know it can seem overwhelming. This is why I’ve tried to lay it out in as easy-to-understand terms as possible and provide real solutions with products and processes that really work. If you’re feeling frustrated with the amount of work to be done, don’t! Know that every small change matters. Even if you are able to switch out one of two of your single-use plastic products for these reusable ones, you’re still making a difference.
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I hope this post about eight alternatives to single-use plastic. Thank you so much for reading!