Several years ago, I visited The Marine and Mammal Center in San Francisco. While I was there, I learned about the importance of reducing our plastic consumption. It’s one thing to hear about the harm plastic waste does to the animals and the oceans, but it’s another thing to see it and experience it.
At that time I had already been cutting back my plastic usage, but after my visit I knew that I had the power to do more. A few months later, I discovered Plastic Free July. As we welcome August, it’s important to keep reminding ourselves of ways we can reduce our environmental footprint. I’ve created a basic zero waste list to get you started towards living a more sustainable lifestyle. Here are 7 plastic free items under $50.
1) Reusable Shopping Bag This step may seem simple, but it is one that can make a huge difference. We visit the grocery store several times a month and plastic bags for produce and groceries add up. Most stores charge a fee in order to deter customers from using plastic bags, and although this can be anywhere from five cents to a quarter, we’re still spending money on something we’ll use for 10 minutes and will take years to break down. This pack of 3 reusable bags are strong, durable, and collapses for easy storage.
2) Stainless Steel Tumbler Say no to plastic water bottles and invest in a reusable steel tumbler. These tumblers are not only durable, keep your drink hot/cold for hours, but they also come with 2 stainless steel straws and a cleaning brush! There are also a variety of fun colors to choose from!
3) Stainless Steel Straws Reusable straws were my first purchase for Plastic Free July. I remember being incredibly excited because I tend to drink a lot of iced coffees, smoothies, and bubble tea. If you already have your own reusable tumbler and just want to get the straws, there are 5 in total, including 4 that come in different lengths and 1 different in width. These straws also come with a cleaning brush and a travel pouch for your convenience.
4) Bamboo Cotton Rounds The amount of cotton rounds we go through each year is staggering. I never found myself using cotton rounds every day, but since learning more about sustainable products, I decided to invest in bamboo cotton rounds. They’re incredibly durable, gentle on the skin, and easy to wash. It also comes with a laundry pouch to ensure your cotton rounds stay in the best shape, and it’s convenient for travel.
5) Bamboo Toothbrush One plastic item we replace often is our toothbrush. When I first switched over to a bamboo toothbrush, I was worried it was going to be pricey. I was surprised to find just how affordable they were in comparison to a plastic one. This set comes with 10 toothbrushes, which is more than plenty! I even found myself gifting a few to family and friends who were hesitant to try.
6) Stainless Steel Lunch Boxes Plastic tupperware, while convenient and lightweight, needs to be replaced every several years for health reasons. Stainless steel on the other hand lasts a lot longer and is a greener alternative. This pack of 4 lunch boxes are durable, leak proof, lightweight, and also comes with a stainless steel spork.
7) Wool Dryer Balls I recently starting using wool dryer balls and I’ve noticed a huge difference in dry time. Not only are you saving money on a reusable and durable product but you’re also saving on your electricity bill! Wool dryer balls are unscented and hypoallergenic. If you prefer scent, you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oils. Mine is lavender! These dryer balls come in a pack of 6 along with an adorable reusable pouch.
Lifestyle changes don’t happen overnight, so don’t feel overwhelmed or pressured to purchase everything that you see to get started. Use this post as a guideline and shop around for a price that fits your budget. Mistakes are bound to happen but that’s part of the process of learning. If you’d like to learn about how I discovered zero waste lifestyle, visit my post here.