7 Ways to reduce plastic use at home

About three years ago we consciously started to reduce the use of plastic in our home.   It has been a lengthy process, but in the pursuit to be more environmentally conscious and creating a sense of social consciousness in our kids we have come a long way.  Here are the ways we have reduced the use of plastic in our home.

  1. No more plastic straws:  This was a big one as we used to buy them regularly since we drink a lot of shakes (for the morning, lunch and sometimes dinner).  So we bought a pack of 4 stainless steel straws and we loved them. We got them about three years ago in amazon and I believe they are now available in most places.  Nowadays you can find silicon straws, glass straws, bamboo straws, and stainless steel straws and they come with their own cleaning brush so cleaning them is no problem.
  2. No more Ziploc bags (sandwich, or snack bags):  I do pack a school snack to both of my kids and I would usually put the pretzels or check mix or granola in a Ziploc bag.   Last year, before the school started I bought reusable silicone food storage bags and have been a game-changer. My sons actually prefer silicone food storage bags than the plastic counterpart.  I bought them in amazon and paid 13.99 for six quart-size bags which were actually bigger than expected. For what I have read the bags have an expiration date but so far they are still looking great. 
  3. Purchase food, like rice, pasta, and grains in bulk:   This is truly a double winner as you will actually save money when you buy in bulk.  I have glass containers at home where we store the rice, pasta, and grains. Whole foods have a great selection of grains in bulk where you find a variety of rice and beans, as well as granola and nuts.  
  4. No more plasticware at home:  I would always have plastic plates and plastic silverware at home for “emergency”.  About a year ago I stop buying them and use only the regular glass plates and stainless steel silverware. Yes, it may take longer to clean but I got used to it quite fast.  Additionally, although silverware may be cheap at the market, plastic plates are not and I have saved quite a bit in the last year by taking them out of the shopping list.
  5. Make your own cleaning products:  For the last three years we have made our own cleaning products and this has helped to reduce the plastic container that we would usually buy when buying these products.  We have one with vinegar-water and another one with alcohol-water and with these two we are able to keep the house clean, smelling fresh and disinfected.
  6. No more plastic scrubbers and synthetic sponges:  We started using natural cleaning cloths for cleaning around the house and the dishes.  It may take a bit to get used to it but now I love it more than the previous counterpart.  Additionally, this is another change that allows you to save money as well.
  7. Be conscious! Nowadays there is a lot of progress towards reducing the use of plastics and many companies from cosmetics to food to home goods are doing the best to reduce the use of plastic.  When buying products (makeup, detergents, soaps, lotions, etc) chose the one with the plastic alternative, from recyclable packaging to glass, if you have an option chose to be environmentally friendly, chose plastic-free and recyclable packaging. 

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