With the country's growing waste problem, more and more people are pledging to lead zero-waste lifestyles. You'll find reusable alternatives to a broad range of everyday household items. Some major corporations have even sworn to abandon single-use plastic items like drinking straws, grocery bags, and PET water bottles, among other disposable products.
Shifting toward a more eco-friendly society yields numerous advantages, of course, but some might wonder what sparked these movements. How did we get here? Keep reading to learn more about the rise of reusable products and how to maximize this trend.
The Benefits of Using More Reusable Product
Unbeknownst to many, eliminating single-use plastic products from your daily routines offers several benefits, such as:
Reduced Carbon Footprint
Switching to reusable products is the quickest, easiest way to reduce your carbon footprint. You cannot achieve a zero-waste lifestyle immediately, but small, consistent efforts like swapping plastic straws for reusable ones have significant long-term effects.
You might not notice it, but the cost of using disposable products adds up over time. Most households spend thousands of dollars every month on paper towels, drinking cups, disposable cutlery, coffee filters, plastic bags, and bottled water.
Minimized Global Energy Usage
Producing reusable products does consume a significant amount of energy, but manufacturers do not have to make them as often as their disposable counterparts.
Take grocery bags as an example. While tailoring reusable grocery totes consumes more energy than mass-producing plastic bags, totes last thousands of times longer than plastic bags. Although plastic takes decades to disintegrate, you cannot use them for more than one or two grocery trips.
5 Reusable Alternatives to Some Common Single-Use Items
Are you ready to start living sustainably? Here are some easy swaps to the most commonly used single-use products:
1. Plastic Drinking Straws v.s. Reusable Straws
Plastic straws stand among the biggest contributors to landfills. Reports indicate that Americans and Australians use about 500 million and 10 million plastic drinking straws every day, respectively.
Fortunately, consumers have dozens of reusable alternatives to plastic straws. If you want a durable, easy-to-clean option, check out the metal drinking straw set from MUTNITT. Meanwhile, those who feel that metal straws taste slimy or metallic can try the silicone straws from Senneny.
2. Disposable Cotton Rounds v.s. Reusable Cotton Pads
Cotton rounds play an invaluable role in any skincare routine. You can use these versatile swabs for various applications, such as removing makeup and spreading skin toner.
However, you might want to ease off the disposable cotton pads since they severely impact the environment. Manufacturing just 2.2 lbs. of cotton already uses 5,200+ gallons of clean water.
Instead of ditching cotton pads altogether, opt for sustainable LastRound organic cotton pads by LastObject. Since you can reuse each round up to 250 times, a pack of seven replaces up to 1,750 pieces of disposable cotton rounds.
3. Single-Use Grocery Bags v.s. Reusable Totes
Grocery bags contribute to the world's growing plastic waste problem. Australians use over 3.3 billion plastic bags per annum, while Americans go through a whopping 100 billion grocery bags.
Fortunately, many establishments have sworn to play their part in reducing plastic waste. Several groceries have even banned plastic bags entirely. For a sustainable yet convenient shopping experience, bring a couple of WISELIFE reusable bags the next time you do your groceries.
4. Toilet Paper v.s. Toilet Bidet
Solely using toilet paper to clean your bottom is very wasteful. Statistics show that the average American goes through about 100 clean rolls of toilet paper per annum"all of which goes straight to landfills. Also, improper cleaning puts you at risk of several complications like skin infections, hemorrhoids, and rashes.
To reduce your overreliance on toilet paper, get a bidet attachment for your toilet. Quality options like the Neo 120 from LUXE Bidet Store projects a steady, temperature-regulated stream of water that effectively cleans your entire bottom. For best results, lather with soap as well.
5. Takeout Coffee Cups v.s. BYO Mugs
The popularization of commercial coffee shops drastically increased the number of coffee cups thrown away every day. Over a billion cups end up in landfills per annum.
An excellent sustainable solution here would be to bring your own coffee tumbler. Check out the reusable cups from Joe Cup. They consist of ethically sourced raw bamboo materials, have spill-proof lids, and can keep your coffee warm for hours.
Living Life With More Mindful, Sustainable Purchases
Don't worry if you cannot remove single-use products from your daily routine right away. It's normal to experience a few challenges when switching to reusable alternatives for the first time. Most people have used disposable items their whole lives, after all.
Instead of making drastic changes right from the get-go, strive for consistency. Buying reusable drinking straws, towels, cotton rounds, and food containers is one thing, but incorporating them into your daily life is another. You will only benefit from reusable products if you commit to them.
To make the transition easier, seek help from like-minded friends who want to live more sustainably as well. Trust us"having a support group makes a significant difference. They can provide you with support and encouragement if you ever revert to your old, wasteful habits.