Life without Plastic: Easy Tips for Everyone

Photos: Spice Jars 2 von Andy Wright unter CC-BY-2.0; © ECO Brotbox; © photocrew - stock.adobe.com

Can you imagine life without plastic? Plastic undoubtedly makes our lives easier, but it’s destroying our planet. Ridding plastics from our daily lives may seem out of the question, however in actuality it’s quite easy to find alternatives to plastic on an everyday basis – here’s how:

Reuse Empty Glass Jars

Life without plastic: reuse glass jars
Put your creativity to test in reusing glass jars – the possibilities are endless. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Denise Johnson)

Glass jars can take the place of plastic wrap, aluminum foil, plastic zipper bags, or cheap plastic containers. You can store dried foods and spices inside, carry your lunch to work, or even use them to organize small items in your desk or toolbox. Just be sure to clean (sterilize!) your used jars thoroughly before putting them back to use.

Need more ways to creatively reuse glass jars? Try out any of our DIY Holiday Gifts no matter the occasion! Impress your friends and colleagues with a DIY brownie mix, homemade cake in a jar or fill it with your own homemade applesauce or home-cooked pesto – the possibilities are endless. Gift these culinary creations in glass jars and you’ll pass on the jar and the message about how good life without plastic can be.

Life without Plastic: Plastic-Free Shopping

Life without plastic plastic-free shopping
Plastic-free shopping is a lot easier than you think – we’ll show you how to do it. (Photo: © Utopia/Binford)

One major step towards a life without plastic is eliminating plastic-wrapped food items and groceries from your shopping list. How often have you returned home from the supermarket, and the simple act of unpacking and putting away your groceries causes your garbage and recycling bins to overflow?

Too often we find individually wrapped fruits and vegetables or to-go items packaged in thick plastic containers at the grocery store. These increase the chances for mismanaged waste to end up in our local streams, our rivers and eventually the ocean. Plastic in the ocean is a serious problem – solving it begins on the daily level, by shopping responsibly, for example.

Avoiding plastic packaging will result in an overall reduction of unnecessary waste in your household and fewer trips made taking out the garbage. Overall, it just makes life a bit simpler. Check out our guide on plastic-free shopping and play your part in reducing unnecessary plastic waste.

Waste-Free, Plastic-Free Feminine Hygiene Products

Life without plastic: menstrual cup
Menstrual cups are one option for waste-free periods. (Photo: © Utopia)

Very few people think about the mountains of plastic waste produced by conventional feminine hygiene products. These days, there are quite a few sensible and popular alternatives that produce little to no waste.

Menstrual cups are made of flexible silicone and can be used for years, producing no waste beyond the paper packaging they’re sold in. Other plastic-free alternatives are washable (organic) cotton pads and panty liners – make your own or purchase a brand like Lunapads.

Reusable Containers in Steel, Glass, or Wood

Life without plastic reusable containers
Impress your friends with stylish steel or wooden lunch boxes – even if you’re actually eating leftovers. (Photo: @ ECO Brotbox)

If you pack your food to-go in reusable containers, you’re already saving packaging from the dump and doing the planet a favor. But there are lots of plastic-free alternatives to classic Tupperware: containers made of steel, glass, or even wood contain no plastic at all, have longevity, and are free from contaminants.

Plastic dishes for children and adults are often made of melamine – it’s lightweight, sturdy and shatterproof. This material has a downside to it, too. It’s hard to recycle and dissolves when it comes in to contact with certain foods. Continue reading about the dangers of melamine plastic dishes in our guide on green living and life without plastic.

Better choices are containers made of wood, glass, or even steel. None in the cupboard in the kitchen? Here are some options to consider from **Amazon:

Miraclekoo Wooden Lunch Box Bento Box with Internal Separator – Plastic-free! 100% Wood (Cryptomeria) FDA Approved

ECOlunchbox Three-in-One Stainless Steel Food Canister & Lunch Box – No BPAs or Phthalates and dishwasher safe!

18 Piece Glass Food Storage and Meal Prep Containers – BPA Free & FDA Approved & Leak Proof (9 lids & 9 Containers)

Say Goodbye to Plastic Bags

Life without plastic no more plastic bags reusable
Life without plastic bags can be easy as pie – just remember to throw a canvas bag in your purse to carry it home. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay - geralt; CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Thom Bradley)

Everyone knows these days that plastic bags are an environmental disaster.

It is child’s play to replace them, especially when shopping in grocery or drug stores: The best alternative is a reusable tote bag. These fit easily into any purse or satchel, so pack one today and you’ll always be prepared, even for spontaneous purchases. They really make life without plastic that much easier.

Life without Plastic: Skip Ready-Made Meals

Life without plastic skip ready made meals eggs
Who needs microwave meals? Cooking for yourself is rewarding and fun. (Photo: © Utopia/Binford)

Most ready-made meals are not only full of chemical additives and hidden sugar, but also come wrapped in a heap of plastic. There are healthier and more delicious options minus all the garbage: Do yourself and the environment a favor and cook yourself something fresh instead.

We’ve got more tips for reducing plastic here:

Plastic-Free Shopping: 3 Easy Tips for Waste-Reduction

Less Plastic in 7 Easy Steps

Is there an idea we’ve overlooked? Let us know in the comments!

Life without Plastic: Easy Tips for Everyone
Pin it! (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash -Ehud Neuhaus)

Read more:

Plastic in the Ocean: What Can I Do?

Becoming Minimalist: 3 Methods for Beginners

Reusable Nespresso Pods: 4 Reasons to Make the Switch Today

This article was translated from German to English by Hilary. You can view the original here: Leben ohne Plastik: Diese 15 einfachen Tipps kannst du sofort umsetzen.

** Links to retailers are partially affiliate links: If you buy here, you actively support Utopia.org because we get a small portion of the proceeds.

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