Although there are lots of negatives to focus on when it comes to the environment, it’s important to see the small yet meaningful steps that we can all take to make a difference! By seeing the positive, it encourages us to believe we can make a change and feel inspired to do good for the planet.
That’s why I have compiled a list of easy everyday swaps for people to use, which can have a huge environmental impact. Below you can find 6 ways to drastically change the amount of waste you produce, which will not only help the way you feel, but also help our planet. Try them out today!
Toothbrushes are something you use twice a day (or at least you should!) and are often replaced after a few weeks to a few months. Yet, their ecological impact is often ignored. It is estimated in the US alone that there are between 850 million, upwards to over a billion toothbrushes discarded into landfills every year; this is roughly 50 million pounds of waste annually (Ecoplanet Bamboo, 2015).
Bamboo toothbrushes are a great way to not only keep your pearly whites gleaming, but they are biodegradable which means Mother Earth won’t have to clean up after you!
If people actually flossed the recommended amount, the empty floss containers would fill up a landfill the size of a football field, reaching 6 stories high (Earth 911, 2018)!
You probably didn’t know this, but glass floss containers are a thing. These containers can be reused over and over again, and the floss can be directly ordered to replace it. Additionally, glass is recyclable so even the container can be responsibly discarded. Even better, some floss is also biodegradable which means the floss can be responsibly discarded. This is a solution that both your dentist and the planet can love.
To check out the floss and containers, click HERE!
Water bottles are a pretty common single-use swap, which is amazing. Yet, a lot of people (myself included) have a reusable water bottle made of plastic. This bottle has worked great for me and I’m not going to discard it simply to get a new one, but if you’re looking to invest in a new water bottle, I have news for you!
1 reusable water bottle has the capability to save hundreds of disposable bottles (per person) from entering landfills and waterways. Glass water bottles are a great solution because they can be recycled and reused once you’re done with it. Additionally, a lot of water bottles are being made with eco-friendly materials and some proceeds from sales are being donated to environmental organizations.
If you’re looking for a new bottle, click HERE to find some great brands with great ideas.
Reusable shopping bags are something I use EVERY TIME I go grocery shopping, but I often forget to bring them when I go to the mall. Plastic bags are often used by people in grocery stores or when they’re out shopping simply because its easier than bringing their own. Every time I ‘need’ to use a disposable bag I try to remind myself that I am adding to the global stat of using 160,000 plastic bags every second (The World Counts, 2014).
An upcoming event I’m planning at HOEM will show you how to make your own reusable bags out of disposable plastic bags. Until then, click HERE to check out some great alternatives!
Did you know that coffee cups (ex. the ones you would get at Starbucks or Tim Hortons) are not recyclable? Not only does the waxy coating on the inside make this product non-recyclable, but the City of Toronto sends these cups to the landfill even if they are recycled.
Disposable paper cups are so common, yet an easier and more environmentally conscious solution is also available. Reusable coffee cups can be used anywhere, do not need to be replaced after every use, and they can be properly recycled once their lifecycle is done. Cups that are made with eco-friendly material are a solution that Mother Nature can stand behind, which will continue to feed your coffee obsession in a sustainable manner (note: coffee is not really a sustainable industry, so try and find fair trade and ethical coffee whenever you can to avoid this!).
Saying no to disposable straws has been an amazing campaign over the past year, but the hard truth is that straws are only a portion of the waste which are found in oceans. Metal straws are a great alternative and they can last for years without the risk of it breaking down. That being said, this feature can also pose a problem, as we do not know how these products will be recycled in future years.
An alternative to these metal options are straws which are made of bamboo. Like the toothbrushes mentioned earlier, bamboo is sustainable, it lasts, and it is also biodegradable. Ecofriendly and it gets the job done; what more could you want!