Switching to Eco-Friendly Alternatives
Written by: Anna Cloherty
Purchasing products for our households is part of everyday life. We have our favorite brands and go-to options, and shopping decisions often become routine. This makes it easy to overlook what we are actually bringing home from the store and difficult to think about what happens to the product and packaging after we have disposed of it. Without even realizing it, we bring home everyday products packaged in plastic and that load accumulates, day over day, month over month, year over year.
Luckily, there are many eco-friendly alternatives to products most of us keep in our homes. By switching to a more environmentally friendly option, you can keep harmful materials and toxins out of our environment and oceans, and away from Earth’s inhabitants. Here are a few quick and easy ways to reduce plastic consumption at home:
Bamboo toothbrushes have picked up quite a bit of popularity in the past couple of years. They have become widely available and can be purchased from grocery stores, pharmacies, and online. You’re probably wondering: what will switching to a bamboo toothbrush do? The traditional toothbrush is essentially indestructible, taking 1000 years to decompose. Because of this, the billions of toothbrushes that are thrown away each year end up in landfills, or worse, the ocean and will stay there for a very, very long time. Compared to plastic, bamboo is a fully biodegradable and renewable resource. Bamboo toothbrushes such as these can clean your teeth just as well as the traditional toothbrush. There really is no reason not to make the switch!
Reusable Produce Bags
Many people don’t really think twice about putting their produce in the thin plastic produce bags provided by the grocery store. Unfortunately, these plastic bags end up in our landfills or end up floating in our oceans. In fact, according to the World Wildlife Fund, turtles can mistake plastic bags for jellyfish, one of their primary sources of food. The WWF estimates that 52% of the world’s turtles have eaten plastic waste.
A simple way to combat this problem is investing in reusable produce bags such as these to bring to the grocery store. Or, if you’re not ready to commit to reusable bags, simply commit to not using the plastic produce bags next time you’re at the store. No need to worry about your produce as it gets washed when you get home. Let’s keep our turtle friends safe!
Using plastic wrap is another way we use plastic while maybe not even thinking about it. This single-use plastic is detrimental to our ecosystem. An easy alternative to plastic wrap is using reusable beeswax cling wrap, such as these. This option is reusable, washable, and completely biodegradable. Similar to plastic bags, typical cling wrap takes a long, long time to decompose, and greatly harms the environment and animals who call it home. A simple switch in your everyday life can make a big change.
If you are looking for more sustainable alternatives to products in your household, a quick google search will provide you with a wide array of options and recommendations. Reminder: small changes in your everyday life have the potential to make a big difference for the ecosystem and its inhabitants. Your choices are important!