How to Make Your Life Eco-Friendly (amazon list!)
50 percent of the plastic we use, we use just once and throw away.
In no way, shape, or form, do I consider myself to be an expert on recycling or the environment. People will never be as careful with their waste as they should be, but if you're willing to make SMALL changes to your daily routine, this amazon list will be useful to you! Let's think about what you already use every single day: paper towels, we use cups to drink water, make messes we need to clean, we pack our food for lunch, and of course use electricity.
This Amazon list addresses normal things in your life you can change to be more eco-friendly!
LINK: MICROFIBER TOWELS
Instead of paper towels, we are buying washable rags! By changing your habits to washable rags, you are helping reduce the amount of paper waste and deforestation. Paper towels are quickly disposed of, and I was sick of buying them often.
We just got these microfiber hand towels, which are useful for cleaning up liquids, dusting, washing counters, cleaning mirrors, and drying off our hands. I bought them in black so that they look less dirty while cleaning than traditional white.
They sell them in multiple colors which are great for different ended uses (example: black for kitchen, blue for bathroom, red for random household).
BIODEGRADEABLE & METAL STRAWS
California is in the process of banning ALL plastic, including straws (yay!)! I bought disposable paper straws for going out to eat (restaurants do not carry them anymore), and metal straws for the house. I was recommended these specific metal ones because they have colored silicone toppers AND come with cleaners. I like the silicone toppers because I have an irrational fear that I will cut myself (ha!).
By using biodegradable or reusables straws everyday, you are helping to reduce plastic waste.
LINK TO MY FAVORITE: METAL STRAWS
Hydroflask water bottles are AMAZING. If you haven't heard of them, you might just be living under a rock. I take mine everywhere, and own multiple difference sizes/colors.
These keep your drinks hot for 12 hours, and drinks cold for 24 hours (at least). You can use them for home-made or to-go coffee (ask your barista to put your coffee in your hydro flask!), soups for lunch, water for the gym, etc.
I take mine empty to the airport and fill it up once I'm through security so I don't have to spend money on overpriced bottles of water.
Not only are you saving money, but you are saving the amount of waste from plastic water bottles.
Instead of plastic ziplock bags, try out reusable silicone bags! OF course you will be wasting less plastic, but you will also be saving money by not having to purchase ziplock backs anymore. These are great for meal prep, and packing lunches. 100% pure platinum food-grade silicone is safe for the freezer, microwave, dishwasher and boiling water. Unlike plastic bags, Stasher bags contain no petroleum, no PVC, and no latex (yay!)
Get your Stasher bags HERE
Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs (CFL's) use 50-80% less energy, but produce the same amount of light. Although they are initially more expensive, in the long run they cost you less on your energy bills, and last more than 8 times longer than traditional lightbulbs.
Get your CFL's HERE
22 OFFENSIVE FACTS ABOUT PLASTIC POLLUTION
In the Los Angeles area alone, 10 metric tons of plastic fragments—like grocery bags, straws and soda bottles—are carried into the Pacific Ocean every day.
Over the last ten years we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century.
Enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the earth four times.
We currently recover only five percent of the plastics we produce.
The average American throws away approximately 185 pounds of plastic per year.
Plastic accounts for around 10 percent of the total waste we generate.
The production of plastic uses around eight percent of the world's oil production (bioplastics are not a good solution as they require food source crops).
Americans throw away 35 billion plastic water bottles every year (source: Brita)
Plastic in the ocean breaks down into such small segments that pieces of plastic from a one liter bottlecould end up on every mile of beach throughout the world.
Annually approximately 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide. More than one million bags are used every minute.
46 percent of plastics float (EPA 2006) and it can drift for years before eventually concentrating in the ocean gyres.
It takes 500-1,000 years for plastic to degrade.
Billions of pounds of plastic can be found in swirling convergences in the oceans making up about 40 percent of the world's ocean surfaces. 80 percent of pollution enters the ocean from the land.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is located in the North Pacific Gyre off the coast of California and is the largest ocean garbage site in the world. This floating mass of plastic is twice the size of Texas, with plastic pieces outnumbering sea life six to one.
Plastic constitutes approximately 90 percent of all trash floating on the ocean's surface, with 46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile.
One million sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals are killed annually from plastic in our oceans.
44 percent of all seabird species, 22 percent of cetaceans, all sea turtle species and a growing list of fish species have been documented with plastic in or around their bodies.
In samples collected in Lake Erie, 85 percent of the plastic particles were smaller than two-tenths of an inch, and much of that was microscopic. Researchers found 1,500 and 1.7 million of these particles per square mile.
Virtually every piece of plastic that was ever made still exists in some shape or form (with the exception of the small amount that has been incinerated).
Plastic chemicals can be absorbed by the body—93 percent of Americans age six or older test positive for BPA (a plastic chemical).
Some of these compounds found in plastic have been found to alter hormones or have other potential human health effects.