Sustainability often seems like an issue so big that no one individual can tackle it. The truth is that every individual can make an impact by taking small and easy steps towards changing their lifestyle. Taking these small steps can lead to a significant impact over time.
One way to take these steps is to be mindful of the products we are using. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American throws out 4.4 pounds of waste every day. This equates to 1,361 pounds of waste every year.
It is important to ask yourself, what products of mine are contributing to this waste, and what products could I have to help minimize the damage? There are probably many products in your home that you could substitute for a more sustainable option. To help minimize this damage, here are 6 substitute products that will help you live a more sustainable life.
Ziploc baggies are a necessity in many households, especially for families with children. Whether it’s for a sporting event, school lunch, or an at-work snack, people use plastic baggies to transport their food constantly.
Stasher bags are endlessly reusable, dish washer safe silicone bags that can be used for food storage and transportation of all kinds. Not only will they help you use and consume less plastic, but a percentage of every Stasher bag purchase goes to environmentally focused, high-impact nonprofits.
More than 60 million plastic bottles end up in landfills and incinerators every day. By using a high quality, reusable water bottle, you can keep hundreds, if not thousands, of plastic water bottles outside of these landfills every year.
The higher the quality, the longer your reusable water bottle will last you and the more sustainable this practice will be. I prefer a steel, insulated water bottle that can take a bit of a beating (I have an issue with dropping water bottles..). Because of this, I have been really enjoying the selection Klean Kanteen offers. They have plenty of durable, high quality options that will get the job done right.
Get yours at https://www.kleankanteen.com
I’ve come to understand that many people strongly prefer to drink liquids from a straw. If you are one of these people, like me, reusable silicon or steel straws are a must. According to Eco-Cycle, Americans use nearly 500 million plastic straws every day. Apart from this, the issue with plastic straws is that many aren't recyclable due to the chemicals they are made from.
Fortunately, many organizations have committed to not using plastic straws, instead, they either offer a paper straw or don’t offer an alternative at all. To avoid buying plastic straws or asking for one when you go out to your favorite restaurant, get yourself some steel straws from Kleen Kanteen or some silicon straws from GoSili.
The average shower wastes nearly 18 gallons of water, which means every person wastes over 6,500 gallons of water every year while showering. Purchasing an eco-friendly shower head can cut water usage nearly in half.
A couple of shower head attachments that are affordable and easy to install are the High Efficiency Low-Flow Shower Head by High Sierra ($39.95), and an even more affordable option is the Economy Super Spray Clean Amazing Shower Head ($10.42) available on Amazon.
Paper towels are another household staple that creates TONS of waste every year. It’s hard to think of an alternative to this good, but Marley’s Monsters is a company that solved this issue, creating a reusable, organic cotton version of the classic paper towel.
At only $16, a 6 pack of Unpaper towels will both save you money and reduce waste throughout the year.
These products, as shown, are often not much more expensive than the current, more wasteful alternatives you may be using. Do your part and make an impact. By incorporating even a couple of these substitute products into your home, you are taking steps towards living a more sustainable life.
United States Environmental Protection Agency | US EPA. www.epa.gov/.
Klean Kanteen | Bottles, Cups, Mugs, Tumblers, Canisters ... www.kleankanteen.com/.
Marleys Monsters – Marley's Monsters. www.marleysmonsters.com/.
High Sierra Showerheads - Low-Flow 1.5 Gpm Shower Heads ... www.highsierrashowerheads.com/.
Stasher - Reusable Snack, Sandwich & Storage Bags. www.stasherbag.com/.
Silicone Straws, Cups, Food Storage and Tableware | GoSili. www.gosili.com/.