Get Rid of Single-Use Plastic, Use These Sustainable Alternatives Instead
There are fewer things more dangerous than plastic for the health and sustainability of our planet. Many people think that the issue with plastic solely revolves around its recycling and disposal and that managing the growing heap of plastic dump is the only challenge on our hands. But that’s just one aspect of the problem. Throughout its life-cycle, from production to disposal, plastic leaves an enormous carbon footprint on this planet. Mass production of plastic is steadily contributing to global carbon emissions. According to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), we have less than 12 years to cut the global carbon emissions in half to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change.
It feels like a lot is riding on our ability as consumers, to move away from single-use plastic and turn towards more eco-friendly alternatives. What kind of alternatives? You might think. There are some recommendations below.
Alternative straws (paper, steel, bamboo, silicone etc.)
One of the most widely used single-use plastic is in the form of straws. There are a lot of alternatives that we can replace it with. You can use straws made from steel or bamboo, and if you miss the flexibility of plastic, there are also other alternatives like paper, silicone or similar decomposable straws made out of other plants.
Mesh cloth bags
These washable cloth bags made from netted thread, are easy to fold and carry. Take them with you to the grocery store, and even wash the vegetable in it, if you want. Dry them and use them again, instead of taking another plastic bag from your retailer.
Use washable food wraps made out of cotton, that is not just biodegradable, reusable and therefore, environment-friendly, but they can also be used for a variety of different purposes. You can use it to cover your food before refrigerating it. Or you can use it as a container-cover for the freshly prepared apple pie. Also, you don’t have to do the old-fashioned lunch-box routine every time you’re late and hurrying out to get to work. Just swiftly pack yourself a sandwich using this food wrap and you’re good to go.
When it comes to cleaning your teeth, a bamboo toothbrush is just as good as every other plastic toothbrush out there. But of course, it is not just cleaning your teeth, it will help you keep the planet clean as well. Everything from its packaging to the toothbrush itself, are easy to reuse, recycle and compost. Picking a bamboo toothbrush, you are getting the same amount of dental care while you are also making a small but valuable contribution towards alleviating the harmful burden of the single-use plastic dump.
Bamboo pulp plates
The next time you plan on hosting a garden party, outdoor picnic or event, you can take a positive step towards saving our environment by choosing to serve in plates made out of bamboo-pulp. In general, plastic plates get terribly out of shape, making it extremely hard for the recycling centers to recycle them. So use bamboo-based plates and cutlery for your outdoor event and feel closer to nature.
Balloons have always been a hallmark of birthdays and anniversary celebrations, but the time is demanding us to search for alternative ways of showing love and support to our loved ones. Paper lanterns have become quite a fad nowadays. Couples, especially, have come to adore the ritual of writing their names on a paper lantern and watch as it flies across the sky. It is truly surreal, try it and you will genuinely won’t miss the balloons.
Apart from giving preference to the above-mentioned alternatives, there are some other small steps that you can take, going through your day-to-day life, that can make a considerable difference. For instance, if you can choose to avoid using lighters. A box of matches is both cheaper and good for the environment. Similarly, you can opt-out of chewing gum. Gum is made out of synthetic rubber, which is just another form of plastic. There are numerous snack options available that can easily replace gum such as jelly candies. You are not missing out on much.