Living Off The Grid: Eco-Friendly Alternatives For 7 Plastic Products

Living Off The Grid: Eco-Friendly Alternatives For 7 Plastic Products

-by Elaina Garcia | 05/23/2017 |

Plastic and plastic byproducts can take hundreds of years to decompose IF they ever decompose in the first place. Toothbrushes, toilet bowl scrubbers, and towel racks are just a few items that are generally made from plastic or a plastic byproduct. I bet there are tons of pounds of those items alone all over the planet. There are always other options!

Today I’d like to share 7 everyday eco-friendly Items that are used in many homes across the globe. Making little adjustments like purchasing your items, whatever they may be, from companies with sustainable and ethical practices can make a big difference. Reducing the amount of waste created in each household can have an incredible impact on the environment. One of the big issues is plastic, as well as the use of petroleum and the byproducts of those two things. The more we invest in renewable and clean resources, the cleaner this planet can become.

1. Toothbrushes

There are bamboo and wooden handled toothbrushes available through several different companies. Keep your eye out for what the bristles are made of – bristles are usually made from nylon, which is a byproduct of plastic. Instead, there are bamboo handled toothbrushes that come with charcoal bristles. It might sound crazy but it’s really incredible for your teeth. Charcoal contains highly absorbent properties that allow the bristles to absorb all of the toxins, as well as removing stains. The tubes of toothpaste that accompany the toothbrushes also have a negative impact on the environment. Believe it or not, there are companies that sell toothpaste in little glass jars that can be reused for something else. They’re great for future salve containers. You can also make your own toothpaste!

2. Combs & Hair Brushes

There are many plastic alternatives to hair care items, too, like combs and brushes. Instead of wasteful plastic brushes and combs, try using a (sustainably harvested) wooden brush, or a bamboo comb or pick.

3. Reusable Bags

Refuse the grocery store’s plastic bags and bring your own eco-friendly reusable bags. There are a variety of styles, shapes, and sizes. Jute and hemp are two of the better choices when it comes to the material, in my opinion. Jute, a vegetable fiber, is biodegradable! Hemp is biodegradable and antimicrobial which makes it safe to transport food in. It’s wise to look for bags that can be washed and dried, especially if you’re using them to carry food (in case of spills, leaks, etc.).

4. Cell Phone Covers

There is already plastic and its byproducts used for the phone itself, so why not invest in an eco-friendly protective case? You can find hardwood, softwood, bamboo, and hemp cell phone cases that are eco-friendly and biodegradable. As a quick side note, there are precious minerals mined in order to make cell phones so try to hang on to the one you have and if it needs to be discarded, recycle it properly.

5. Dishes & Silverware

Glass, ceramic, and metals can also take a super long time to decompose or even begin to decompose. That’s why there are places specifically designed to recycle those items – they need to be melted down and can be reused again. This is one of the reasons wooden and bamboo dishes and silverware are a great sustainable alternative. (If you do prefer the glass, ceramic, and stainless steel, just keep in mind if they need to be discarded, bring them to be recycled instead of filling the landfill.)

6. Sneakers, Shoes, and Sandals

I’m pretty excited to share this one with you. There are all sorts of materials used to make shoes, but they typically all have the rubber sole. There are many companies that already make biodegradable shoes: Adidas and Reebok are two of the well-known brands that will be unveiling their new biodegradable and earth-friendly sneakers. Adidas is using a woven Biosteel that is similar to the silk that a silk spider produces. The shoes are 100% biodegradable and 100% bio-sourced. Reebok is using the cotton & corn initiative where the shoes will be made using cotton for the tops and corn for the soles.

7. Clothing

A lot of the clothing we wear is generally eco-friendly and biodegradable. Again, it’s the nylon and other plastic byproducts that are the issue. There are so many options, like organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, and more. And bamboo clothes are incredibly soft. Avoid the nylon and other plastic byproducts and you’re in the safe zone. Further, many clothes can often be produced with toxins. Find out if you’re wearing toxic clothing.

Sustainable, eco-friendly, and ethical options are the way to go if you’re looking for a cleaner and safer environment as a whole. Everything adds up. Renewable energy and resources are the way to go. Furthermore, try not to be so quick to discard items into the trash. There are options when it comes to many household items like the television, radio, recliners -- all of those things can be sent to a place that breaks them down and eliminates trash. One person’s junk is another’s treasure! Reuse, Recycle, Re-purpose!

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