Choose products made from organic and sustainable materials.
Plastic is everywhere, and way too much of it is made from a non-biodegradable, petroleum-derived product that is difficult to recycle and manufactured in ways that are dangerous to the environment and wildlife. The main culprit? Companies using cheap plastic like the kind found in inexpensive toys and disposable household products—and when we buy those products we are perpetuating the problem. Recycling and reusing can mitigate some of the environmental cost, but it’s so much better to stop letting those toxic substances be created and into our homes. The best way to reduce the amount of bad plastic that’s made is to choose products made from organic and sustainable materials whenever possible.
A single plastic bag is used for an average of 12 minutes before being thrown away.
- Buy toys made from wood, cloth, or natural rubber. Toys are a big source of bad plastic in many homes, but it wasn’t always this way. Thankfully, some toy manufacturers are returning to classic materials that worked for centuries.
- Use a cloth shower curtain. Hemp shower curtains are plastic-free and will resist mold and mildew. Lightweight cotton can also be used. It’s so much more pleasant to shower when you don’t feel you are being swallowed by plastic!
- Cut the plastic in the kitchen. Our kitchens are often filled with plastic containers, dishes and utensils. As your budget allows, replace with items made from glass, stone or stainless steel. If you’re concerned about cost, remember that these items are touching your food and your family’s mouths – and you probably don’t need near as many individual items as you’re currently using.
- Buy and reuse glass packaging. Pickles, jelly, oil, and other products are often available in either glass or plastic packaging. Opt for glass when possible and reuse the packaging when you’re finished instead of relying on Tupperware containers. Buying in bulk is fun for the whole family—let your children help you estimate and weigh your options, and play shopkeeper when you come home and transfer your nuts, rice and pasta to glass or crockery containers.