Save the planet without sacrificing your comfort, wrote “Lifehacker”.
We all use disposable things: coffee in paper cups on the way to work, a grocery store in plastic bags, take to the gym bottled water, wipe shoes with a damp napkin. Often these items ends about 10-15 minutes after they got to our hands. And decompose, they will be much longer. For example, the paper will require from 2 to 10 years, plastic bags — 200 years, and plastic utensils — about 500 years.
The debris accumulates, landfills are rising, the oceans are polluted. Few people are willing to give up a comfortable life right now to save the planet in the distant future. But the amount of waste can be reduced only marginally by adjusting their habits. For example, if you replace the disposable portion of the reusable things. This will not only help nature but also in many cases will save.
1. Plastic bags
Dozens of disposable packets, you can replace one rag bag. It will easily withstand the weight of all purchases and will last for years. There are models with fun prints — they also lift the mood.
Instead of packaging bags, use reusable canvas bags. They can put vegetables, fruits, nuts and other products. If the bag is stained, it is easy to wash by hand or in the washing machine.
2. Water bottles
Usually bottles for drinking water are made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE). This material can be recycled. But not every capacity falls into a special trash bin for plastic and gets a second life. Most of them just throw it away.
Good replacement — reusable water bottle with a convenient spout‑drinker. And in the summer the water can take with you in a thermos (it will remain cold, even if it’s hot out).
3. Cups for coffee
If you think that paper cups are harmless to the planet, you are mistaken. Are they really made from biodegradable cellulose, but from the inside it is coated with polypropylene to the wall does not dry. This “layer cake” of paper and plastic is not recyclable. And even in the production of paper cups used bisphenol a, which is dangerous for most marine life.
To refuse drinks to take away not necessarily. You can just bring the travel mug and ask the Barista to pour coffee into it. By the way, some coffee drinks which are poured into your dishes, there are discounts. So not only will help the planet, but also save.
4. Cotton swabs
ENT doctors believe that cleaning the ears with cotton swabs dangerous: to remove sulfur to the end still does not work, and its remnants can stick together and form a tube.
If the sticks you need for other purposes (e.g., for touch-UPS or to treat a scratch), use reusable. Simply wrap both ends of toothpicks with small pieces of wool and then throw away soiled “tips”. If you do not want to bother, will buy sticks from biodegradable materials.
5. Diapers and pads
These hygiene products has significantly simplified the lives of millions of women and young parents, but cause the environment is not only less harmful than plastic bags.
To improve the situation, not necessarily to go back to cotton diapers that need to be endlessly washed and ironed. Just buy reusable nappies. They are sold in many baby stores.
Alternative to tampons will be a menstrual Cup. It can be used up to five years. In addition, in pharmacies you can buy reusable pads.
6. Straws for drinks
In some eco‑friendly cafes and coffee shops offered reusable metal or glass straw, but they are only suitable for drinks that you consume on the spot. If you like to buy coffee or juice take away, better to buy your own stainless steel straw and take it with you.
Another option is the tubular pasta. You cannot use them with hot drinks, but for juices, lemonades and iced tea, this version is quite suitable. And the pasta tubes will come in handy for cocktails, if you decide to make eco‑friendly party.
7. Wet wipes
Wet wipes contain artificial fibers that decompose for several decades. For an alternative invented a long time ago — it is an ordinary handkerchief of cotton fabric.
If you need something to disinfect, simply wet it with gel hand sanitizer, which is sold in any supermarket or pharmacy.
8. Sponge for washing dishes
Regular sponge for washing dishes, do not decompose naturally and are not suitable for recycling. While their lifespan is usually just a couple of weeks.
If you like to radically solve the problem, you can buy a dishwasher — normal or table, which does not require connection to the water supply. Another working option is a wooden brush with natural bristles. Unlike sponge, it does not absorb odors and will last for years.
9. Tea bags
Paper tea bags no problem: they are rapidly and completely decompose. But the pyramid from a plastic grid will lie at the dump a couple of hundred years.
If you often drink tea, buy a reusable strainer and several sheet grades by weight. Will not only environmentally friendly but also tastes better.
10. Food film
To keep foods fresh, do not have to use cling film or foil. Suitable and reusable wax wipes. They are made from cotton fabric, which is then impregnated with a mixture of wax, natural wood resins and oils.
Such an alternative food wrap is easy to wash and easy to store: dry wipes harden and take up little space. And when you need to give them some form, just enough to warm them the warmth of your hands.