A Plastic-Free Lifestyle

As an American it is rather difficult at times to live a sustainable lifestyle. In order to live a more plastic-free lifestyle, things off the top of my head that I am willing to change are personal care containers such as soap and toothpaste. If I was also able to find compostable versions of cups or utensils then I would not feel as guilty when tossing them in the trash, knowing at least even if they end up in a landfill that they will just break down into the soil. 

After reading Beth Terry’s book: Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too, I made a chart of plastic based items that I found and mostly used that could be replaced by sustainable/non-plastic options. However before going over what I could replace there are some items that cannot be replaced, such as plastic shells for objects such as keyboards and laptops. Plastic in these items is just too necessary, for it provides a strong option for protection alongside it is cheap so it keeps the prices of our electronics down. Regarding the items I found that I could replace is chewable toothpaste, boxed water, compostable cups, and powdered detergent. 

Now given my current circumstances with what is available to me, and how much money I have available to me I am not able to purchase any of the items I have listed, however I have used many of them before and I can provide the exact same insight as if I was currently using them. In this case I have decided to focus on the chewable toothpaste and boxed water, as they are two of the items that I have personally used before. 

Boxed Water is a weird concept surprisingly, but yet it makes a lot of sense at the same time. When we were in elementary school we were often fed milk in cartons which is not that different from having water in a box. When I used this item in the past the taste of the water was not off, for it just tasted like any other spring water I would get such as Evian or Fiji. However it was satisfying to know that I can just toss this box in my recycling like any other item, but I knew there was absolutely no chance that the plastic contained some wild card item that would not allow it to be recycled. Overall I enjoyed the item, and occasionally find myself buying it alongside the other waters I get, for if you want a sustainable water get Boxed Water. 

Boxed Water Is Better - Charitees

Bite is a brand that produces toothpaste bites that use absolutely zero plastic within them. I found these items very unique because not only does it not use any plastic it also is zero waste, for you are ensured that you will use 100% of the toothpaste that you have, rather than leaving some within the tube. When I used these items I found them very interesting and odd to be chewing on an item that cleans my teeth. I almost felt like a dog chewing on a dental bone! However I quickly got used to the aspect of chewing on my toothpaste, but after it was gone I did not continue to use the item. I liked the toothpaste bites, but they were rather pricey with a one month supply costing $12, and for me I could just go to the store and buy a tube of toothpaste that will last a month or two for $4. 

Naturally Whitening Mint - Bite Toothpaste Bits

In the end I did end up using some of the items I found in more plastic-free options. My advice for others contemplating such a switch is to give it a try. Do some research to find an alternative that suits you best, and if you end up not liking it don’t feel guilty as it’s not for everyone. However the one important thing to remember is don’t overspend; don’t make yourself bankrupt trying to become plastic-free. 


Little Changes-Big Differences


From 2 million tonnes per year to 381 million in only 65 years. Our plastic consumption is increasing immeasurably, especially in recent years. We can’t even imagine how our life without plastic would be because everything is made of plastic in our life’s as we saw in the last Blog. However, our life of plastic has disastrous consequences for the natural environment. Just 9% percent of our plastic will be recycled and only 2% will be recycled effectively the other 7% will be downcycled. The remaining plastic land in our environment especially in our oceans. Oftentimes the marine creatures think the plastic waste in the ocean is food but, plastic is indigestible, and the animal can thus no longer eat food and starves to death with a full stomach. And with the seafood, the plastic is landing on our plates. That is just one example of how plastic has catastrophic impacts on our environment, but it shows that we need to reduce our plastic use.

I began to think about how I can use less plastic in my daily routine, and I was surprised how many opportunities I have to reduce my plastic. The following table is showing some examples:

Type of Grocery item Brand I buy now Less Plastic Alternative
Waterbottle Vittel Reusable bottle made of glass or stainless steel
Cornflakes General Mills Cornflakes packed in a cardboard box (Mymuesli) or buy it in a Packaging free grocery store
Choclate Hersheys Packaging made of cardboard and compostable film cellulose


Detergent Tide Packed in cardboard box (dropps)



From Plastic to plastic-free Care and Cleaning items

Type of Product Brand I Buy now Less-Plastic Alternative
shampoo Kérastase solid shampoo without plastic packaging packed in a cardboard box (Foamie)
Face mask Luvos Made it own your own
Brush L’ange Brush made of wood and has natural bristles (Aveda)
soap softsoap Packed in Cardboard (Dr.Squatch)

Those are just a few examples but there are various plastic-free alternatives especially in this to categories of items. Besides I found for the products easily and rapidly after searching on the Internet a plastic-free alternative which is more sustainable. In the Grocery store, it was more difficult and took more time to find the plastic-free alternative and there was not a wide of goods. Another disadvantage is that plenty of plastic-free items are much more expensive than plastic items. For example, my pack of Cornflakes General Mills costs 5$ whereas a pack of Mymuesli would cost 10$ which is the double price. Unfortunately for me as a student with not much money it is difficult to replace many items I use now and buy instead the expensive plastic-free alternative. However, there are as well fewer Plastic Alternative, which is cheaper especially if you focus on reuse, refuse, or repair the items. For example, if I use a reusable bottle and fill it up with tap water instead of buying always new water bottles, I would save money as well as if I made a face mask on my own instead of buying it in the store.

My plastic items and some alternatives

(My plastic items and some sustainable alternatives)

I believe that little changes in our daily routine can make a difference, particularly when everybody thinks like this. Therefore, I considered that I will replace, reuse and refuse some plastic items in my life (In addition to them I mentioned in the last section). The first item I will replace is my shower soap the same brand I use at the moment has a plastic-free alternative and costs just 2 euros more. Another thing I will refuse is the plastic cutlery and cups in the dining halls. Instead, always get new plastic forks, knives, and spoons I will bring my plastic-free cutlery, or I will reuse my plastic cutlery. And I will try to bring my reusable water bottle to the dining halls that I don’t need to use a plastic cup. An item I will reuse are bags then always when I purchase something I get new bags now I will try when I go to the grocery store to always bring my bag with me that I don’t need to get another one.

(plastic-free and “normal” shower soap)

Nevertheless, there are plastic items I can’t replace at the moment and one of the items is my laptop. I use it every day and depend on it for example to write this Blog. Furthermore, I couldn’t find a plastic-free option and if they are some, they are probably not financeable for me.

In conclusion, we must stop using so much plastic because it has already catastrophic consequences for our environment, and it will have huge impacts on the future of our planet. Therefore we need to reduce our plastic use. We don’t need immediately to live a plastic-free life because of plenty of necessary items we can’t refuse or replace at the moment, but we can try to take little steps to a more sustainable and plastic-free life. If everybody in the world just takes a little step and refuses a few items in his daily life it would be a big step for all of us and will make a huge difference for our planet.