Let’s keep it simple, y’all! There are some easy sustainable switches for the single use plastic items in your life. You could make the switch to reusable items RIGHT NOW, and some for FREE!
Single Use Plastic – Just Say NO!
This is going to be a short and sweet post because these plastic-free switches are simple. I’m on a strict budget, so I understand being apprehensive of investing in expensive products when you’ve never used them before. But that’s what credible reviews from people you trust are for! I hope y’all trust these recommendations that I make and invest in some reusable products so that more of us can refuse and avoid the never dying plastics that are harming the environment. ps – some options are free because you can upcycle/reuse what you already own!
Disclosure: Old World New is a participant in the Amazon services LLC associates program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to amazon.com and affiliated sites.
- “Over the last ten years we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century.” – source
- “1 in 3 species of marine animals has been found entangled in marine litter.” – source
- “Virtually every piece of plastic that was ever made still exists in some shape or form (with the exception of the small amount that has been incinerated).” – source
- “ONE MILLION plastic bottles are bought EVERY MINUTE around the world — and that number will top half a TRILLION by 2021. Less than half of those bottles end up getting recycled.” – source
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9 Ways to Quit Single Use Plastic With Sustainable Swaps
This is the most popular switch. Companies have popped up all over the world offering reusable straws to help us quit the single use plastic straw issue. Some companies and restaurants have stopped offering those plastic straws unless you really need them. While the debate about whether
Shopping & Produce Bags
You can buy reusable bags, or make your own out of old t-shirts, no sewing required, or get crafty and use some old fabric to stitch up your own bags. Whichever way you decide (I have a combination of all of them), keep them in your car so that you can have them with you at all times so that you can say no to plastic bags and actually put them to use when you go shopping.
Most black women NEED shower caps to protect our hair, and a lot of people of all ethnicities use them regularly. Those cheap plastic shower caps gotta gooooo. I will be investing in an intentionally sturdy and reusable show cap soon. Here are my top contenders:
- EcoTools Shower Cap (a sustainable company)
- Theodore Vernell Custom Fit Shower Cap (black-owned // for thick, long, and curly hair)
- Quickie Cap (woman-owned)
- Kitsch (woman-owned)
There’s a simple fix for this. Pack a set or 2 of a spoon, fork, and knife combo and put it in a small bag and take it with you wherever you go! The hardest part for me is saying “no fork, please” when I go somewhere. You can also get fancy and purchase a set of cutlery. Here are a few options:
Packing your own lunch automatically stops the need for fast food in disposable packaging. And did you know that placing hot food in plastic containers causes the plastic to leach chemicals into your food? Why not reuse something safer like glass jars from pickles or olives, instead of recycling them? Or make your breakfast, lunch, snack, or dinner and then place it in a safer alternative to plastic food containers, like these examples:
Get a reusable water bottle! If your job or wherever you are all day doesn’t have a water filter system, get a bottle that is self-filtering, or a bottle that is large enough to hold all of the water you’ll need while you’re away from home. No more disposable water bottle, y’all. Ok?
Soap & Shampoo Bars
This may seem like a “long term” swap, but things like deodorant bottles, shampoo bottles, and toothpaste tubes are all “single use.” The majority of them can not successfully be refilled, unless a brand designs them to be so. Most brands don’t have that eco-conscious design, though. That’s why unpackaged shampoo and soap bars are a great alternative.
Being a black woman makes this a tricky switch because I can’t use shampoos bars that will dry out break my hair, and being that shampoo bars are sort of new, there aren’t many options. However, you can go beyond the bar and buy shampoo and conditioner well-designed eco-friendly packaging. I love to get my natural soap and shampoo bars from Whole Foods, and they also now sell Seed Phytonutrients shampoo and conditioner, which comes in eco-friendly packaging. They also send you seeds to plant with most of their products! Here’s the Seeds Phytonutrients shampoo that I like for my thick & curly hair:
It’s not a scary razor, y’all. It’s just made well, so it stays sharp longer than the non-recyclable disposable razors. Dassit. That’s all. Conquer your fears and invest in a safety razor.
Plastic wrap was developed in a chemical plant. It doesn’t “cling” well. And no one is recycling it. Use beeswax wrap, instead. Here’s the perfect beeswax wrap starter kit by Abeego!