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Easy Sustainable Swaps for Everyday Items

(Photo above by Svitlana via Unsplash)

Sustainability has been a hot topic recently, especially becoming trendy among young people on the internet. We all know about reusable straws at this point (thanks VSCO girls and summer 2019), but there are many other everyday objects that you can replace with more environmentally-conscious alternatives.

#2 Reusable plastic bags

Normal Ziploc plastic bags are super convenient for storing food, small items, and other miscellaneous things. But single-use plastics are one of the largest contributors to pollution. Now, there are many reusable options for different plastics, including plastic bags. Target sells reusable, sealable food storage bags. If you want non-plastic options, you can buy burlap or cloth bags instead. (The same thing goes for grocery bags — buy a set of reusable ones instead of getting the plastic ones each time you make a trip.)

#3 Cloth Napkins

Napkins are so innocuous that you may not even think about them. We use them everyday without really thinking about it. And setting a table with cloth napkins may be reserved for special occasions. But wasting paper everyday is not the most environmentally-friendly choice. Replacing all your napkins with fabric ones (and your paper towels with hand towels) can easily reduce your trash production. 

#4 Bamboo toothbrushes

Bamboo is a good alternative to plastic because it is biodegradable and grows easily without the need for pesticides. And because bamboo grows so quickly, it is more sustainable to use than other types of wood. Switching from a plastic toothbrush to a bamboo one is relatively simple. When disposing of one though, you must remove the bristles from the brush for it to properly decompose. 

#5 Reusable cotton rounds

When washing your face or removing makeup, do you use a cotton round? And then throw that cotton round away immediately? People, especially skincare and makeup enthusiasts, go through these very quickly. Instead of throwing away disposable cotton rounds, opt for soft, washable cloth rounds instead. This is an easy way to reduce your footprint everyday. (Similarly for makeup wipes — use the makeup magic erasing cloth or use a cleansing oil or balm to remove makeup.)

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Written by Abby Sacks

Student at the University of Virginia studying Psychology and Media Studies. When not writing or hanging out with my cat, can be found watching too much bad TV and being too old for TikTok but enjoying it anyway.

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