There’s no doubt disposable, single-use items make life super convenient, and as we’re going through our daily routine we hardly stop to consider how our consumption is impacting our planet. If you are looking to make environmentally friendly changes in 2019, here are some simple ways to reduce the waste you produce on a daily basis. Bonus: many of these alternatives will save you money in the long run.
Bring a Reusable Coffee Mug
If employees or friends are taking your order, ask them to use your own cup instead of the single use cups. Most coffee shops have no problem filling your cup, in fact, they may even give you a discount for bringing your own.
Carry a Reusable Water Bottle
Plastic water bottles can contain a chemical known as Bisphenol A (BPA), which can be very harmful to your health. Switching from plastic and investing in a reusable bottle is a small but impactful way to keep yourself healthy while also saving money.
Switch out your Laundry Supplies
Wool dryer balls cut out the need for fabric softener and last much longer that a box of expensive dryer sheets. Most liquid laundry soaps come in thick plastic packaging, so look for laundry powders that are packaged in paper boxes, reusable tines, or are sold without packaging in the bulk section of your grocery store.
Quit Paper Towel
Not only is it a whole lot of money going to waste, it’s also a whole lot of just, well, waste. Paper towel is easily replaced with washable towels or cloths that do just as good a job without contributing to landfill..
Buy toiled paper that’s packaged in paper, not plastic
When shopping for toilet paper, the most environmentally friendly way is to buy a product with the least amount of packaging. These are normally recycled toilet paper that’s wrapped in paper.
Its estimated that 850 million toothbrushes end up in US landfills every year. Bamboo toothbrushes make a great alternative because they can be composted.
Buy less clothing or Second-hand instead
For the new items of clothing you do purchase in 2019, prioritize quality and wearability. Invest in pieces that will last, and look for more temporary or trendy items in thrift stores.
Approximately 1/3 of the waste in an Ontarian’s trash bag is food and organic waste. Making the simple change to compost is also a great way to ensure the food gets a second chance at being used. An easy way to keep your compost habit mess free is to freeze it in small paper bags.
If you have a baby, try cloth diapering
Disposable diapers take around 500 years to decompose, and each year 20 billion of them end up in landfills. If that’s not enough to convince you to make the switch, remember how incredibly cute cloth diapers look.
Invest in a Glass or Metal Straw
Did you know that plastic straws are one of the most likely items to end up in our waters due to size and lack of recyclability? Reduce plastic waste and help save our ecosystems in the process by skipping plastic straws when you go out and eat. If you are someone that likes to drink with a straw, invest in a reusable one.
Use Fabric Grocery Bags
Keep reusable shopping bags in the car for those impromptu shopping trips. Many grocery stores charge you for every plastic bag you use, so it pays off to come prepared with your own.