Easy Alternatives

Before the creation of plastic, what did everyone use? Sustainable materials were the everyday normal, such as clay, glass, tree gum were used. Why can’t we go back to that way of life? Living plastic free in today’s society is almost impossible. People oftentimes see living sustainably as expensive, but there are options that are free. I currently am not using plastic straws or plastic utensils when getting food to-go. It is as easy as saying you don’t need any utensils. Along with giving up plastic utensils, I have not been using to-go bags and or plastic grocery bags. When I know I am going to need a bag, I bring one with me. It is extremely simple and I am making a change, while doing something so easy. When carrying groceries, the sustainable bags are easier to carry than the plastic alternatives, as well as hold more items. 

Shopping has been one of the hardest parts of using less plastic. Almost every product in every aisle is wrapped in some sort of plastic. The cheaper alternative is the item wrapped in plastic. Living sustainably may not benefit you financially, it does make you a part of something much bigger. It not only makes the world a better place, but puts you directly in the middle of change. Unfortunately, as a college student I am limited on my budget and unable to purchase certain sustainable items. As much as I would love to be able to purchase these products, I am practicing sustainable techniques that I have worked into my everyday life. 

Unfortunately, there are some plastic products that I cannot live without. For example, there aren’t many options for femine care products that are sustainable. I have done research on sustainable products, and sadly none of them will work for me. Hopefully in the future, there will be more options available for women. 

When completing my first blog, I counted how much plastic I used in a day. While almost everything I touched was made of plastic, I noticed that cleaning products, beauty/care, and groceries were the most plastic wrapped. Sadly, these are the items that most people use the most in their daily lives. In Beth Terry’s book, she explains a shopping checklist to help with sustainable shopping. Below I have composed a list of alternative products that do not contain plastic. 

Cleaning products:


Meyers hand soap (3 pack) Blue Land hand soap (3 pack)
Bounty Paper towels  Grove Collaborative bamboo paper towels 
Germ X hand sanitizer  Earth Hero hand sanitizer 


Wet Wipes Eco by naty aloe wet wipes
Pantene shampoo Captain Blankenship sea shine shampoo
Dove deodorant  All Good natural deodorant 


Grocery products:

Kettle brand sea salt potato chips Christie’s Chips sea salt potato chips
Bare banana chips Zero’s banana chips 
Mission flour tortillas  La Princesita flour tortillas  

Since taking this class, it has made me realize just how much plastic I use. It isn’t something I am proud of, but I am learning and overcoming the obstacles of living a more plastic free lifestyle. My advice for someone wanting to live plastic free is to start small. While these changes seem minute, if enough people use a little less plastic everyday, there would be a huge change. It is as simple as filling up your water bottle instead of grabbing a plastic water bottle. It is these small changes that create a big impact. We can do it.


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