Skip to content

Making a Change

April 29, 2010

By Jennifer Chaky

The 40th Earth Day is behind us, and hopefully we all gave some thought on what we could do better for our health and environment. Here is list of 20 disposables items and alternatives to help you kick your resolutions into gear. What disposable items can you live without? Remember, there was a time when these items were used only as alternatives. We were convinced we needed them daily by the companies that make them so they can get rich off of burying us in waste. Who needs it?

1. Plastic utensils: carry with you metal or bamboo utensils. Pick up some inexpensive metal utensils from a thrift store if you are afraid of losing some from your set at home. Use at parties as well as meals away from home.

2. Commercially Bottled Water: get a filter and stainless steel water bottle.

3. Sandwich bags: use a reusable snack pouch/wrap or stainless steel container.

4. Plastic Shopping Bags: carry canvas bags in your car or little stuffable recycled polyester ones on you for all kinds of shopping, like the drug store, book store…everywhere!

5. Diapers: there is now a wide array of cloth diaper systems that make cloth easier than ever.

6. Party Supplies: most of us have dishwashers, so what is the big deal about using real plates and cups and utensils at parties? Again, you can stock up at a thrift store. And if you don’t have a dishwasher, I’ve been at parties where every guest was asked to wash their own stuff. It was like a fun group-bonding activity!

7. Garbage Bags: since more people are using reusable bags, trash bag sales have increased. Defeats the point, I think, so how about using any bag as a trash bag: empty chip bags, frozen vegetable bags, newspaper bags etc…?

8. Feminine Products: throw-away pads and tampons are as bad for the planet as diapers- as well as unhealthy for you. Lunapads has soft and effective reusable pads and divacups that are really not that hard to get used to.

9. Paper Towels: Sure these are good for cat puke and other gross messes, but for spills and regular wiping, use a euro sponge like Skoy. And newspapers are the only thing you should be cleaning windows and mirrors with.

10. Napkins: every member of the family can have their own cloth napkin set to be washed and reused.

11. Plastic Wrap and Foil: stainless steel and glass containers will keep food longer anyway.

12. Razor blades: invest in a razor that uses replaceable blades only and reuses the handle.

13. Toothbrushes: ditto. Invest in a toothbrush that uses replaceable heads.

14. Batteries: buy items that do not require batteries, or at least use rechargeable batteries.

15. Juice boxes and Straws: buy in bulk and use refillable stainless steel bottles and forgo the straw or get a glass straw.

16. Single-serving Snacks: buy in bulk and put those stainless steel containers to good use.

17. Produce Bags: get reusable, lightweight bags for buying produce or bulk items such as rice or nuts.

18. Bubble Wrap: use newspapers or salvaged packing materials instead of buying new.

19. Gift Wrap: get creative by wrapping gifts with found items such as Chinese takeout menus or maps.

20. Antiperspirant: This is a very heavily packaged item that is not good for you anyway. Use baking soda to control odor while allowing your body to naturally perspire.

One Comment leave one →
  1. May 25, 2010 1:26 pm

    One more thing to think about switching: matches instead of disposable lighters! Saw a pic of a lighter in a bird’s stomach! Matches are biodegradable!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: