It’s no secret that we live in a throw-away society that prioritizes convenience over the planet’s health. Finding eco-friendly plastic alternatives can seem overwhelming with the ease and availability of materials that are non-biodegradable and designed for one-time use.
But what if I told you that you could start making a difference today by merely swapping out a single, one-time-use plastic item with an eco-friendly alternative? Would you take action?
In this post, you will learn about seven simple swaps you can do to bring more eco-friendly plastic alternatives inside your home.
Note: Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means I might earn a small commission at no additional cost to you if you love something as much as I do.
The Truth About Plastic
Did you know that it can take generations of life for plastic to biodegrade? It’s true; scientists estimate that it can take anywhere from 450 to over 1000 years for a single plastic water bottle to biodegrade. And some plastics will never biodegrade based on their components.
Plastics are typically toxic, unstable, and made from non-renewable resources. They accumulate rapidly, significantly affecting our ecosystem while harming various life forms. According to the Ocean Crusaders, approximately 100,000 marine creatures die annually from plastic entanglement alone.
Did you also know that most plastic doesn’t even get recycled? In fact, much of it gets thrown out in the garbage. According to National Geographic, approximately 91% of plastics are not recycled. And even the plastics that get recycled cannot be recycled indefinitely. Over time, conventional plastics will degrade and can no longer be reused.
Let’s face it—plastics do not benefit us or the planet. It’s clear that it’s time to eliminate one-time-use plastics once and for all.
7 Eco-Friendly Plastic Alternatives for Your Home
Looking at the plastic issue on a larger, global scale can be overwhelming. But don’t let that overwhelm keep you from taking any steps forward. You can make a difference today by swapping out a single, one-time-use plastic item with an eco-friendly alternative. Keep it simple and focus on one step at a time because it all adds up, sweet friend.
Start your journey towards plastic-free living today with seven eco-friendly plastic alternatives for your home:
(1) Get Stasher Bags
When it came to looking for a Ziploc bag alternative, it was important that I found something that I could put in the freezer. Thankfully, Stasher Bags had everything I was looking for and more!
Replace your single-use Ziploc bags with Stasher Bags! Stasher Bags are reusable silicone snack, sandwich, and storage bags. I love them because of their versatility—you can use them in the freezer, fridge, dishwasher, microwave, and even on your stovetop. They come in various colours and sizes depending on your needs. My favourite set is the stand-up trio in wave (as seen in the picture). We gifted these sets to our family at Christmas last year. Get 20% off your first order here 👉
(2) Ditch the plastic phone case and get a compostable one
The phone case industry makes over 1 billion plastic phone cases every year, making phone cases a substantial plastic waste source. Fortunately, you can eliminate plastic by choosing a compostable phone case for your next phone.
I get my phone cases from Pela—they are 100% compostable, eco-friendly, and offer excellent drop protection. I love their phone case designs (for example, their powder blue fin case seen here). Plus, I love that Pela offers the Ethos Radiation Reduction Tool, which blocks 80% of EMFs from your phone!
Pela’s mission is to reduce the amount of plastic on the planet, one phone case at a time. They donate to Ocean Cleanup and Preservation Initiatives for every phone case purchased. Other than phone cases, Pela also offers compostable phone grips, iPad cases, smart watch bands, AirPods cases, and AirTag holders, as well as sustainable sunglasses and more. Check them out here 👉
(3) Get a reusable water bottle
Statistics show that Americans use, on average, 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour. And one plastic bottle can take anywhere from 450 to 1000 years to biodegrade!
Using a reusable water bottle eliminates plastic waste that takes hundreds of years to biodegrade. It may seem like a simple swap, but it is a powerful step towards a healthier planet. When considering water bottle alternatives, it is essential to consider the materials used in the bottle’s production. I recommend a BPA-free stainless steel or glass water bottle. Here are a couple of my favourite water bottles:
Glass: Elixir2Go Crystal Water Bottle – Made with high-quality, lead-free borosilicate glass with stainless steel caps. Not just a water bottle—you get to combine the power of water and crystals with this crystal elixir set. The sets come with a glass water bottle, a crystal blend, a bottle sleeve, and a lifetime warranty. There are eight different crystal blends to choose from, but you can swap them out any time and create your own combinations. I have their rose quartz blend! Check them out here 👉
(4) Invest in a sustainable capsule wardrobe
Did you know that synthetic clothing made from polyester, nylon, acrylic, and spandex are all forms of plastic? And just by washing these clothes, we contribute to the microplastic pollution plaguing our lakes and oceans.
Now, this isn’t to say that you should throw out all your polyester clothing and replace everything—after all, you already own those clothes, so why not make the most of them. It’s about making conscious choices when purchasing future items of clothing.
You can reduce your contribution to plastic pollution caused by clothing in many ways. You can buy clothing made out of natural materials whenever possible. You could invest in a sustainable capsule wardrobe that doesn’t go out of style and buy less clothing. You could buy used clothing, so new synthetic clothing isn’t added to the mix. And you could wash your clothing made out of synthetic materials less often.
One of my favourite sustainable clothing shops is called Encircled. They create clothing with the slow fashion revolution in mind. They focus on creating beautiful, versatile, long-lasting clothing made of comfortable, sustainable, eco-friendly fabrics. One of my favourite pieces of clothing by Encircled is their dressy sweatpants—they are super comfortable while being dressy at the same time. Learn more about Encircled here 👉
(5) Get a cotton swab alternative
Cotton swabs are a tremendous source of ocean pollution. In fact, approximately 1.5 million disposable swabs are produced every day. And we’re talking single-use swabs. Considering the resources needed to create, ship, and package the single-use swabs, you can see that the amount of waste is significant.
Thankfully, I have an alternative for you made by LastObject, whose mission is to help the planet by developing alternatives to single-use products. My favourite LastObject alternatives include:
Cotton Swab Alternative: LastSwab – an alternative to the everyday cotton swab. LastSwab comes in two different models: one for general uses and one for beauty. These swabs replace 1000 single-use cotton swabs, and they are easy to clean with soap and water. I have one of each! Check them out here 👉
Cotton Round Alternative: LastRound – a pack of seven reusable facial pads that replace 1750 single-use cotton rounds. The rounds are made with 100% sustainably sourced materials and are completely compostable. You can wash them by hand or by washing machine. These are great for removing makeup. Check them out here 👉
(6) Shop with reusable bags
We have a choice when it comes to taking a plastic bag home with us. We can say no to the bag.
Plastic grocery bags can accumulate quickly in a household. In fact, according to Ocean Crusaders, shoppers use approximately 500 billion single-use plastic bags per year, which translates to about a million bags a minute or 150 bags a year for every person. And all the plastic bags that have ever been made still exist today.
If you carry your items to the checkout without a bag, why take a plastic bag to get those items home? And if you know you are going to need a bag, why not keep reusable bags in your car for your shopping needs?
When it comes to reusable bags, I recommend getting bags that you can wash easily and often. Here are a couple of my favourite bag alternatives:
Produce Bag Alternative: Eco Roots – A set of 9 reusable produce bags made out of 100% organic cotton. These bags are washable, sustainable, renewable, and biodegradable. I love using my reusable produce bags! Get them here 👉
Grocery Bag Alternative: Organic Cotton Tote Bags – These organic cotton bags are reusable, washable, and biodegradable. They are made with 100% natural and unbleached organic cotton. Whether you are shopping at the grocery store or a farmer’s market, these bags are super handy! Get them here 👉
(7) Replace your toothbrush with a biodegradable option
Dentists recommend that you switch out your toothbrush every few months and, if you get sick, swap out that toothbrush right away; this can add up when using plastic toothbrushes. Let’s look at the numbers:
The average life expectancy changes over time. However, for this example, let’s say the average global life expectancy is 72 years. A person replaces their toothbrush every three months: 12/3 = 4 toothbrushes. A person gets sick once a year (for example): + 1 extra toothbrush every year. 72 years x 5 toothbrushes a year is 360 toothbrushes a person approx!
Plastic toothbrushes are non-biodegradable, and studies show that a single toothbrush can take anywhere between 400-500 years to decompose. They not only accumulate in massive numbers, but they harm the environment and marine life.
I recommend replacing your plastic toothbrush with a bamboo toothbrush. Bamboo is a rapidly renewable and sustainable resource. Most bamboo toothbrushes are compostable and recyclable.
If you have a choice, choose to support local businesses that are eco-conscious in their mission and vision.
Look for businesses that allow you to bring in your reusable bottles and containers; work to reduce any unnecessary plastic packaging; have eliminated plastic straws; encourage you to bring in your bags; etc.
The businesses we choose to support impact our local communities and the message we send out as individuals.
And there, you have seven eco-friendly plastic alternatives for your home. Remember, focusing on one step at a time is more powerful than being stuck in a place of overwhelm.
Do not underestimate the power of these steps because every step we make adds up. Remember, it’s a WE, not a ME. Change starts with every one of us and ripples out. What step will you take today?
What are your favourite eco-friendly plastic alternatives? Let us know in the conversation below!
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