Single Use Plastic Sucks: Here's What You Should Use Instead

In today’s day and age, it has become fairly difficult to go even one day without using some form of plastic. From coffee cups to straws to shopping bags, plastic has become an extremely common material in our everyday lives. However, there are a number of alternatives that are environmentally friendly, low cost and easy to implement into your everyday life. 

  1. 1. Straws

    I’m sure just about everyone has heard about this easy substitution but I thought it was important to restate since each day Americans still use over 500 million plastic straws. An easy substitution for this form of plastic is reusable straws, which are fairly cheap to buy (this four-pack on Amazon is less than five dollars)! They also typically come in multipacks so you can keep one at home, one in your bag and one at work! Having a reusable straw with you on the go means you can pass on the plastic on your next trip to Starbucks. They’re also easy to keep clean, as most come with cleaning brushes that allow you to wash the straws quickly and keep them ready for their next use.

  2. 2. Cups

    The two most common forms of plastic when it comes to drinks are coffee cups and water bottles. A majority of people, especially college students, prefer to start their mornings off with a strong cup of caffeine to get them through the day. An easy solution to being environmentally friendly while sipping on your favorite morning drink is to buy a reusable coffee cup. Just have it ready when you order at the counter and hand it over when you order! Similarly, water bottles have an extremely easy fix that will not only be beneficial to the environment but also save you some money. Reusable water bottles are extremely convenient, as you can refill them throughout the day instead of carrying multiple plastic water bottles with you. They come in all sorts of fun colors and patterns that will also help you personalize so you never have to lose another water bottle. 

  3. 3. Bags

    If you’re like me and enjoy shopping more often than you should, reusable bags are a great way to cut down on all of those plastic shopping bags. It’ll even help you eliminate that pile of bags you have shoved away in one of your drawers. Reusable bags come in all different sizes and patterns and can be used for a wide variety of shopping, like clothes, shoes and groceries. They are also easy on the budget, as this six-piece set with fun patterns costs less than nine dollars on Amazon. Keep a few in your car to always have them with you on your future shopping trips.

  4. 4. Plastic Wrap

    Saving leftovers to eat the next day no longer requires the use of plastic cling wrap. The sustainable way to store food is Bee’s Wrap, which can be used to wrap around food or over dishes and bowls. It’s washable and reusable and typically lasts for about a year. This three-pack on Amazon costs eighteen dollars, but there are other designs and amounts that you can purchase as well.

  5. 5. Utensils 

    Although plastic utensils are convenient (especially for college students), Americans use 40 billion every year. The simplest and easiest solution is to buy reusable utensils. This pack on Amazon is less than six dollars and includes everything you could need to eat your meal, including metal chopsticks. Reusable utensils are cheap, environmentally friendly and, as long as you have dish soap and a sponge, super easy to clean. If you’re headed out to one of the dining halls on campus, just tuck whichever utensils you’ll need into your bag or pocket and bring them with you!

  6. 6. Makeup Remover Wipes

    Although makeup wipes aren’t plastic, they still are single-use and are a hazard to the environment that is effortless to replace. Instead of spending money every few weeks and going through pack after pack of makeup remover wipes, opt for reusable makeup remover pads. Not only are they safe for the environment, but they’re also easy on your budget. This two-pack on Amazon is less than five dollars! 

Do yourself and the environment a favor by reducing the use of plastic in your everyday life. If we all make the effort to use less plastic in our lives, it can make a big difference in keeping our world cleaner.