Plastic free July may be over, but as Earth Rangers we strive to eliminate single use plastics from our lives every day. It’s not easy. Items that we depend on, like food from the grocery store, come covered in plastics all the time, so we need to make sure that we have a list of great alternatives in order to make better decisions as consumers!
Check out these great reusable alternatives that Earth Rangers used during plastic free July to help you cut single-use plastics out of your life!
The Grocery Store
Food often comes in plastic containers, plastic packaging, or even wrapped in a sheet of plastic. That’s why when it comes to grocery shopping, it’s important to find reusable alternatives, change your shopping habits, or even find stores that use less plastics and more sustainable methods. Here are some suggestions for your next trip to the store!
1. Plastic bags vs reusable cloth bags
Plastic bags are given out at grocery stores for people to carry their groceries, but did you know that the trip from the store to home is the usual lifespan of one of these bags? Even though they’re used for such a short amount of time they can take over 400 years to break down in a landfill, contributing to plastic pollution. Instead, bring a reusable grocery bag made of a sustainable material such as cloth to bring home your favourite fruits, veggies, snacks, and more!
2. Buy in bulk
When you buy in bulk, you’re getting more food for less packaging. This means that even if there are some single-use plastics, you’re contributing less to the plastic problem than if you bought your food in small quantities. Think bigger when it comes to plastics!
3. Bring your own containers
Many bulk-stores allow you to bring your own reusable containers to fill with your desired food and snacks. By doing this you’re completely eliminating any packaging that you would have taken home with you! How fantastic! You can also bring your containers to places like farmers markets that have unpackaged foods available so you can completely eliminate single-use plastics from your purchases!
Lots of toiletries such as soaps, shampoo, and toothbrushes come enclosed in plastic containers, plastic packaging, or in the case of toothbrushes, are made of plastic themselves! The good news is that you can find more sustainable options when it comes to these everyday household items. Check out these suggestions below.
1. Plastic toothbrush vs bamboo toothbrush
Everyone uses a toothbrush, so why not use one that’s made from a more sustainable material? Nowadays, you can find toothbrushes made from a variety of sustainable materials, the most popular being bamboo. Ditch the plastic and brush your teeth in style!
2. Soap bars vs soap bottles
Most bottles of soaps and shampoos are made of, you guessed it, plastics (ugh)! So why not switch to bars? You can find plenty of shampoos, conditioners, soaps, and body washes that come in bar form so that you don’t have to buy any more plastic containers!
3. Deodorant and toothpaste
With more sustainable and eco-friendly options available for consumers, nowadays you can even find toothpaste and deodorant that don’t come in plastics! Toothpaste tablets and powders are available so that you can refill your toothpaste in a reusable container. There are also deodorants that come in sustainable packaging without plastics!
On The Go
It’s tough to be eco-friendly when you’re on the go, which is why it’s a great idea to carry some sustainable alternatives with you wherever you’re headed! Check out these great items to keep in your bag so that you’re alway prepared to say no to single use plastics!
1. Reusable water bottle vs plastic water bottle
This one’s an easy one! Instead of a single-use plastic water bottle, get a reusable bottle that you can fill up whenever you need!
2. Homemade snacks vs store-bought snacks
It’s always a good idea to carry a snack with you. Items like granola bars are delicious and nutritious! The only downside is that they often come individually wrapped in plastics; so why not make your own? When you make your own you can wrap them in more sustainable materials so that you can have an eco-friendly snack on-the-go ready for whenever you need it!
3. Metal straw vs plastics straws
If you’re grabbing a quick bite to eat with your family or friends there’s a good chance that you will be offered a plastic straw with your meal. While some restaurants are serving eco-friendly options such as paper straws, it’s still a good idea to have your own just in case! A metal straw is a light and easy item to keep with you at all times.