Have you ever wondered why we create such an insane amount of garbage? A lot of it is package materials, but an other big part of it is due to the use of disposable items. On my own personal quest to make my household as green as I can, I’m constantly questioning things in everyday life. Replacing disposables for reusables has been on my mind a lot lately, and I’ve come to the conclusion that we’re well on our way, but we could do a lot better still.
We’ve grown accustomed to the use of disposables, but when you really think about it, you’ll know it’s not good for our planet. Disposables are products being manufactured for the sole purpose of being , that’s right, disposed of. We are actually manufacturing garbage!
I know disposables have become a big part of our life, and so I’m not suggesting you stop using all of them at once. It would be very overwhelming or maybe even stressful. You’re supposed to feel good if you make a lifestyle-change for the better. And so you should figure out which disposables you could do without or replace with reusables and start with the easiest. Once you’ve grown accustomed to it, try the next item, and the next, and the next. Keep doing this as long as it feels right. If you think cloth handkerchiefs are gross, then just keep using tissues. If you’ve only replaced a single disposable item, you’ve already made a big difference. Think of how many you would have thrown out during the rest of your life. Now you know why it made a difference.
“But reusables are much more expensive, and they usually have to be cleaned!” Yes, that’s true, but remember, you only have to buy a reusable item once (Unless it actually wears out, but you still wouldn’t have to buy many in your lifetime) whereas you would have to keep buying disposables on a regular basis until the end of time. In the long run, buying reusables will save you a lot of money. As for the cleaning, you have things to clean right now. Some cloth handkerchiefs will hardly make a difference in your laundry. The same goes for a lunchbox with the dishes. As and added bonus, every time you clean said item, you get to feel good about yourself for doing something good for the environment. You’re doing great, you!
Now, there are many disposables that can be replaced by reusables, so here’s some suggestions:
-Handkerchiefs instead of tissues
-Reusable cup or traveling mug instead of plastic bottles or cups
-Feminine hygiene products. (There are washable pads, but also menstrual cups which I will do a separate blog post on.)
-Cloth towels instead of paper
-Cloth diapers instead of disposables
-Refillable ink cartridges
-Lunchboxes instead of plastic bags
-Cloth or other reusable shopping bags instead of paper and plastic bags.
I’m sure there are many more, but I’m still researching this myself. In my household we use lunchboxes, reusable shopping bags, insulated travel cups, mostly cloth towels (I’m still trying to see if I can go without paper towels), a menstrual cup, and Bas uses a mostly reusable razor, about which he will be writing his own guess blog!
Next time you throw a disposable anything in the trash, determine if this is something you could exchange for a reusable version. If you’re not sure, look it up! You have internet; I know you do! Explore, learn, grow, and have fun doing it.
If you have any other suggestions, be sure to leave them in the comments.