7 Easy Plastic-Free Products Swaps for Everyday Life

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written by:  Kaitlyn Lowery

editor's note:

These are some of my favorite swaps in honor of Plastic-Free July!

Going plastic-free can be overwhelming, so here are some of my favorite plastic-free swaps that will help you start your journey.

I had never heard of Plastic-Free July until this year so I decided to participate. I quickly came to the realization that a majority of items are normally packaged in some type of plastic, whether it be food or a simple household item. My first year in my sustainability journey was definitely full of mistakes, but it was also eye-opening since I was more aware of my plastic intake in my daily life.


1. Beeswax Wraps

Instead of:

Saran Wrap

Where to Get It:

Public Goods

Our Take:

They do take some getting used to, but with practice and time you'll forget all about your old saran wrap habits.
These anti-microbial tools are a great alternative to help preserve your food without being wasteful. They work with the warmth from your hands to mold perfectly to the food, and when you're done with them, just wash and reuse them! They come in a variety of prints and sizes, as well as function.

2. Metal Straws

Instead of:

Disposable Straws

Where to Buy:

STRW

Our Take:

It may not be scientifically proven yet, but everything tastes better with a metal straw.
Reusable straws are my all-time favorite alternative. There is a huge variety of them and once you buy one, you can’t get enough! My favorite set is from STRW Co and they are 100% stainless steel and very durable. This may seem like a very small step, but just this little change can do a lot more good than you would realize!

3. Bar Soap

Instead of:

Bottled Shampoo and Conditioner

Where to Buy:

Ethique

Our Take:

These plastic-free concentrated bars can often be multi-purposed for hair, body wash, and shaving cream.
I have always been a fan of bar soap just because I always feel cleaner when I use it and it was something that I used growing up. You can generally find bar soap everywhere, but the key is the packaging. Try your best to avoid plastic packaging when looking for soap in your grocery store or you can buy handmade soap! You can always look for handmade soap that has eco-friendly packaging on Etsy for a relatively good price. I also try to find people locally that make it so I can support someone’s business in my own town! If you’re not a huge fan of handmade soaps or don’t want to go searching for some, Ethique and Public Goods also sell bar soap for a very good price if you’re on a budget. The possibilities are endless so find what best suits you and your needs!

4. Bamboo Utensil Kit

Instead of:

Plastic Utensils

Where to Buy:

The Earthling Co

Our Take:

Say no thank you to plastic utensils and swap them out for a lightweight bamboo kit.
Plastic utensils are always a must when getting takeout but they are very harmful to the environment. An amazing alternative is bringing your own! You can make a to-go silverware set using silverware that you already own or you can buy your own set. Making one at home is cost-efficient and you’re using what you already have! All you need is a hand towel and some silverware that you can just wrap up and take when you’re on the go! If you’d rather buy your own, this bamboo utensil set works perfectly for when you’re on the go without having to worry about losing your in-home silverware.

5. Reusable Bags

Instead of:

Plastic Bags

Where to Buy:

Public Goods

Our Take:

Reusable bags make grocery shopping an easy way to be eco-savvy.
We all know that whenever we take a trip to the grocery store there’s a plethora of plastic bags that we have to do something with. Before I become more eco-conscious, I would keep a stash of them underneath my sink and they would end up filling up rather quickly and then I would end up just throwing them away. Instead of doing that, I now use reusable produce and grocery bags! I use canvas totes that I have around the house or store-bought totes that I keep in my car for when I’m out and about. You can also use a mesh or cotton produce bag to avoid using the plastic bags at the store.

6. Powdered Laundry Detergent

Instead of:

Liquid Detergent

Where to Buy:

Meliora Cleaning Products

Our Take:

Cleaning your clothes and the Earth of microplastics don't have to be mutually exclusive.
One of the first swaps that I did was replacing my liquid laundry detergent with powdered laundry detergent. My favorite type is from the brand Meliora and what I love most about this brand is that it comes in a reusable container the first time you buy it and then after that you can just buy a refill which comes in a paper bag. It is completely plastic-free, aside from the measuring cup that comes with the container, which you can opt out of if you don’t need it. You can get it unscented or you can get it scented with one of the three scents they offer if you prefer.

7. Reusable Tumblers

Instead of:

Plastic Bottles

Where to Buy:

Public Goods

Our Take:

These reusable bottles add to your look and stop you from building up extra waste.
I have always had an obsession with reusable cups and it has finally come in handy. Reusable tumblers and cups are a great way to opt out of using a single use cup if you are permitted. You can use them at coffee shops and practically anywhere that allows them. I use mine when I go to my local coffee shop and while I am working since they both use either styrofoam or plastic. You can find these almost anywhere and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit your personal style or preference. I love stainless steel the most because it keeps my drink cold the longest and can take a pretty good beating as well. If you don’t want to buy a new cup, just use cups that you have at home and bring them with you where you go! If you’re from the South like me, you can also repurpose those mason jars that are just lying around to be a reusable cup.

1. Beeswax Wraps

Instead of:

Saran Wrap

Where to Get It:

Public Goods

Our Take:

They do take some getting used to, but with practice and time you'll forget all about your old saran wrap habits.
These anti-microbial tools are a great alternative to help preserve your food without being wasteful. They work with the warmth from your hands to mold perfectly to the food, and when you're done with them, just wash and reuse them! They come in a variety of prints and sizes, as well as function.

2. Metal Straws

Instead of:

Disposable Straws

Where to Buy:

STRW

Our Take:

It may not be scientifically proven yet, but everything tastes better with a metal straw.
Reusable straws are my all-time favorite alternative. There is a huge variety of them and once you buy one, you can’t get enough! My favorite set is from STRW Co and they are 100% stainless steel and very durable. This may seem like a very small step, but just this little change can do a lot more good than you would realize!

3. Bar Soap

Instead of:

Bottled Shampoo and Conditioner

Where to Buy:

Ethique

Our Take:

These plastic-free concentrated bars can often be multi-purposed for hair, body wash, and shaving cream.
I have always been a fan of bar soap just because I always feel cleaner when I use it and it was something that I used growing up. You can generally find bar soap everywhere, but the key is the packaging. Try your best to avoid plastic packaging when looking for soap in your grocery store or you can buy handmade soap! You can always look for handmade soap that has eco-friendly packaging on Etsy for a relatively good price. I also try to find people locally that make it so I can support someone’s business in my own town! If you’re not a huge fan of handmade soaps or don’t want to go searching for some, Ethique and Public Goods also sell bar soap for a very good price if you’re on a budget. The possibilities are endless so find what best suits you and your needs!

4. Bamboo Utensil Kit

Instead of:

Plastic Utensils

Where to Buy:

The Earthling Co

Our Take:

Say no thank you to plastic utensils and swap them out for a lightweight bamboo kit.
Plastic utensils are always a must when getting takeout but they are very harmful to the environment. An amazing alternative is bringing your own! You can make a to-go silverware set using silverware that you already own or you can buy your own set. Making one at home is cost-efficient and you’re using what you already have! All you need is a hand towel and some silverware that you can just wrap up and take when you’re on the go! If you’d rather buy your own, this bamboo utensil set works perfectly for when you’re on the go without having to worry about losing your in-home silverware.

5. Reusable Bags

Instead of:

Plastic Bags

Where to Buy:

Public Goods

Our Take:

Reusable bags make grocery shopping an easy way to be eco-savvy.
We all know that whenever we take a trip to the grocery store there’s a plethora of plastic bags that we have to do something with. Before I become more eco-conscious, I would keep a stash of them underneath my sink and they would end up filling up rather quickly and then I would end up just throwing them away. Instead of doing that, I now use reusable produce and grocery bags! I use canvas totes that I have around the house or store-bought totes that I keep in my car for when I’m out and about. You can also use a mesh or cotton produce bag to avoid using the plastic bags at the store.

6. Powdered Laundry Detergent

Instead of:

Liquid Detergent

Where to Buy:

Meliora Cleaning Products

Our Take:

Cleaning your clothes and the Earth of microplastics don't have to be mutually exclusive.
One of the first swaps that I did was replacing my liquid laundry detergent with powdered laundry detergent. My favorite type is from the brand Meliora and what I love most about this brand is that it comes in a reusable container the first time you buy it and then after that you can just buy a refill which comes in a paper bag. It is completely plastic-free, aside from the measuring cup that comes with the container, which you can opt out of if you don’t need it. You can get it unscented or you can get it scented with one of the three scents they offer if you prefer.

7. Reusable Tumblers

Instead of:

Plastic Bottles

Where to Buy:

Public Goods

Our Take:

These reusable bottles add to your look and stop you from building up extra waste.
I have always had an obsession with reusable cups and it has finally come in handy. Reusable tumblers and cups are a great way to opt out of using a single use cup if you are permitted. You can use them at coffee shops and practically anywhere that allows them. I use mine when I go to my local coffee shop and while I am working since they both use either styrofoam or plastic. You can find these almost anywhere and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit your personal style or preference. I love stainless steel the most because it keeps my drink cold the longest and can take a pretty good beating as well. If you don’t want to buy a new cup, just use cups that you have at home and bring them with you where you go! If you’re from the South like me, you can also repurpose those mason jars that are just lying around to be a reusable cup.



written by:  Kaitlyn Lowery

editor's note:

These are some of my favorite swaps in honor of Plastic-Free July!

This post may contain affiliate links. Brightly will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links.

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