A lot of attention has recently been turned toward the waste that is carelessly & irresponsibly left behind by humans (most notably plastic) and its devastating effects in nature. Many people have joined the effort to boycott plastic straws and alternatively either opt for reusable straws or straw-free drinks. This is an awesome step for everybody to take, and even if it feels pretty small, every single effort like this will add up and create a cleaner, healthier, and much happier planet.
Here are three other small & easy plastic-free changes you can make in your daily life to produce huge changes.
1. Use Reusable K-Cup Pods
If you're a regular coffee drinker, think about how many cups you drink per day, per week, per month, per year, and so on. Imagine all of your K-Cups sitting in a landfill, and then imagine your friends, family, and neighbors adding all of theirs. Like all plastic objects, K-Cups are not biodegradable, meaning that these hypothetical mountains of K-Cups will be around longer than we will.
But there's an easy fix that also happens to save a lot of money: reusable K-Cup pods. These can be found at most grocery stores, drug stores, and online. Each pod is only a few bucks, and they can be used for months and months. After getting one of these, forget about ever having to buy expensive packs of plastic K-Cups again, and get a bag of coffee grounds instead. These grounds will last you much longer, and they can be half the cost.
(FYI: Reusable K-Cup maintenance couldn't be easier--simply dump out the coffee grounds after each use, rinse out the cup, and use it again.)
7 Reusable K-Cups for $8 on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Reusable-Coffee-Filters-Keurig-Brewers/dp/B06WWFTQLC/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1529443129&sr=8-5&keywords=reusable+k+cups
2. Buy Plastic-Free Toothbrushes
Once you start paying attention to the amount of plastic you use every day, you see it everywhere. One really simple fix that everyone can make is toothbrushes! Sure, we don't go through as many of these as K-Cups, but think of all of the (again, non-biodegradable) toothbrushes that get thrown away every year. For nearly the same price as the plastic ones that we pick up at drug stores, why not give a plastic-free, wooden toothbrush a try? There's literally no difference, other than that it's not made of plastic. Who wouldn't love that?
(FYI: You can even buy these with charcoal in the bristles for time-saving whitening while you brush!)
Wooden Toothbrush for $2 on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Myhouse-Eco-Friendly-Bamboo-Handle-Toothbrush/dp/B075KQ4XND/ref=sr_1_12?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1529443718&sr=1-12&keywords=ecofriendly+toothbrushes
Wooden Toothbrush with Charcoal for $7.70 on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/MAZIMARK-Home-Eco-friendly-Toothbrush-Charcoal-Bristles/dp/B0719TDCD1/ref=sr_1_3?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1529445691&sr=1-3&keywords=eco+friendly+charcoal+toothbrush
3. Try Shampoo, Conditioner, & Soap Bars
Believe it or not, your shampoo & conditioner don't have to come in plastic bottles. We all know that soap can be plastic-free, but you can also buy various types of shampoo & conditioner in bar-form. And they are really nifty. Since shampoo & conditioner is something that most of us use rapidly and consistently, this is a really great way to eliminate huge amounts of plastic waste. And let's face it, most empty hair product bottles probably don't find their way into a proper recycling system.
Speaking as somebody who has thick, curly hair, I was a bit nervous that shampoo & conditioner bars wouldn't give me as much hydration as liquid products. However, I have been using them for weeks now and I can genuinely say that my hair is healthier and more hydrated than ever before. Not only do these little guys cut out plastic, but they are also made naturally and don't contain all the processed ingredients that most name-brand products do. Better for our hair, and definitely better for our earth.
Visit a LUSH store to try these for yourself! Each bar is about $12 and will give you 60-80 washes.
Shampoo Bar for $15 on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Ethique-Eco-Friendly-Solid-Shampoo-Wrangler/dp/B07572ZHB9/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1529444062&sr=1-1-spons&keywords=shampoo+bar&psc=1
Conditioner Bar for $18 on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07572RXKP/ref=sspa_dk_detail_0?psc=1&pd_rd_i=B07572RXKP&pd_rd_wg=qIeDl&pd_rd_r=KEYMZQQEAFX64PYT4PR5&pd_rd_w=M6lW3
LUSH bars: https://www.lushusa.com/hair/shampoo-bars/
Maybe these switches don't seem like much, but the more we each attempt to reduce our "carbon footprint," the bigger the changes around us will quickly be. These products are just three super simple switches that you can make to sincerely help the earth. Spread the word to family & friends! The more, the merrier.
If you have any eco-friendly products that you love, or if you give any of these three a try, let us know!