It’s estimated that each person generates 4.9 pounds of waste per day, about 70% of which winds up in our landfills, oceans, and environment. While the idea of going completely zero-waste seems overwhelming, we can all take steps to reduce waste in our homes—and our impact on the environment. And remember, the suggestions below are just the beginning; there’s an incredible amount of renewable, eco-friendly products on the market now!
Scary Stats About Waste
If you’re still not convinced to be more eco-friendly, here are some more reasons why you should care about the amount of waste produced in your home:
- In 2017, the United States generated 292.4 billion tons of waste. Of this waste, 146.2 million tons ended up in landfills. (EPA)
- In 2016, the world generated 242 million tons of plastic waste. The volume of this plastic could fill 4.8 million Olympic swimming pools. (World Bank)
- Toxic micro-plastics (microscopic pieces of broken-down plastic) ingested by seafood end up on our dinner plates. (Waste Free Ph.D.)
- In 2010, the United States wasted approximately 133 billion pounds and $161 billion worth of food, which could feed hungry families if not wasted. (USDA)
Steps You Can Take to Reduce Waste
We can all agree that there are tangible benefits to decreasing the amount of waste we produce, and we are so glad to see so many companies “Going Green.”
Plastic waste deserves our special attention since it does not decompose and is a clear detriment to our environment. Here are some ways you can reduce plastic waste in your life and instead use products designed to last:
For plastic wrap….
Instead of covering your leftovers in disposable plastic, try a stretchy, reusable silicone cover. These covers are washable and can be reused indefinitely.
Try: SiliWrap (Click here, $29 for a 4-pack)
For plastic water bottles….
Recycling only goes so far in protecting the environment. Whenever possible, it’s better to swap out your plastic water bottle habit for reusable glass or stainless steel bottles instead.
Try: BKR 500 mL Glass Bottle (Click here, $38)
Don’t have a water filter built into your fridge to refill your reusable glass? Use a Brita!
Try: Brita 18-Cup UltraMax Pitcher (Click here, $25)
For plastic straws….
Plastic straws are killing the next generation of sea turtles. But giving up plastic doesn’t mean you can’t sip in style: stainless steel straws can last for years without rusting.
Try: W&P Stainless Steel Reusable Straws (Click here, $10 for a 4-pack)
For cleaning supplies in plastic bottles…
Eco-friendly brands have come up with a creative swap for all-purpose cleaner (and other cleaning products) sold in plastic bottles: these Cleancult glass bottles can be purchased one-time, with refills sold in recyclable cardboard cartons.
Tired of buying giant plastic containers full of laundry or dishwasher detergent? Go the eco-friendly way with Dropps!
Try: Cleancult Refillable All-Purpose Cleaner Spray (Click here, $15, refill sold separately)
Try: Dropps (25% OFF EVERYTHING with code NEWYEAR25), (Click here)
For plastic food storage….
Instead of buying plastic food storage containers that will inevitably get dumped in the garbage because of stains or odors, try glass food storage. Not only will it last longer, but its environmental impact is drastically reduced.
Try: EcoTrade Airtight Glass Food Storage Containers (Click here, $50 for a 10-container set)