The number of single-use items we use on a daily basis (without even thinking) is crazy! Cling wrap, tampons, produce bags, cutlery, coffee cups, that’s only the beginning…
Sometimes I wonder how many times a day I chuck something in the bin, on a daily basis.
I do think most of us have gotten pretty used to using reusable water bottles, glass coffee cups, sanitary products and reusable grocery bags over the past few years. Which in itself is helping reduce so much waste!
But nowadays there are plenty more alternatives to single-use items, which are much more environmentally-friendly than things we’re still using every single day. Some that you may not yet have thought of using!
I like to think of most of these items like an investment which is best for our environment, and will also save me some $$ in the long run!
So I thought I’d share my personal favourite everyday single-use swaps!
1. Beeswax Food Wrap
One of my favourites is beeswax food wrap which is now starting to replace cling wrap. Rather than tearing off a new piece of cling wrap and chucking it a day later, invest in some reusable beeswax wrap. They actually come in so many fun patterns, which means even the kids will get excited about it.
Such a good plastic alternative, and plus it actually keeps your food fresher for longer!
Little Bumble is an amazing local business who sells it, they even hand make it in Gippsland! They are quite literally food storage that won’t cost the earth.
2. Cotton Makeup Remover Pads
Rather than using four single-use cotton pads every single night to take off your makeup, try converting to reusable cotton makeup remover pads. The beauty in these is they can just be chucked in a hot wash and reused over and over.
It will also save you from spending on a sleeve of cotton pads every week!
I’m currently loving these Seed and Sprout Cotton Makeup Remover Pads.
3. Bamboo Cutlery Set
Note I said bamboo – not just any old plastic cutlery set! Get yourself a set of reusable bamboo cutlery to use whenever you have to eat on the go. Keep it in your handbag or car (just don’t forget to bring it inside to clean…).
That way if you’re out and need to grab a bite to eat (especially with basically everything being takeaway containers at the moment), you can politely say no thanks to the single-use plastic cutlery because you’ve got your own handy! Plus it is much nicer to eat from than cheap plastic.
Lots of sets will also come with a reusable straw too!
4. Reusable Shopping Bags
I know most of us have been using reusable grocery bags for a number of years now, especially since the single-use ones were phased out last year in Australia. But how many of us are still taking the single-use bags when we buy clothes, or get takeaway?
Get in the habit of using your reusable bags everywhere you go, not just the supermarket.
Next time you go to the shops (which may not be for a little while, at the minute) be sure to bring a few of your own or use a nice big one to put your purchases in. Much better than bringing home another six large plastic bags from shoe stores and homeware stores, which will end up in landfill!
5. Kitchen Towels
How many paper towel rolls do you go through in a week? Month? Sure they’re convenient, but not very eco-friendly.
With such a toilet paper/tissue/paper towel shortage recently, I know many of us had to learn to go without for a while. Which actually hasn’t been a bad thing!
Rather than using 3 paper towels to wipe up a little spill, which leads to a lot of waste, try to adjust to sticking to using your kitchen towels or microfibre cloths. Or invest in some washable bamboo “paper” towels (yes, that’s a thing!). Have a grandma who loves to knit? Knitted dishcloths are AMAZING, because the texture is great for wiping spills and cleaning dishes.
This may mean investing in more kitchen towels, or that you’re washing them more regularly, but hey – at least we aren’t going through paper towel like there’s no tomorrow!
I also love these compostable kitchen loofahs, which are great for hand-washing the dishes.
6. Reusable Yogurt Pouches
Something that’s new to me but such a fantastic idea!
Kids yogurt pouches are expensive and also create a lot of waste. Which is why reusable food/yogurt pouches are such a good alternative, like these ones from Sinchies.
This means you can buy one large family tub of yogurt, and fill them up yourself. Then wash, dry, and reuse! Don’t worry they’ve got fun designs so your kids can still feel like they’re picking a flavor 😉
They’re also perfect for smoothies, custards, or if you make your own yogurt they’re easy and ready to be filled for the kiddos!
I just order Little Mashies and Subo Bottle to try as well!
Will keep you posted.
7. Reusable Produce Bags
Rather than going through a handful of plastic bags every time you shop the fruit/veg section, invest in some reusable produce bags. There are a few different kinds, I personally like the large cotton mesh ones. I just got these ones from Nourished Life.
Last year I talked about some of my other favourite eco-friendly purchases, like Modibodi undies, which you can read about here.