13 ways to reduce your waste (and some of our favorite brands that help us do that)

It’s challenging to go a day without throwing something away: bottles, cans, paper, aluminium, food scraps, and beyond. We seem to constantly be around single use or plastic items and unfortunately this is the case for our ocean too.

By 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than there are fish. According to National Geographic, about 18 billion pounds of plastic waste flows into the oceans every year from coastal regions. Millions of marine animals are killed every year from our waste. From being strangled by six-pack rings and abandoned fishing nets to dying from ingesting microplastics, our ocean creatures are undeniably taking a hit from our plastic negligence.

But we can help! There’s an overwhelming amount of single use items in our world which sometimes can make it feel like it’s hard to know where to start. At Coural Care, we believe that if we want to have long term lifestyle changes, starting with small changes and continually working your way up is a sustainable process. We’ve broken down 13 ways you can reduce your waste. Whether you’re a beginner ready to take that step, intermediate looking to challenge yourself more, or a total eco warrior ready to really up your game, keep reading for how you can help.

Beginner: I’m ready to get started and plant the seed!

1. Reusable Water Bottles: Incorporate a reusable water bottle into your everyday routine! Our favorite brands are Hydroflask and Simple Modern for daily use. We also love this Brita water bottle for traveling.

2. Reusable Mugs and Thermos: Bring your own coffee mug or thermos for coffee on the go! Some coffee shops even offer a discount; Philz Coffee will charge you for a small and give you a beverage up to 24oz! Woo! Check out Simple Modern for the option to purchase different lids for your one cup so you can use it for a hot or cold drink.

3. Reusable Bags: BYOB: bring your own bag! Before you go shopping grab your reusable bags or leave some in your car. If you’re going grocery shopping don’t forget reusable produce bags for your fruits and veggies. We love using Eco-Bags and Green Estate.

Intermediate: I’m starting to sprout but am ready to take the next step and grow!

4. Reusable Utensil Set: Instead of single use utensils, keep a reusable set in your bag, car, or in your lunchbox. To-Go Ware has a great set that’s light and compact.

5. Reusable Napkins and Paper Towels: Try using reusable napkins and paper towels for your everyday needs. Shop small and check out Etsy for cute options!

6. Body Wash to Soap Bar: Instead of body wash packaged in plastic, try a fresh bar of soap. Lush has several beautiful options.

7. Coffee and Tea Making: Coffee drinkers: try using reusable k-cups, a french press, or reusable coffee filter! Tea drinkers: try using loose leaf tea, plastic free, or biodegradable tea bags!

8. Plastic Zippie Bags: Plastic zippie bags are a common household staple but try swapping for reusable silicone bags or beeswaz wrap. Check out Re-Zip for reusable zip bags and Green Estate for beeswax wraps!

9. Sponges and Scrubbies: Sponges or scrubbies aren’t going to last forever but by choosing ones that have a longer life, we can reduce waste. Try a compostable one!

10. Tooth Brushes: The average American will throw away 300 toothbrushes in their lifetime which is over 90 billion toothbrushes. Try this organic, plant-based toothbrush, Brush with Bamboo!

Advanced: I’m an Eco Warrior Tree ready to grow even deeper roots!

11. Menstrual Products: An individual goes through approximately 9,600 disposable tampons in a lifetime. Try a menstrual cup, like the Diva cup. I can personally vouch that it’s life changing!

12. Silicone Baking Sheets instead of Aluminum Foil: Aluminum foil is not biodegradable so try using a silicone baking sheet when you’re making delicious goodies and feel good doing it.

13. To-Go Containers: Bring your own to-go containers when you eat out or pick up food from a salad bar for example. This is a total eco warrior move that we all can work towards!

The planet is facing a lot of challenges right now but it’s important not to get discouraged; rather, jump into action! Assess what level you’re at and then take steps to improve your footprint. Together we can tackle this issue! Now spread the word, form planet friendly habits, and keep taking steps forward no matter how small. Let’s make a difference together.

Comment below with your favorite ways to reduce waste and share this article to spread the word!


Sources:
National Geographic: https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/05/plastics-facts-infographics-ocean-pollution/
Earth Day Network: https://www.earthday.org/2018/04/05/fact-sheet-plastics-in-the-ocean/
Going Zero Waste: https://www.goingzerowaste.com/blog/the-life-of-a-toothbrush
Diva Cup: https://divacup.com/eco-divas/
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