I’ve been doing a lot of research lately on ways I can reduce the amount of single use plastic in my household. Since this is a huge job, I decided to split up my house and work room by room The first area I decided to focus on was in the kitchen. I noticed that I was using a lot of plastic in my day to day and figured there must be a way to drastically reduce that amount. After I jumped on google, I found a plethora of product ideas for things I could easily do (and for not a lot of money) to reduce some of the more common single use plastic items.
Here are some of my favourite items that I’ve found and now use. (I have linked these products, where applicable, in case you wanted to buy them!)
These are awesome, they replace plastic wrap and are washable and reusable. It saves so much money on not having to buy plastic wrap. I have two packs and each pack comes with 3 sizes. You will always have one that will suit your need. They stick really well and wrap any item firmly. Since buying these, I haven’t even had the need to use up the rest of the plastic wrap I still have in the drawer. And I definitely feel better about not throwing out the plastic wrap after I’ve used it.
Although this isn’t plastic, this product was such a game changer that I needed to include it. I will admit, we used to use sooo much paper towel and without really realizing it. We stumbled upon this product by accident and am so happy we did. It happened when covid-19 started and paper towels were a hot commodity, and we couldn’t find them anywhere. We checked amazon and even they were out, but they were showing these bamboo towels, so we decided to buy them. Since March, we are still on our first pack. Throw them in the wash when you are done and you can keep using them.
These are a great idea as well if you want to reduce the amount of ziplock bags you use. I started to pay attention and was really sad when I would see how many I would go through and how they were not being reused. This way all you have to do is rinse these out after using and allow them to dry and then they can be used again and again. That alone will reduce your single use plastic by a lot!
Something I never really thought about was using glass jars and bottles instead of plastic ones. I love iced coffee and I was going through a bottle of it a week. That is 4 large plastic bottles a month just in iced coffee! So what I started to do instead was I purchased a large glass water jug and made coffee and put it in the fridge. Not only was a cutting down on plastic bottles but I was also saving money by using the coffee I already had in my cupboard and made my iced coffee from that instead. But this concept can be used for almost anything that would usually use a plastic bottle for. I am trying to get creative in how I can swap out plastic bottles with glass ones.
This applies more to when you are going out to a coffee shop or restaurant, but we still use straws at home too! I have changed my straws at home to reusable ones so that when I make an iced coffee, I am only using reusable straws. Such an easy change that we can make and they don't cost too much.
Reusable grocery bags/produce bags
This one is probably the most common and the thing that more and more people are getting on board with. You can get them from any grocery store and they don't tend to cost too much, maybe between $1-$2. But this is such a huge way to decrease your usage of single use plastic. Thinking of how much groceries you buy in a year and how many plastic bags they come in, you can make a huge impact with this alone. I have also discovered reusable produce bags so that you don't have to use the plastic ones in the produce section. We tend to forget about those little bags, but there is an alternative for them as well! Mine are cotton bags in a few different sizes depending what I need them for. They are handy and work great.
During my research I also stumbled upon a couple Instagram accounts that have a lot of resources and product ideas for all areas of your home. Check them out:
Now this is only some ideas on smaller ways you can quickly make changes in your own home. The more I learn about ways to live a more sustainable and zero waste life, the more I will write about it. Until the next room that I go through and find ways to remove plastic from!
-Who What Zen