Plastic is a big problem for our Earth. As in, it takes years and years and years and years to break down. Some sources say it may takes plastic containers, bottles and bags 100s or even 1000s of years to break down. The truth is, we don't actually know how long it will take. Plastic bags have been around only 50 years….and they're all still piling up in landfills, etc.
So, our family has been trying our darndest to greatly reduce the amount of plastic we use. I know what you're thinking, "Your one little family not using so much plastic isn't going to save the world or make any great impact." And you're right. That's why each of us should be doing our part in "saving the world" whether it's reducing plastic usage, using fewer or no harmful chemicals in our homes, reducing our overall all carbon footprints, etc.
And did you know if you used just 3 reusable produce bags a week, you'd reduce your plastic bag usage by 150 in just one year? And did you further know that the average family goes through about 500 plastic baggies a year just for school and work lunches?
The way I see it is that if we choose to do things that reduce the waste and the harmful chemicals released into our air and leave our world a purer place for our kids and their kids or at the very least slow the damage to our planet and our people, then it's worth it.
And really these 5 things are EASY…there's just one I have trouble with….
Norwex Snack Bags/Sandwich Wraps. We NEVER send plastic baggies in school lunches. We also opt for reusable spoons and forks and travel sized enviro cloths for lunch napkins for waste free lunches. These bags are also great for small toys, crayons, pacifiers, etc. even makeup or nail files and polishes, etc., etc.
Reusable Bags for Shopping. Here's the one I have trouble with. I have them in my car, and I usually remember to take them in at Trader Joe's and my co-op, but often forget them when running into Target or a clothing store or shoe store, etc. I'm working on this one. And when I forget I do take my plastic bags to Target to recycle….I hope they actually recycle them!
Norwex Mesh Produce Bags. I use these at the grocery stores for fruits and veggies and for picking tomatoes and peppers in our garden – we have had a huge tomato crop and these bags are great for this job. My son even took one to school to store his headphones in. I use one in the freezer for the bananas that go mushy before they are eaten and get used in muffins, breads and pancakes. They are also great for washing grapes so that you don't lose them down the drain or for washing and/or storing Legos bath toys or Barbies and so many other things!
Compostable Trash Bags. I feel good about using these. I found 2 different brands at Lakewinds Co-op. They aren't too pricey and there are several sizes, depending on your needs. We have found them to be pretty strong and to work well.
Norwex Stainless Steel Straws. Think about how many millions of straws are tossed out each day….staggering isn't it? Well, if you use them in your own home or often stop for a carbonated beverage or shake or smoothie, then these stainless steel straws will serve you well. There's even a handy brush to clean them well! Again, I am working out a system to keep them in my car and remember to grab these and not the plastic version when we stop for a refreshing drink. My boys love to use them with milk.
OK, OK….I actually have 7 points for you, not 5….
Silicone Lids. I have been using these for about a year or so now. Norwex just launched a version too – work just the same and they are fantastic! The lids are safe for stovetops, ovens, microwaves and the fridge. There are so many reasons to love them. I don't even use metal lids for my pots now. The silicone lids make perfect rice, make the pasta water boil faster, keep food warm and still good for hours, steams veggies to perfection, keep baked good fresh and moist AND no more plastic wrap! Plus fewer dishes to wash since you can go from stove to fridge in the same container. Oh, and they don't stain or retain odor.
Beeswax & Cloth Wrap. I found this at my Lakewinds Co-op too, and they are great! They come in several sizes and even a variety pack. I use them to wrap cheese, bread, fruits, veggies, whatever and, again, NO PLASTIC WRAP or BAGGIES! You simply rinse it with cool water and dry it off and then wrap up the food. The warmth of your hand will mold and seal the beeswax and cloth wrap.
And this is what we're doing, along with removing all harmful chemicals from our home and recycling tons of plastic, paper and glass. Of course, there are always more things we can do…and we will. What are you focusing on changing in your home? Over and out….
**Full Disclosure: one of the many hats I wear is that of Norwex Independent Sales Consultant. However, none of these products were given to me and no company sponsored this post. This is simply my opinion based on experience using these products in my home.