In our fast paced modern life, we’ve placed a high value on ease of use, speed, and convenience over anything else. We’ve become a “disposable” culture. Despite our best efforts to use travel mugs and re-usable grocery bags, it can be easy to fall into the trap of convenience products. You probably don’t realize how many disposable products you use on a daily basis. To help promote sustainability, below is a list of five less obvious single-use items that we encourage you to eliminate.
Dryer Sheets: It’s nice to enhance the smell of your laundry, but is it worth all the chemical irritants contained in a single use sheet? Instead, opt for a dryer ball that you can re-use.
Coffee Pods: K-Cups and other pods have become increasingly popular in recent years. Over 60 billion pods have gone into landfills and that number is growing every day. It’s convenient, but it’s also much more expensive than purchasing coffee beans and the quality is not as good. You can make a better cup of coffee with fresh coffee beans. Plus, the grounds can be composted or used in your small container garden.
Tea Bags: Tea bags, like coffee pods, are convenient, but many tea bags are made of woven plastic particles that cannot be composted. Try buying loose leaf tea in a reusable tin and a metal steeper that you can rinse and reuse. Tea leaves can be composted and taste better than individually packaged tea bags.
Plastic Bags and Food Wrap: We are not just talking about plastic grocery bags. Do you use press and seal bags, plastic food wrap or aluminum foil? Even if you wash and re-use those press and seal bags they will break faster than a good eco-friendly or glass food container. Plastic wrap and aluminum foil cannot be recycled once they have come in contact with food.
Take-Out Utensils: Plastic cutlery is not usually recyclable unless it’s the biodegradable kind. So stop using those and plan ahead. Carry a camping utensil set in your bag. Have you ever seen those colorful fork/spoon combos at REI? For about $3, you get an inexpensive, light and portable utensil for your on-the-go meals.