Quote of the day:
“A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people. ”
– Franklin D. Roosevelt
I think it goes without saying that if we all switched to products that are not single-use, the world and environment would benefit greatly. There are several things you can swap out, the next time you’re out of it’s disposable counterpart. I’m not asking you to go crazy and spend hundreds of dollars “going green.” However, there are simple swaps that you can implement today or the next time you’re out of something listed below that will drastically reduce waste. Ironic isn’t it? Going green is actually better for your wallet over time. Purchasing single-use is a conveniences and the cost adds up if you took the time to do the math. Investing in a couple items listed below will save you money. Win-win.
1. Paper nakpins- Target, Amazon, Etsy, etc… all sell cute and cheap cloth napkins. This is an easy no-brainer switch to make. The toughest part of the switch is deciding what set (or two) you are going to purchase. My recommendation on this, stitch with a dark color or white. White can be bleached if stained, that is not something you’d want to try with a eggshell blue color.
2. Paper towels- Again, search your favorite online retailer and you will find that a “unpaper towel” or fabric paper towels do exist. You don’t even have to switch to a designated paper towel replacement, “bar towels” or any pack of kitchen towels would do. Treat these the same way you’d use a single-use paper towel. When you have a spill or need for one, grab the fabric towel instead. Wet or dry, it will hold up better then the entire roll of paper towels would. Then, throw it in your laundry basket when it’s dirty. Wash with your normal items. Voila! No need to kill trees for paper towels anymore!
3. Disposable plates and cups- Now, I will say, I’m not against disposables for every occasion. I realize that events like birthday parties, graduations, etc… require more plates and cups than you have in your home. There is also the issue of connivence when serving food to family and friends in a group. That being said, outside of these special events, disposables really aren’t necessary. Stop being lazy and wash your dishes. The environment and world thanks you.
4. Single use cleaning wipes- Most of you will know these as Clorax wipes. Stop buying them. You can get your cleaning done with a rag or a cloth and a spray bottle of whatever cleaning product you want. (Same applies for using paper towels to clean, stop doing it). This switch cuts down waste drastically. Rags can be anything from old t-shirts or towels cut up, specifically purchased cleaning cloths (think Norwex), microfiber cloths, other small towels, etc… No judgement here on which one you decide to use. Switching is easy, and it literally doesn’t have to cost you anything. After using, toss the rags into the your laundry. Once clean, stash away next to your cleaning products to be ready for the next time. Easy.
5. Batteries- Some states like California have regulations on how to dispose of batteries, others do not. If you have kids, you know how quickly you can go through batteries and how expensive it is to purchase that huge pack of AAs that only lasts a minute. Just think of all those batteries you’ve used in your lifetime and where they’ve ended up. Hurting the environment? Probably.
Next time you are about to purchase single-use batteries, swap over to some rechargeables. I just bought another pack myself, as our battery needs have increased with my son using our old iMac (which has a wireless keyboard and mouse). Make sure you grab a charger too if it isn’t included in your pack. Charging these batteries is quick and easy. Think about it, you charge your phone every night, why can’t you occasionally recharge some batteries? You don’t need to go and replace every battery in your home to rechargeable this minute. Just cycle the single-use out when they are dead and continue to replace and purchase rechargeables instead.
So, there you have it. My top 5 disposables to stop buying. There are so many more items that could be on this list that you can stop buying that are disposable and have reusable swaps. The idea is to implement these changes over time. Don’t stress out and try to do it all at once. Use up what you have in your home and then make the switch. Once you have the reusable, you won’t go back to buying the disposable.
As mentioned above, the reusable version will end up being cheaper in the long run, even if you have to invest a little extra money upfront upon purchasing it. The benefits to your wallet and the environment are worth the little extra laundry or the occasional charging of batteries. You can do this! I know you can!
Is there anything else you think should make this list? Comment below!