Are you thinking more about all the waste you have produced from disposable items? I sure have - I think twice now if the convenience is worth the cost, and increasingly the honest answer is no, so there are a few small changes that I have already made that I'd like to share with you.
Disposable Pros & Cons
Using disposable items can reduce one's short term stress, since you won’t need to pack a lunch box or bring any glass, but is it worth all the trash? It is bad for the environment and even biodegradable and eco-friendly disposable products are still not as good to the environment as reusable items. Every time you think, “it’s just one coffee”, keep in mind that at least a billion other people are thinking that too. However the lazy pragmatist in me can't help noting some of the positives with single-use items:
1. Buying disposable items ensures that it is hygienic. Have you ever been to a restaurant where the silverware still has some food dried up on it? It’s nasty so knowing that what you’re using is straight out of the packaging sounds much better.
2. If you’re throwing a party that has a theme then it will be easy to make all the disposable items match. If it’s a Frozen themed birthday party for your child, purchasing everything disposable of that theme would be more convenient and cheaper.
3. It’s makes cleaning up after a party so much easier since there will be no dishes to wash. If everything used in a party is disposable then all you have to do is put them all in a black plastic bag to throw, this cuts the clean up time in half or more. If not, a lot of time will be wasted on washing everything.
4. It’s so convenient. It’s so easy to grab a cup of coffee that it’s a disposable cup or a sandwich in the morning on the way to work.
1. It is bad for the environment and even biodegradable and eco-friendly disposable products are still not as good to the environment as reusable items, as they clog up both human made and natural systems.
2. Most disposable items break easily when using them such as plastic knives, fork, etc. Plastic forks can break into pieces and get such on cake, etc.
Reusable Pros & Cons
1. Obviously, it produces less waste as you can use the same item for years or even for the rest of your life!
2. Invest in good quality reusable products which will actually save you money in the long run.
3. You will also feel great about yourself because you’re doing something meaningful.
4. You may also have more space in your living space because you’ll have less one-time use items.
5. When hosting a party, you could ask your friends and family if you can borrow their dishes, glasses, etc. Sure, you will still have to wash them all but at least, there will be less waste. If there is a theme, you could ask the stores around you if they will be willing to rent out decorations and such.
So what were some of the things I’ve changed at home?
1. Towels! It may seem simple but a lot of people don’t use them enough and just grab a disposable kitchen towel. It can be used to dry your hands, vegetables, spills on the table, etc. We have amazing hand towels that are super soft and absorbent.
2. Beeswax food wraps are so easy to make all you need is cotton fabric, beeswax, parchment paper, brush, scissors, iron, and grater. That’s all! It can replace plastic wrap and sandwich bags for some things. You can use it use it to wrap partially consumed cheese, fruit and vegetables or wrap your sandwich with it. Just make sure that those items don’t leak.
3. Reusable straws. Of course, I have reusable straws as the trend was so hyped to save the turtles.
4. Use a mesh bag for produce when buying produce at your local market. Supermarkets always over package their items even when it’s unnecessary like for bananas.
5. Use reusable bottles/glass/containers. Don’t buy single use pepper grinders.
6. Linen bread bags. I love bread so I always make a trip to the bakery near me and this helps a lot to not use more plastic.
7. Reusable coffee filters. If you have to have coffee every day and make it at home, this is perfect for you. Plus, you can use the ground coffee to make a body scrub after you drinking your coffee.
8. Bamboo toothbrush. The bamboo handles are biodegradable.
If you’d rather drink tea, then tea infusers would be it for you instead of using tea bags all the time, buy loose tea!