50 Ways You Should Replace Plastics With Renewable Materials

KITCHEN AND FOOD

  • Use stainless steel cutlery and utensils
  • Clean metal “tin” boxes of various shapes and sizes for storage of dry foods
  • Wood or metal serving utensils for cooking (these are not easy to find!)
  • Stainless steel drink bottles (not plastic ones) that you can clean often with a bottle brush
  • Ceramic food storage containers with ceramic lids (….or glass!)
  • Many sizes of glass jars are excellent for food storage (bottle brush to clean)
  • Ceramic or glass plates, bowls, mugs, and tumblers
  • Metal straws—be sure to clean them well with a narrow straw brush
  • Soda pop—if you drink this sugary beverage, choose glass or aluminum containers only
  • Beeswax-coated papers and fabrics work well for wrapping foods and can by DIY
  • Ceramic or glass bowls covered with a ceramic or glass plates are great for fridge leftover storage
  • Always choose 100% cotton (or other natural fiber) dish towels, wash rags, etc
  • Use glass or metal storage containers for travel meals (school/work) instead of plastic bags
  • Wood, glass, or granite cutting board always results in fewer ingested micro-plastic particles
  • You drink tea?   Buy loose tea and use a metal-based infuser ball when brewing it
  • You prefer coffee?   Purchase a metal, mesh-based, many-times-reusable filter and quit using the paper ones
  • Travel mug needed?   Many metal or ceramic options (mostly with plastic lids) are available

HYGIENE

  • Glass jars and bottles to hold your DIY toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant, etc.
  • Wood-handle toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste is available in aluminum tubes (biodegradable and potentially recyclable)
  • Diapers and personal hygiene products are available in high cotton content options
  • Bar soaps and shampoos are available in paper packaging…shop responsibly
  • Always choose 100% cotton (or other natural fiber) bath towels, face cloths, hand towels, and bed linens (read those labels for content info)
  • Shaving?  Refuse the disposable razor handles and always purchase the multi-pack heads that can be used with a long-lasting handle

CLEANING

  • You can DIY laundry soap and store it in a lidded glass or metal container (or if necessary a re-purposed plastic one)
  • Re-purposed cotton rags can be DIY made from discarded natural fiber clothing and replace paper towels and polyester rags
  • Wood-handled, natural bristle brushes aren’t the easiest to find, but a better alternative to plastic ones
  • Need a bucket to make a cleaning solution?  Choose the old-fashion metal bucket, often available at a farm and feed store

SHOPPING

  • Always bring your re-usable (preferable cotton or other natural fiber-based) sacks to the store when buying groceries and at other types of stores, too!
  • Choose glass and metal containers when purchasing foods and any other retail products.  You can even still purchase ground coffee in metal cans.
  • Search for non-plastic constructed items wherever you shop; when we purchase these, we fuel the alternatives industries!

WARDROBE

  • Shoes made with mostly leather (though hard to find, worth it)
  • Use genuine leather waist belts and hand-bags
  • Best eco-friendly clothing fibers are increasingly being made into a wide variety of undergarments and outer clothing (cotton, linen, Lyocell-type modal, hemp, bamboo, etc.)
  • Eyeglasses are available with glass lenses and metal frames
  • Wood construction garment hangers are a better option than purchasing more plastic ones, but steel wire ones are suitable for many shirts/tops

HEALTH

  • Vitamin, dietary supplements, and a few medications are available in glass bottles….support these buy purchasing them instead of the many plastic options
  • Store foods in glass, ceramic, or stainless steel whenever humanly possible
  • Plastic-free chewing gum is now available (Simply Gum! Brand)

HOME AND YARD

  • This is a simple one, but a great plastic reducer—use wood pencils to write with when possible
  • Metal tubs and canisters are made of metal—a better option for garbage and recycling containers
  • Tools and implements often available in choice of wood or metal (non-plastic) handles
  • Need a storage shed?   Aluminum and steel shed kits are more recyclable than plastic ones
  • If re-doing house siding, chose aluminum or wood rather than vinyl
  • Floor rugs are available in cotton and other non-polyester/nylon fiber construction
  • Packing fragile items or shipping?    Choose crumpled newspaper or corn starch peanuts for padding (avoid Styrofoam peanuts)
  • Planter pots:   many terra cotta style and glazed ceramic pots of many different sizes are available
  • Always choose wood handle matches instead of plastic hand lighters and long-steml lighters
  • Compostable-type “plastic” bags for refuse are now available (UNNI)
  • Need a broom?   Natural fiber brooms are a great replacement for the plastic ones…and sometimes they even have wood handles (renewable)

Remember:   Your purposea are to reduce plastics going to our landfills and reduce micro-plastics in our bodies and in the air, water, and soil.   YOU CAN DO THIS!