Today’s consumer society loves single-use products. They are practical, usually cheap and available everywhere. Once you’ve used them, you can simply dispose of them.
But don’t you also mind the wasteful use of resources and the energy-intensive production of disposable items that end up in the trash after just one use? In this post, we’ll show you where single-use products are hidden and how you can easily replace them with more sustainable items.
1. Washcloths instead of cotton swabs
Cotton swabs are versatile cosmetic items. At least you shouldn’t use them for your ears. When showering, a finger or a simple washcloth is all you need to wash your ears. Cotton swabs are superfluous here and can even do more harm than good, because they usually only push the dirt deeper into the ear, and there is also an increased risk of injury to the sensitive eardrum.
If you don’t want to do without cotton swabs, a plastic-free version made of bamboo and cotton is recommended .
2. Drinking straws made of metal and glass instead of plastic
For me, plastic drinking straws are number one among useless disposable items. After a single use, these also end up in the garbage can. Especially on vacation or in a restaurant, you can get this single-use product without asking. Fortunately, there are already sensible reusable alternatives for this , for example made of stainless steel or break-proof glass . When cleaned with the right brush, this product will last a lifetime.
3. Flashlight instead of glow sticks
By bending light sticks, two liquids mix and a chemical reaction is triggered, causing them to glow. These glow sticks, also known as glow sticks, are often offered at parties and celebrations outdoors. As fascinating as they may be, they not only pose a health risk, they also waste valuable resources. Nevertheless, you don’t have to do without pretty effective party lights, for example at carnival or on similar occasions. You can buy a signal attachment for almost all flashlights (especially the modern LED flashlights) , or you can make your own light stick with a flashlight and colorful origami paper!
4. Reusable bottles instead of plastic bottles
Plastic bottles are a major cause of piles of rubbish all over the world. A reusable drinking bottle is the best purchase to avoid plastic waste. Whether made of glass or stainless steel, the main thing is that you always have it with you on the go. If you think that a returnable bottle might be less hygienic, you can use the following tricks to get it sterile again.
5. Safety razors instead of disposable razors
Disposable plastic razors are disposed of after a short period of use. Even if it is possible to extend their useful life , they quickly end up on the trash. This can be avoided by purchasing a safety razor . It is initially a little more expensive than disposable wet razors, but it lasts forever and you save the additional costs quickly. With practice, you can even use it to shave your legs or armpits.
By the way: Shaving gels don’t have to be bought separately either, they can simply be made yourself.
6. Reusable monthly hygiene for women
Instead of single-use tampons made of water-consuming cotton or plastic bandages, women can use reusable cloth pads , natural sponges or menstrual cups . This not only protects the environment, but also your wallet in the long term. With a little skill you can even sew the bandages yourself .
7. Bucket grill instead of one-way grill
Disposable grills are handy, quickly stowed away and can be easily disposed of on the spot afterwards. You can also easily replace it with a portable bucket grill or even a foldable grill when you’re on the go . With a few tricks you can even make charcoal and grill lighter yourself. This makes your barbecue party even more environmentally friendly.
Tip: You can also use the resulting wood ash in the household in various ways.
8. Porcelain instead of disposable dishes
Disposable tableware made of plastic or cardboard is light, but causes huge amounts of waste. So why not use classic porcelain at the barbecue party or picnic in the country? Another alternative is light dishes made from palm leaves , which can also be used several times.
9. Ice cube mold instead of ice cube bags
Sometimes it is just absurd that such things can even be bought: ice cube bags. After a single use, these plastic bags simply end up in the trash. You can’t even use it again like a normal bag, e.g. as a garbage bag. There are more durable ice cube molds made of metal , silicone or plastic.
10. Oilcloth instead of disposable changing pads
On average, a baby is changed up to 6,000 times by the age of three. Apart from the many disposable diapers, which you can replace with cloth diapers with a little more effort , additional disposable changing pads are superfluous. A washable blanket or a simple oilcloth are just as suitable as a base . What is your experience with these and other alternatives to single-use products? Are there other things that you replace with an environmentally conscious alternative? Write us a comment. We are looking forward to it!