Here are my 5 must-have reusable products that will replace single-use items in your life. Some are obvious, some not so much, but these 5 items are a great starting point for anyone looking to live more sustainably. I’m all about making positive lifestyle changes and developing healthy habits. These five things are all fairly easy to start using and implementing into your life, and they alone will get a ton of single-use items OUT of your home. It’s a win-win too: it also saves you money over time because you’re not buying those single-use items over & over again. For example, I personally haven’t bought ziploc bags in over a year, so the $8 I initially spent to buy reusable ones has paid for itself several times over.
These are 5 pretty basic items. It’s a starter-guide, if you will. If you’re already a master of these five products, you da bomb! Go check out my more in-depth blog post that covers these five items in even more detail and has other tips for reducing your single-use plastic use: Eco-Friendly Living Guide.
1. Reusable Shopping Bags
Replaces: grocery bags, fruit baggies, all single-use shopping bags
I know it’s obvious. But you guys, this is the easiest one that we should all be doing. Sorry for sounding harsh here, but here we go, cue rant: there really is no excuse for you to not be using reusable bags. So you forget them once in a while, no big deal, save them & use them as doggie bags. But there’s zero excuse for you not to use reusable bags the MAJORITY of the time. The average American takes home almost 1,500 plastic shopping bags in ONE year. That’s CRAZY! Reusable bags are less than a dollar. Don’t get that Starbucks this week and buy 5 reusable bags instead. End rant.
2. Dryer Balls
Replaces: dryer sheets
WHY didn’t I discover these sooner?! I’ve had them for about a year now and LOVE them. Dryer sheets can’t be recycled, nor do they decompose. Plus, most dryer sheets (even including the ones labelled “organic” and “natural”) are covered in fragrances & toxic chemicals that are horrible for you and can irritate sensitive skin Dryer balls solve those problems, plus they cut down on dry time for me personally at least 30%, so it also saves electricity. Plus you can reuse them so it’s way cheaper than buying several packs of dryer sheets. Mine have been going strong for over a year now.
3. Drinking Straws
Replaces: single-use plastic straws
It’s 2019 y’all, we don’t use plastic straws anymore. Get yourself a nice big pack of cute reusable straws and use them around your home, and carry them in your handbag to use while you’re out. This is a little harder to develop into a habit than the reusable shopping bags, but it catches on quick, I promise.
4. BeesWax Food wrap
Replaces: Plastic (saran) wrap and plastic ziploc bags
Beeswax is AWESOME. Mine are from Lilybee on Amazon. It takes a bit of getting used to; admittedly my husband isn’t quite there yet. But I’m hooked on this stuff. I use it to wrap foods like cheese and leftover pizza slices in and keep it in the fridge. I also use it for the tops of dishes instead using plastic wrap. It’s so cool, and it’s super easy to wipe clean. (Tip: After using it in the fridge it’s a bit stiff, so leave it for a few minutes to get back to room temperature and then it’s easier to wipe clean and fold up and leave it in a drawer for next time. Same as the dryer balls, they save you money over time.. mine have been going strong for over a year and show no signs of slowing down.
5. Reusable Water Bottles
Replaces: plastic water bottles, soda bottles, etc.
Pretty obvious, I know. But it has to be mentioned. Carry that reusable water bottle absolutely everywhere and refill it in drinking fountains. It saves you a lot of money over time; those bottled drinks at gas stations, vending machines, etc. really add up. Plus it’s healthier for you to just get used to drinking water throughout the day instead of sodas and juices. Like I said, I’m all about developing healthier habits, and this is a huge one. We haven’t bought bottled water in our home for years (except for our emergency hurricane supply… #floridalife)
When you think one person can’t make a difference, think about it this way: if just 1,000 new people started using reusable shopping bags, that would cut out approximately 1.5 MILLION single-use plastic bags from ending up in our oceans EVERY YEAR. Small changes make HUGE impacts. There are 7.5 billion people on this planet, and our use of plastics like shopping bags have on our planet are detrimental. Inspire your loved ones to make these changes with you. Thank you for reading.