Easy Alternatives to Everyday Disposables

23 Feb

Seeing as today (Ash Wednesday) is the first day of lent and people all over the world are fasting from their own vices, we thought it would be appropriate to bring up another ‘bad habit’ to change…  Here is a list of common single-use items that are thrown away by the bag full and yet have fairly easy to find, long-lasting alternatives (taken from the good human):
Instead of…

  • Single use ballpoint pens, buy refillable pens.
  • Disposable razors and/or razor cartridges, try a straight razor…or just stop shaving your face.
  • A paper coffee cup, get yourself a reusable coffee mug or thermos.
  • Regular batteries, buy rechargeable ones and a charger.
  • Buying bottled water, get your own reusable bottle and never pay for plastic bottles again.
  • Disposable diapers, look into using unbleached cloth ones.
  • Using plastic wrap at home, get yourself some resealable glass containers.
  • Plastic straws, get your own glass one at GlassDharma.
  • Single-use sponges, buy some washable sponges – they are washing machine friendly.
  • Virgin plastic garbage bags, find ones made from recycled plastic.
  • Plastic utensils on a picnic, bring your metal ones from home.
  • Paper towels, buy some dish rags and keep them handy in a drawer.
  • Tissues, try out a handkerchief!
  • Paper or plastic, bring your own bag when you go shopping.
  • Using the produce bags, just put the produce in your cart. You’re gonna wash it before you eat it anyway!
  • Using plastic bags for bulk purchases, bring your own reusable container. The store will weigh it for you to get the tare weight (the weight of the empty container) before you use it.
  • Using paper coffee filters that get thrown away, get yourself a gold filter that you can wash each day.

Could you make a switch (or 2 or 7?) and shrink the number of garbage bags you put out every month?  If you haven’t already adopted a fast or challenge for this lent season, consider a fast from single-use products…

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2 Responses to “Easy Alternatives to Everyday Disposables”

  1. Ellstar February 23, 2012 at 11:02 am #

    I use biodegradable paper filters for coffee and put it in my awesome composter. I have the best tasting soil on the block! I very very rarely buy water bottles, I almost always have a small foldable refillable bottle with me. Those are standards I do on a daily basis.

    The one I find that is hard is carrying a reusable coffee thermos on my person, if I’m not carrying a big bag with me, I don’t want to be burdened with extra objects. I also cycle and the less I can carry the better.

    • nowastewednesdays February 23, 2012 at 11:11 pm #

      That is awesome! Sounds like you’ve cultivated excellent habits already. Agreed though – it is difficult to always be prepared with to-go mugs and containers… I’ve seen foldable water bottles and food containers but I have yet to find a fold-up coffee thermos… We’ll keep our virtual eyes peeled though and let you know if something comes our way!

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