Ways to reduce plastic use
Natural Living Simple Living

30+ Ways to Use Less Plastic in Your Home

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As Americans, we use a lot of plastic. It feels like most items can be found in a completely plastic form or have at least one plastic component in them. Even clothing made out of synthetic materials has plastic in it.
It’s easy to see why. Plastic is cheap, versatile, and easy to produce.
But here’s the catch: it’s also destroying our health.
Toxins that it leaches, especially when heated, can enter our body and lead to health problems such as endocrine disruption, birth defects, and cancer.
Whether you’re just learning about the dangers of plastic and want to know more, or you’ve been doing this for years (in that case, let me know your tips in the comments!), here are my tips for how to practically transition your household objects to non-plastic alternatives.

Reducing Plastic in the Kitchen

  1. Get a reusable water bottle.
  2. Use bar soap.
  3. Make your own cleaning products.
  4. Put leftovers in Pyrex or similar glass containers.
  5. Use a reusable lunchbox.
  6. Store leftovers in mason jars in the fridge.
  7. Use mason jars for dried goods in the pantry.
  8. Use mason jars in the freezer (just make sure to use actual canning jars or specific freezer jars to reduce the risk glass shattering all over your freezer).
  9. Cover containers with beeswax wraps or silicone lids in place of plastic wrap.
  10. Get a solid-sided trashcan and use without a bag (if you don’t have a ton of liquids).
  11. Use a metal trash can.
  12. Dump compost-appropriate liquids and food scraps into your compost bin/pile.
  13. Use silicone zipper bags for snacks or frozen food.
  14. Use “unpaper towels”.
  15. Get an attachment for your single serving coffee maker that lets you use your own grounds instead of individual cups that you throw away afterwards.
  16. Purchase pantry staples in bulk.
  17. Buy a vacuum-sealer for food that uses a can instead of a disposable bag.
  18. Use a glass or stainless steel straw.
  19. Buy stainless steel cups for the kids if you’re worried about them breaking glass.
  20. Buy meat from the meat counter (and talk to them to see if it’s possible for you to bring your own container).

Reducing Plastic at the Store

  1. Purchase fresh produce instead of frozen and use your own mesh bag (or no bag at all!).
  2. Buy from a farmer’s market instead of the store (Bonus points if you bring your own container).
  3. Eat more “whole foods” instead of their processed, plastic-packaged counterparts.
  4. Use cloth grocery bags.
  5. Ask for paper bags at the grocery store.
  6. Start a garden!

 

Reducing Plastic Around the House

  1. Recycle paper bags by using them instead of plastic bags around your house.
  2. Use cloth napkins.
  3. Use regular wood pencils instead of plastic mechanical ones.
  4. Get a refillable pen.
  5. Use a fabric or silicone pencil pouch instead of a plastic one.
  6. Buy a wooden high chair.
  7. Buy wood-, cloth-, or paper-based toys for your kids.
  8. Make your own toys for the kids.
  9. Don’t buy toys at all! Just let your kids play with some boxes or a pan and a wooden spoon.

Reducing Plastic in the Bedroom

  1. Buy clothes made from natural fibers like cotton or wool instead of synthetic fabrics like polyester.
  2. Use a wicker laundry basket.
  3. Use wooden or metal clothespins instead of plastic ones.

Reducing Plastic in the Bathroom

  1. Wash your face with reusable cotton pads or a washcloth.
  2. Use cloth diapers.
  3. Switch cloth wipes if you’re cloth diapering.
  4. Use cloth feminine hygiene products.
  5. Use reusable “wet bags” for cloth diapers and wipes or for wet/dirty clothes or swim suits when away from home.
  6. Make your own body wash.
  7. Make your own face wash. (For these last two, I suggest searching on Pinterest for a recipe. I haven’t made any yet, but I’ll be sure to let you know when I have!)
What are some of the ways you reduce your plastic use in your house? What did you find was the easiest (or hardest) to switch over from plastic?

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1 Comment

  1. I love these ideas! We do a lot of them and I never regret swapping out disposable items for more reliable ones – even if the initial investment is a bit higher. I did just buy two very nice refillable mechanical pencils after debating about the sustainability of it for several minutes in the store aisle so I think it’s funny that you also included that on your list! Thank you for all these suggestions and great reminders to be a little more sustainable whenever possible!

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