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Sustainable Swaps for a Greener Lifestyle

Sustainable Swaps for a Greener Lifestyle

There’s no denying that our planet is reaching crisis level with regard to pollution, plastic waste, and global warming. There is now over 1 ton of plastic trash on earth for each person that inhabits it! Something has got to change, but single-use plastic is a huge part of our lifestyles, and zero-waste living can seem daunting and unattainable. A great place to start taking responsibility for your own impact on the earth is to consider easy, “sustainable switches” that you can implement right away with minimal effort and cost!

Keep Cup instead of takeout cups

switch to reusable coffee cups

For those of us with a coffee habit, a reusable coffee cup is a must! It only takes a few minutes to drink a cup of coffee, but the plastic or plastic-lined paper cup that most take-away coffee is served in will take years to break down in a landfill. In fact, your used disposable coffee cups will actually out-live you! In addition to their earth-friendly benefits, Keep Cups are much sturdier and less prone to spills that disposables, plus they keep your drinks warm/cold much longer. A reusable cup can also help you save money- some coffee shops will give you a discount for using your own cup!

Stasher bags instead of plastic bags

switch to reusable sandwich bags

Single use Ziploc bags are OUT and stasher bags are IN for conscious consumers who want to pack lunches and store food in a more earth-friendly way. Conventional plastic baggies pose a risk for wildlife and aren’t recyclable, plus, they leach chemicals into the food that is stored in them. Glass or stainless steel containers are good replacements for plastic food containers, but they are bulky and heavy. Stasher bags are made of pure silicone that won’t affect the integrity of your food even when heated or frozen (yes, you can even cook in stasher bags with no negative effects). One set of stasher bags will replace hundreds of single use plastic baggies over their life span, and they can be recycled if they ever wear out.

Glad Rags + menstrual cups Instead of tampons and pads

switch to eco-friendly feminine hygiene products

The average woman has her period from 3-7 days per month, and goes through menstruation cycles from the age of 13 until the age of 51. That adds up to 456 total periods over 38 years. Another way of looking at the numbers is by the total amount of time that most women will be on their period- which is about 6.25 years of their lives! The most common period management products on the market are plastic-riddled pads and tampons in plastic tubes... which quickly add up in landfills and are loaded with toxic chemicals that are harmful to women's bodies.

Thankfully, there are other options- ones that are better for your body and the earth! Menstrual cups are amazing, but for days when you don’t want to mess with a cup (or if you need to ease into zero-waste period care with something a little less intimidating), washable fabric pads are easy and comfortable. Glad Rags sells a huge array of colorfully printed pads that will almost have you looking forward to your flow!  

Klean Kanteen instead of plastic bottles

switch to a reusable water bottle

In just one year, Americans use 35 billion plastic water bottles. Those pesky plastic bottles are right at the top of the list for the most commonly-found trash items polluting the world’s oceans- and they’re totally unnecessary when you’re outfitted with a stylish Klean Kanteen! Choose from a basic stainless steel water bottle that can last you a lifetime, or a thermos bottle that will keep your drinks nicely insulated. Klean Kanteen is dedicated to the cause of reducing plastic waste all over the world- join the movement and take a simple step toward a trash-free life.

Eco Bags instead of plastic produce bags

switch to reusable shopping bags

Eating lots of fruits and veggies is great for your health, but not-so-great for the environment when your produce is purchased from the grocery store in thin plastic produce bags! Some produce can just be placed directly into your cart in “nature’s packaging”, like corn on the cob or bananas. For everything else, invest in a few cotton produce bags from B Corp Company Eco Bags, plus a few totes to replace plastic/paper grocery bags, and watch your single-use plastic trash diminish on those weekly shopping trips!


this post was written by our friend Hannah Theisen, editor of life+style+justice, founder of a beautiful refuge and a member of the ethical blogger network. connect with Hannah on instagram


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