These reusable items will help you reduce, reuse and recycle with ease! In an effort to become more conscious about how we consume, this list will provide you with all sorts of goodies. Not only will they make your life easier, but greener as well!
In order to do your part for the planet, we all have to take a deeper look into our consumption habits. Not only that, we have to improve and become smarter consumers. Here are some tips for shopping smart as well as 20 reusable items that will help you cut down on waste.
Shopping Smart & Green
As consumers we have more power than we may think. We have the power of choice, which means that our choices will impact a business and their products. If we all chose to shop with sustainable and greener brands, other companies would learn to change and become more eco-friendly.
Green shopping requires environmentally friendly alternatives to everyday items. For example, using paper or cloth bags instead of plastic, using Energy Star appliances and avoiding food/drink that has excess packaging. Someone who practices green shopping is aware and mindful of the environment. This person maintains a healthy and sustainable lifestyle in order to protect the planet.
This relates more to spending habits. A smart shopper gets more bang for their buck while still achieving high quality. It is important not to confuse discount shopping with smart shopping. Discount shopping involves fast fashion and the cheapest alternatives. Buying smart means investing in yourself and your future. Start thinking about the clothes you buy and how long they will last instead of based on current trends.
Reduce, Reuse, recycle & Rethink
We all learned this way back in elementary school and it is still important today. These four R’s are the bare minimum of what you can do to be more environmentally friendly.
R number 1 is reduce. This means to minimize the amount of waste we produce. When we reduce waste we save space in landfills which then decreases the need for more landfills. Additionally, reducing waste we conserve resources, protect wildlife and helps sustain the planet for future generations. In 2018, the U.S. produced 292.4 million tons of solid waste and this number grows each year.
R number 2 is reuse. This refers to the everyday products we use and finding alternative reusable items. Reusing is more important than recycling because it saves energy. Additionally, reusable items significantly decrease waste and pollution. If you think about how much energy goes into breaking down recycled materials, reusing is much more efficient.
Recycling takes materials that would be considered waste and re-makes them into new products. This could be coffee cups and even clothes or shoes. Recycling can be tricky because in order for there to be a greater impact, more people need to recycle. Recycling reduces waste and pollution, conserves natural resources and can actually boost the economy.
This last R, rethink, refers to our lifestyle habits. We must consider how our actions and consumption habits affects the environment. You can rethink by learning and using alternative products. Additionally, considering your carbon footprint and making active changes to your lifestyle in order to minimize waste.
20 Reusable items
Reusable items will save you money, reduce waste, save energy and overall help you become a smarter, greener shopper. Here are 20 items to incorporate into your life today.
1. Metal or Rubber Straws
These durable straws allow for continuous use which reduce waste and energy. They are portable, easy to clean and lower your overall cost of buying one-use plastic and even cardboard straws.
2. Stainless Steel Water Bottles
Save money on buying beverages when you can bring one with you where ever you go. Additionally, you can fill it up almost anywhere. Stay hydrated, lower your consumption and cost on buying drinks when you’re out and about.
3. French Press
This is a low-waste and cost effective way to make coffee every morning. The only waste that is produced is the coffee grounds, which can be used as a body scrub or composted. Not only does using a French press give you more control over the taste of your coffee, you can take it with you anywhere.
4. Tea Infuser
Save money and reduce waste by buying a tea infuser (reusable tea bag). All you need is loose leaf tear, the infuser cage and you’re good to go.
5. Tupperware or Pyrex Glass Containers
No more take out containers or tossing out food. these durable containers reduce waste and pollution. Save money on food and enjoy it a little longer.
6. Rechargeable Batteries
Despite the higher initial cost of rechargeable batteries, the overall savings is significant. These batteries last much longer than regular batteries and can be reused up to 500 times. This lowers E-waste and the harmful pollution that comes from the batteries themselves.
7. Wool Dryer Balls
Say goodbye to dryer sheets because wool dryer balls are reusable and chemical free. Not only do they lower drying time, they soften fabric naturally. If you have sensitive skin, wool dryer balls will keep your clothes soft without causing irritation.
8. Insulated Bottle
Whether you want a hot or cold beverage, you can get an insulated bottle for both. Reduce costs on buying coffee every morning by brewing your own and keeping it hot all day long.
9. Soda Stream
If you love soda but want to reduce the amount of plastic or canned drinks you buy, a soda stream will help! Soda stream’s are much better for you than a regular fizzy drink. In fact, they actually promote weight loss and improve digestion.
10. Beeswax Food Sheets
Unlike plastic wrap that speeds up the molding process, beeswax food sheets keep food fresher for longer. They are antibacterial, biodegradable and can actually be reused by just a quick rinse.
11. Reusable Grocery Bags
Most grocery stores these days charge for plastic bags so buying reusable grocery bags is a must. They reduce waste, save money and are easier to carry. Moreover, if you have a business, reusable bags is a cost effective marketing strategy that gets your brand in front of more people!
12. Reusable Keurig Cups
If you have a Keurig, instead of buying k-cups every week, buy two or three reusable cups and a bag of coffee beans. Not only does this reduce waste, but is also much healthier. K-cups have all sorts of harmful chemicals, especially flavored ones. Keurig sells approximately 10.5 billion K-cups a year, that is a lot of waste. Using reusable K-cups is an efficient way to reduce your carbon footprint while still enjoying your Keurig.
13. Menstrual Cups
Pads and tampons are expensive and since half the population are menstruators, we need a budget and eco-friendly alternative. Menstrual cups are actually safer than tampons and holds more fluids. This small and flexible funnel collects fluid rather than absorbs which can lead to infection. Additionally, they are eco-friendly because you can reuse them over and over again.
14. Silicone Food Savers
Have you ever used half a vegetable, put it back in the fridge and it goes bad within days? Silicone food savers are better than plastic wrap because they keep the food completely sealed and safe from mold.
15. Silicone Cupcake/Muffin Baking Cups
Say goodbye to throw away cupcake wrappers. Silicone cupcake and muffin cups can be used over and over. If you love to bake, save money and lower waste with this reusable baking cups.
16. Reusable Makeup Remover Pads
Save money and reduce waste with reusable makeup remover pads. Cotton makeup remover pads require huge amounts of energy to produce and they end up in our oceans and landfills. Cotton is one of the most pesticide-doused crops around, which means those cotton pads contain heaps of harmful chemicals.
17. Reusable Sponges
Sponges get moldy and dirty very quickly, which leads them to being tossed regularly. Consider looking for polyester reusable scrubbing sponges that are machine washable. You’ll have to toss them eventually, however they will last much longer than the average sponge.
18. Safety Razors
Disposable razors are exactly that, disposable. Safety razors are built to last and the blades themselves are the only thing that needs to be replaced. The blades are recyclable and can be collected at a blade bank or just tossed in a recycling bin.
19. Shampoo & Conditioning Bars
Not only are shampoo and conditioning bars travel friendly, they have little to no waste. Many of them don’t even require water to nourish and clean your hair. Using these bars lowers waste and water use as well as keeping your hair healthy.
20. Dish Soap Bars
Instead of buying soap dispensers in the traditional plastic bottle, check out dish soap bars. Many are made from all natural ingredients unlike many dish soaps which contain detergents and other chemicals. Simply place the bar in a dish, use a sponge or brush and start cleaning.
We all need to do our part to save the planet not only for ourselves, but for future generations as well. Do your part by reducing waste and buying reusable items instead of disposables.