Once you’ve made a personal commitment to minimizing plastic in your everyday life, you’ll want to create new habits for the parts of life that tend to be plastic-heavy. I’ve created a To-Go Kit and a Shopping Kit for myself, and I take these everywhere I go. There are also a number of ways to reduce single-use plastic around the house — particularly the kitchen and bathroom — and my current list is below.
I’ve included links to purchase through Amazon.com and a few other resources. I’m an Amazon Associate so I earn a small referral fee if you purchase through those links, but if you have a local source for buying these items, please do!
To-Go & Eating Out
This recycled plastic (rPET) bag is a favorite of mine because it’s super lightweight and packages really small when needed.
Thermos with lid
I like this one because my hand fits inside for easy washing.
Fork, Knife, Spoon Set
I use bamboo for ease at the airport. Remember you’re carrying this with you everywhere you go!
I prefer silicone because it folds in half and anyone can use it, even people who have difficulty using metal or bamboo straws.
Going plastic-free can be messy! Always having a cloth napkin or handkerchief with you can help. Grab one from home, or try something like this. Nice cloth napkins can usually be found on sale at Crate & Barrel or TJ Maxx, too.
I’m still searching for the perfect solution (leaking can be an issue), but in the meantime, something like this is a good option.
These are available in recycled plastic (rPET), polyester, and cotton. I prefer the feel of organic cotton, but choose what works for you. The important thing to is purchase it marked with its weight (tare) to help the grocery not charge you for the weight of the bag when you buy your bulk items.
Bring more than you need! They’re light, and you get money back for using them. Here are some of my favorites that are made from recycled plastic (rPET): Earthwise, Messenger Style ChicoBag, and ChicoBag VITA.
Ask the people at Customer Service or the Deli counter to weigh them before they put the food in. I use glass, tupperware, silicone and stainless steel.
In the Kitchen
Ball Jars are great, and I also use Tupperware. Plastic is obviously not my favorite thing, however, it’s single-use that we worry about the most. Tupperware does offer a long-term solution that keeps my veggies lasting weeks longer in the fridge. This is a great option for buying bulk spinach in your produce bag and then storing it for weeks in your container as compared with the single-use plastic container we all used to buy!
Cleaning! I use natural sponges, plant-based loofahs, and cloth towels and wash them all frequently. I buy cleaning detergent in bulk or use detergent pods which are encased a biodegradable film (PVOH) and also deliver just the amount of detergent needed (a bonus, since people tend to use more detergent than is required).
In the Bathroom
- Shampoo Bar
- Conditioner Bar or Apple Cider Vinegar
- Bar Soap
- Facewash (I buy in bulk at my local Whole Foods)
- Natural Plant Loofah for scrubbing
- Volcanic Rock Pumice Stone
- Stainless Steel Razor
At the Sink:
- Bamboo Toothbrush
- Pellet Toothpaste
- Silk Dental Floss
- Bar Soap for hands
- Eco-conscious mascara
- Shea butter lip balm
- Face lotion with SPF
On the Toilet:
- Recycled toilet paper wrapped in paper