We’re Tired Of Plastic, Here Are Green Tips On How To Eliminate It From Your Life

Monica Gray - October 26, 2023

Plastic is everywhere: it’s in our wrapping, our water, our food, our toothpaste, our shampoo, our clothes… the list goes on. But with all the new inventions, there’s no need to keep using plastic. In fact, eliminating it from your life and home has never been easier. Rebecca Mapes, CEO of Winden, says, “The worldwide plastic waste issue is obvious. What’s alarming to me is the cosmetics industry contributes so heavily to that waste and only 9% of all plastic is recycled.” That’s alarming, considering how many companies claim to recycle their plastic. You can be a part of the change by doing things like switching to bamboo products, using reusable beeswax wraps, and using bars of shampoo. One small step starts a longer chain reaction of good habits!

Bee Bee Wraps

Reusable Beeswax Wraps

As a reusable and sustainable alternative to plastic, beeswax are making their way to shelves around the world. You can swap plastic wrap with beeswax wrap for food storage and leftovers. Or, send your kid to school with lunch wrapped in beeswax. The best part of beeswax wraps is that they’re better for your health, too, since you don’t have to worry about harmful plastic leaching into your or your children’s food.

They come in all sorts of fun colors and patterns. Food stays fresher in beeswax wraps. When food ages, it emits moisture which causes bacteria to grow faster in plastic. Beeswax allows the moisture to escape. It’s washable and reusable for about a year, and you can use organic soap to wash it and clean it (BeeBee Wraps).


Glass Or Stainless Steel Straws

It can’t get any fancier than sipping a cocktail from a glass straw! You can easily replace plastic straws with reusable glass or metal alternatives. Not only is this better for your budget, but it’s a much greener alternative than plastic straws. Straws are harmful to the environment because they are typically made of single-use plastic, contributing to the growing issue of plastic pollution in our oceans and ecosystems. These lightweight items often find their way into waterways, where they can harm marine life through ingestion and entanglement.

Additionally, the production and disposal of plastic straws contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and the depletion of finite fossil fuel resources. By switching to glass or stainless steel straws, you’re making a big impact on your health and the environment. They’re also easy to clean, and all you need is a little brush to stick inside the straw to get out all the gunk. You can use these straws for both hot and cold beverages. The most dangerous part of these straws is their potential to break, though if you’re careful, this shouldn’t be a problem (Reusably).

Detox Training

Bamboo Toothbrushes

We all know how harmful plastic toothbrushes are to the environment. Opt for toothbrushes with bamboo handles instead of plastic. According to Peace With the Wild, “​​Before today’s eco toothbrushes were invented, people turned to nature to keep their teeth clean- twigs, feathers, bones, and even the quills of a porcupine were used to brush away food debris.

People also used so-called ‘chew sticks’ which had frayed ends that were used to brush the teeth and a sharp end that was used as a toothpick.” Doesn’t this mean we should go back to our ancestral ways? Using a bamboo toothbrush is a wonderful way to live a more sustainable, eco-friendly life (Peace with the Wild).


Bar Shampoo And Soap

Shampoo and body soap are some of the worst uses of single-use plastic. It’s best to just ditch plastic bottles and use bar shampoo and soap options instead. They’re even more cost-effective than plastic, making it one of the best zero-waste alternatives out there. If you’re a frequent traveler, they’re also easy to fit in your backpack.

According to the senior manager at Briogeo Megan Curtin, “Many shampoo bars provide the equivalent number of hair washes as two shampoo bottles, which is a major reduction in plastic waste.” By reducing the amount of plastic bottles you use, you’re taking one step closer to helping the environment (Independent).


Cloth Diapers

Think about how many diapers your baby goes through daily. All those diapers equals tons of plastic trash.Each year, in North America, a staggering 30 billion disposable diapers end up in landfills, equating to the destruction of approximately a quarter of a million trees for their wood pulp. Moreover, these diapers contain around 90,000 tons of polypropylene plastic derived from petroleum, an unsustainable and non-renewable resource. While individual disposable diapers may seem more affordable in the short term, the cumulative cost of using them over the span of several years can be significantly higher than using cloth diapers.

Disposable diapers may contain chemicals like dioxins, phthalates, and fragrances that can potentially be harmful to a baby’s sensitive skin and may lead to skin irritations or allergic reactions. It’s much better to use cloth diapers over disposable ones, which are easy to clean, better for the environment, and better for your baby. It’s a triple win! And even though they’re a bigger investment upfront, over time, you’ll end up saving money. All it takes is a little bit more laundry time, but we promise it’s worth the switch. (The Nappy Lady).

Serious Seats

Silicone Food Storage Bags

Plastic bags for food storage pose a dual threat to both human health and the environment. On the health front, these bags can release harmful chemicals into the stored food, especially when used for hot or acidic items. Bisphenol-A (BPA) and phthalates, commonly found in plastic bags, have been linked to a range of health issues, including hormonal disruptions and potential carcinogenic effects. Moreover, when these bags break down or are incinerated, they release toxic fumes and microplastic particles into the environment.

The environmental impact is equally concerning; plastic bags are notorious for their persistence in ecosystems, contributing to widespread plastic pollution, particularly in oceans and waterways. Their slow decomposition rate and harmful ingestion by marine life can disrupt ecosystems and pose long-lasting consequences for the planet. Transitioning to reusable, food-safe alternatives such as glass or silicone containers can help mitigate these health and environmental risks. Mostly, we continue using it because of its convenience. But one alternative to this is silicone bags, which we can use to store food. Silicone bags never leak, don’t hang on to odors, and are easy to clean. Their airtight seal means food won’t spoil, until food that’s stored in plastic (Serious Seats).

Know and Love

Wooden or Metal Dish Brushes

Not only do wooden and metal dish brushes look nicer in your home, but they’re better for the environment. It’s easy to replace plastic dish brushes with eco-friendly materials. They even have plant-based bristles, and typically the head is replaceable and removable. These brushes are biodegradable, unlike their plastic counterparts, and thanks to their natural, durable material, are long-lasting so you won’t have to replace them nearly as often as plastic ones (Know and Love).

Turtle Bags

Fabric Grocery Bags

Get rid of those plastic bags and start bringing your cloth bags for shopping. These bags are reusable and are perfect for holding fruits and vegetables and allowing them to breathe. No chemicals or pesticides are used in this bag, which means it won’t leach into your food. Even though it’s more of an investment upfront, you’re making a huge difference by not using plastic bags every time you do your shopping (Turtle Bags).

Shoreline Shaving

Metal Safety Razors

Plastic disposable razors are some of the most common single-use plastic items out there. For a more durable razor, invest in metal safety razors. It’s a bigger investment but you’ll save money and time in the long run. Not only will you have to keep purchasing razors, but you won’t have to spend that precious time going to the store when you need another razor. They’re plastic-free, eco-friendly, and zero waste, with long handles to get to those hard-to-reach places (Shoreline Shaving).

Victor Manufacturing

Stainless Steel Food Containers

Not only are stainless steel containers better for the environment, but they don’t have harmful plastic chemicals leaching into your food. According to Martha Stewart, “They’re odor-resistant so the flavors and smells from a potent meal won’t penetrate the metal. They’re also highly durable, eco-friendly, and dishwasher safe, which makes clean-up a breeze. They may show scuff marks or scratches eventually, but this is only cosmetic and won’t affect the performance of the container. With proper care, stainless steel containers will be good to use for years to come.” Plastic containers may contain BPA, which is a harmful endocrine-disrupting chemical, which stainless steel does not contain (Martha Stewart).

HK Interiors

Homemade Cleaning Products

If you knew what was in some of those cleaning products you use around your home, you’d probably stop using them. Not only do they come in single-use plastic containers, but they’re toxic if accidentally ingested. You can make your own cleaning products by using eco-friendly ingredients. Some of these ingredients include vinegar, lemon, and baking soda. They’re more natural and safe, and reduce the need for plastic-packaged commercial products that we see on the shelves of grocery stores.

Homemade cleaning products are a healthier choice for both individuals and the environment because they typically contain natural ingredients, reducing exposure to harmful chemicals. By using ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils, these homemade solutions eliminate the need for harsh, synthetic chemicals often found in commercial cleaners, which can irritate the skin and respiratory system. Additionally, making cleaning products at home reduces the consumption of single-use plastic packaging, lowering the overall environmental impact and promoting sustainability.(Medium).

Reel Paper

Recycled Toilet Paper

We’re not saying you have to reuse your toilet paper, but simply choose toilet paper made from recycled materials! There are harmful plastic particles in most brands of toilet paper. And while recycled toilet paper might be a bit more expensive, it’s certainly way better for the environment and your health. Many companies don’t harm any trees with their products, and they plant a tree for every product purchased.

According to researcher Alex Crumbie, “There is no need to cut down forests to make toilet roll, yet this is precisely what is happening. With consumer attention focused on plastic, some of the big brands have slowed and even reversed their use of recycled paper in the toilet rolls they make.” Many forests are under threat because of the demand for toilet paper (The Guardian).

The Seattle Times

Glass or Metal Water Bottles

Plastic water bottles leak harmful chemicals, like BPA, into our water. Use glass or metal water bottles instead of plastic. Not only are they better for your health, but they’re reusable and better for the environment. The only downside to glass water bottles is that they don’t retain hot or cold temperatures. But neither does plastic. In fact, if plastic bottles are left in heat, they begin to release toxic fumes and chemicals.

Stainless steel water bottles are meant to last, which means you can take them through anything and they won’t dent or scratch. They’re also free from BPA and will keep your water fresher for longer. Stainless steel can last up to 12 years, making it the best alternative to plastic out there. Plastic water bottles take 450 years to decompose (Gym Plus Coffee).


Natural Fiber Clothing

Did you know your clothes are made out of harmful plastic particles? Plastic can be found in clothing through the use of synthetic fibers, such as polyester and nylon, which are derived from petrochemicals. These synthetic fabrics are popular due to their affordability and durability, but they shed microplastic particles when washed, contributing to microplastic pollution in waterways. Additionally, some garments incorporate plastic elements like buttons, zippers, and embellishments made of plastic materials, further adding to the presence of plastic in clothing.

It’s better to opt for clothing made from natural fibers like cotton, hemp, or linen. Not only will it not leech harmful chemicals into your skin, but it’s better for the environment. Going green is a huge lifestyle change, and that includes changing your clothes. They’re also soft against the skin, breathable, and environmentally friendly. In the United Kingdom alone, more than 350,000 tonnes of clothing end up in landfills every single year. You can be a part of the change and start buying environmentally friendly clothes (Nature Shop).


Wooden Hairbrushes

There’s no need to use plastic hairbrushes when wooden ones exist! Wooden hair brushes offer several advantages over their plastic counterparts. First, they are more eco-friendly, as they are typically made from sustainable sources and are biodegradable, reducing environmental impact. Secondly, wooden bristles tend to be gentler on the hair and scalp, minimizing hair breakage and irritation, while the natural texture of wood can help distribute natural oils, promoting healthier hair. Lastly, wooden brushes are often considered aesthetically pleasing and can be a stylish addition to one’s grooming routine.

Simply replace plastic hairbrushes with wooden ones. Besides, gentle wooden ones help prevent hair loss and are kinder to the tangles and knots in your hair. They can easily glide through your hair with minimal pull and breakage. They also work to spread the natural oils in your hair, keeping your hair silky and smooth, especially when compared to plastic ones (Faerly).

Boyett Family Dentistry

Homemade Toothpaste

Even your toothpaste has plastic in it! Plastic microbeads were once used in some toothpaste formulations as abrasives for scrubbing away stains and plaque, but their environmental impact led to their discontinuation. Nowadays, some toothpaste brands use plastic in the form of microplastics, like polyethylene, as binding agents or thickeners. These microplastics can inadvertently contribute to plastic pollution in aquatic ecosystems when they are washed down the drain and enter waterways, posing a threat to marine life and the environment. To mitigate this impact, many toothpaste manufacturers are shifting towards alternative ingredients and eco-friendly formulations.

You can create toothpaste at home using natural ingredients. This is better for your teeth, and you won’t end up buying single-use plastic toothpaste tubes anymore. It’s also better for your wallet! All you need is some baking soda, water, peppermint, and stevia to give it a sweet taste. Baking soda is a long-time used alternative to toothpaste, as it prevents tooth decay and helps remineralize your enamel. It neutralizes plaque acids and helps prevent bad breath by neutralizing the acids in your mouth (Grand Rapids Dentists).

Bambu Living Sustainably

Plant-Based Sponges

Sponges, often made from synthetic materials like polyurethane foam, can have a notable environmental impact. Their production involves the use of non-renewable resources and energy, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, discarded sponges can take a long time to break down in landfills, and the microplastic particles shed during use can enter water systems, adding to the growing issue of plastic pollution.

Another way to go green is to use plant-based sponges instead of synthetic ones. A great option is the compostable cellulose sponge, which is sanitary, environmentally responsible, reusable, and biodegradable. They’re also made of plastic-free material, which means you won’t have any of that harmful plastic on your plates, cups, or utensils that you would use a regular sponge. Instead of throwing it away at the first sight of dirt, all you have to do is boil it to clean it and keep it dry and away from water when not in use (Green Hive).

Cartridge World Australia

Refillable Ink Cartridges

Ink cartridges are some of the worst single-use plastic items we have out there. Ink cartridges have a significant environmental impact due to their production and disposal. The manufacturing of ink cartridges consumes energy and resources, contributing to carbon emissions and resource depletion. Furthermore, when cartridges are improperly disposed of, they can end up in landfills, where the plastics and electronic components can take centuries to decompose, while leaking ink can potentially contaminate soil and groundwater.

It’s best to simply switch to printers with refillable ink cartridges. You’ll be directly saving on plastic waste, while also preventing those ink cartridges from damaging the environment. All you have to do is fill them up with ink when they’re getting low. Best of all, instead of paying the price you would for a brand new cartridge, all you’re paying for is the cost of the ink. If you do need to dispose of a cartridge, you can find many recycling programs at office supply stores. (Cartridge Right).

Planet Wood

Cotton Swabs with Paper Stems

Q-tips can be harmful to the environment for several reasons. First, they are often made with plastic stems, which contribute to plastic pollution when improperly disposed of. These plastic items can end up in waterways and oceans, where they pose a threat to marine life through ingestion and entanglement. Additionally, the production of Q-tips consumes resources and energy, contributing to carbon emissions and resource depletion. Opting for eco-friendly alternatives like biodegradable cotton swabs can help mitigate the environmental impact of Q-tips.

Choose cotton swabs with paper stems instead of cotton swabs with plastic stems. Those recycled paper stems are fully biodegradable and can even be put into your compost. Many of these eco-friendly buds also come in biodegradable pouches, meaning they’re a carbon-neutral source (Planet Wood).


Compostable Trash Bags

Trash bags can have a notable environmental impact due to their widespread use and disposal. They are primarily made from non-biodegradable plastic materials, contributing to the growing issue of plastic pollution in landfills and natural ecosystems. The production of trash bags also consumes fossil fuels and resources, leading to increased greenhouse gas emissions and resource depletion.

You can’t fully go green if you’re still using plastic trash bags! Use compostable trash bags to reduce plastic waste. These are biodegradable and eco-friendly, meaning they’re great for the environment. They’re usually less durable than their plastic counterparts, which means you shouldn’t fill them up as much as you would with plastic. But they’re not harmful to the environment, so you can use as many as you need to (Caddy Liners Direct).


Beeswax Food Huggers

Nearly 150 million tonnes of plastic waste is used on plastic wrappers every year in the USA. Additionally, plastic wraps leak chemicals into food. Many plastic food wraps are made from non-biodegradable materials, leading to plastic pollution when improperly disposed of. Plastic wrapping can persist in landfills and natural environments for hundreds of years, harming wildlife and ecosystems. The beeswax wraps are easy to clean and won’t leak harmful plastic chemicals into your food.

These are small, reusable covers for cut fruits and vegetables. Instead of cutting up apples and putting them into plastic Ziploc baggies, use beeswax for a greener, more environmentally friendly alternative. These wraps are typically made from organic cotton infused with beeswax, resin, and jojoba oil, creating a flexible, reusable, and biodegradable option. Beeswax food wraps help reduce plastic waste by eliminating the need for disposable plastic wrap, and they can be used to cover and preserve various food items, promoting a more environmentally conscious approach to food storage. (Grove).


Metal or Bamboo Ice Cube Trays

Plastic ice cube trays can be considered less environmentally friendly for several reasons. Firstly, they are typically made from non-biodegradable plastics, adding to the problem of plastic pollution when they reach landfills or natural environments. Secondly, the production of plastic ice cube trays contributes to resource depletion and greenhouse gas emissions due to the energy and raw materials required in their manufacturing.

Moreover, plastic ice cube trays can deteriorate over time, releasing microplastic particles into the environment when they break down. Who likes looking at those plastic ice cube trays, anyway? Swap plastic ice cube trays with eco-friendly materials for healthier and fresher ice. You can even use them to make frozen pastries or frozen fruit cubes, which go great in ice cream! These trays are easy to release the ice cubes and are long-lasting (Yum Crunch).

Better Homes and Garden

Recycled or Cloth Gift Wrap

Gift wrapping is often considered wasteful, especially when numerous eco-friendly alternatives are readily available. Plastic gift wrap, in particular, is a single-use item that typically ends up torn and discarded in a landfill, contributing to environmental issues. There are far more sustainable options such as reusing fabric or repurposing paper for gift wrapping.

Not only does this reduce the demand for new, wasteful paper, but it also promotes reusability, making the wrapping itself a part of the gift. These eco-friendly materials come in a wide variety of colors and patterns, allowing for creative and personalized gift presentations while minimizing environmental impact.(Wrag Wrap).


DIY Cloth Sanitary Pads

Creating your own DIY cloth sanitary pads is an excellent sustainable alternative to disposable options, particularly for those who may not prefer the Diva cup. These pads are not only reusable but also easy to clean, making them a cost-effective and eco-friendly choice. You can get creative with a range of colors and patterns to design pads that reflect your personal style, adding a touch of individuality to your hygiene routine.

Traditional sanitary pads and tampons, when disposed of, often end up in landfills, where they contribute to the growing issue of plastic and non-biodegradable waste. By using reusable cloth pads, you reduce your environmental footprint and help minimize the damage caused by disposable alternatives. Moreover, cloth pads are also a healthier choice. They don’t contain the harmful chemicals and synthetic materials often found in disposable sanitary products, which can potentially lead to skin irritation and health concerns. (A Rose Tinted World).

Wild Wood Cornwall

Plant-Based Dental Floss

Surprisingly, many people are unaware that their dental floss is often made of plastic. However, for a more eco-conscious choice, it’s wise to opt for dental floss crafted from biodegradable materials such as corn. This innovative floss not only effectively cleans your teeth but also makes a positive impact on the environment, as it utilizes 80% fewer greenhouse gases compared to conventional floss options, all while being free from genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Choosing plant-based floss is among the most eco-friendly ways to maintain good oral hygiene while being environmentally responsible. By using biodegradable dental floss, you’re taking a small but significant step toward reducing plastic waste and lessening your carbon footprint. So, the next time you flash that winning smile, you can be proud to know that your oral care routine is contributing to a greener and more sustainable world. Your choice matters, and the world certainly needs to see that environmentally conscious smile. (Eco Living).

Incredible Eats

Edible Cutlery

Plastic utensils are detrimental to the environment primarily because they are typically designed for single-use, contributing to the mounting issue of plastic waste in landfills and ecosystems. The production of plastic utensils consumes non-renewable resources and emits greenhouse gases, exacerbating climate change. Moreover, these lightweight items often end up as litter, posing risks to wildlife and causing aesthetic pollution in natural landscapes.

What better way to help save the environment than with edible cutlery? Use edible cutlery made from ingredients like rice or wheat. That means, when you’re finished with your delicious picnic lunch, you can keep eating and finish up your cutlery, too! This is the future of eco friendly utensils and a plastic-less future. Because of their durable material, they don’t disintegrate when coming into contact with liquid. (Incredible Eats).


Eco-Friendly K-Cups

Single-use coffee pods have been widely criticized for their negative environmental impact, and taking steps to address this issue is essential. One effective way to make a positive change is by consistently opting for biodegradable coffee pods designed for single-serve machines. These eco-friendly alternatives empower you to contribute to sustainability without compromising on your coffee experience. It’s as simple as purchasing a large bag of your favorite coffee blend and using it to fill the biodegradable pod, ensuring that you’re left with zero waste instead of a mounting pile of plastic pods.

What’s more, biodegradable coffee pods are not only environmentally friendly but also user-friendly. They are easy to clean and maintain, making the transition to a more sustainable coffee routine hassle-free. Some biodegradable options are even entirely plastic-free, ensuring that your daily caffeine fix is both enjoyable and eco-conscious. By choosing biodegradable coffee pods, you reduce the environmental burden associated with single-use plastic coffee pods, and you’re contributing to a cleaner, greener planet while savoring your daily cup of coffee. (Eco Freek).


Fabric Softener Balls

An eco-friendly switch you can make in your laundry routine is to replace liquid fabric softeners with reusable fabric softener balls. These innovative softener balls serve as an excellent alternative to microplastics, ensuring that your clothes remain soft and supple without posing harm to the environment or releasing harmful plastics. They achieve this by releasing negatively charged ions upon contact with water, causing a drop in the water’s pH value and reducing its surface tension. Consequently, the water penetrates clothing more effectively, aiding in the cleaning process during the wash cycle.

These ions also contribute to maintaining cleaner textiles, thanks to their antibacterial effect. By using fabric softener balls, you can not only reduce your environmental footprint but also ensure that your clothes stay fresh and hygienic. Making this sustainable choice in your laundry routine allows you to enjoy the benefits of softer, cleaner clothes while minimizing your contribution to plastic waste and its associated environmental concerns. (Haus Voneden).

Beauty Heist

Washable Makeup Remover Pads

Ditching single-use disposable makeup remover wipes in favor of washable cloth pads is a smart and eco-conscious choice. These reusable pads not only benefit the environment by reducing waste but also have advantages for your skin. Unlike makeup wipes, washable remover pads don’t contain harmful chemicals, ensuring a gentle and chemical-free makeup removal process while leaving your skin feeling pampered.

The environmental implications are significant, too. Disposable wipes often end up in landfills, contributing to the growing issue of non-biodegradable waste. In fact, the sheer volume of flushed wet wipes is astonishing, with 9.3 million being disposed of in toilets daily. The production of cotton pads, a major component in many makeup remover wipes, also consumes a substantial amount of water. According to Good Housekeeping, 1kg of cotton, equivalent to 15-20 standard packs of cotton pads, requires a staggering 20,000 liters of water. (Good Housekeeping).

Cork Yogis

Cork Yoga Mats

For yoga enthusiasts, choosing a cork yoga mat is a fantastic way to embrace an eco-friendly and health-conscious practice. Sustainable cork yoga mats represent a small yet impactful change that can make a significant difference in reducing one’s environmental footprint. These mats are not only kinder to the planet but also to your health, as they eliminate the potential for harmful plastic particles to leach into your skin with each use.

Cork yoga mats are not just environmentally responsible but also more hygienic compared to their plastic counterparts. Cork, as a natural material, possesses antimicrobial qualities, inhibiting the growth of microbes and odors, ensuring a clean and fresh surface for your practice. Making this mindful shift to a cork yoga mat aligns your practice with your commitment to sustainability and well-being, allowing you to deepen your connection with the earth and your inner self. (Cork Yogis).