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14 Unique Ways to Reduce Your Plastic (Other than a Reusable Straw)

In honor of #PlasticFreeJuly we wanted to encourage unique ways to reduce your plastic. Chances are if you are shopping at SPUD and care about your environmental impact, you are likely to use a reusable bag, carry a water bottle and say no to straws! While these are all great ways to reduce our plastic use, below are some more simple and creative ways to make a big impact!

FoodReduce your plastic at home

1. Give up gum

Did you know gum is made of synthetic rubber (aka plastic)? Look for plastic-free chewing gum or opt for a mint!

2. Switch to loose-leaf tea 

Many tea bags contain plastic and do not break down. Further, they cannot be composted in all areas. Switch to loose leaf tea for a low-waste option! 

3. Buy (or order) foods in bulk 

Instead of purchasing pantry staples in packaging, bring re-usable containers and buy in bulk! Not only is this cheaper, but better for the environment. If you live in Vancouver, you can order bulk staples in reusable jars and return them with your SPUD bin through JARR!

4. Bring cloth bags for produce 

If you make a trip to the traditional grocery store, omit the plastic produce bags (you have to wash the produce anyways), or bring a few cloth grocery bags, we love these ones!

5. Reduce packaging by making staples yourself!

Save money, and reduce packaging by making fridge staples at home! Try homemade hummus, vegetable broth, nut milk or granola bars!

Cosmetics

plastic free cosmetics

5. Try shampoo bars over bottles 

Another great way to save money and waste! Try these ones from Upfront Cosmetics, Unscented Co. or Soap Works

7. Switch up your menstrual routine 

Per year a woman can through away roughly 400 lbs of period product packaging! Did you know menstrual cups have about 1.5% of the environmental impact as pads and tampons? 

8. Try bamboo combs and toothbrushes 

Bamboo toothbrushes and hair brushes are great recyclable alternatives to traditional plastic ones. Toothbrushes are made from polypropylene plastic and nylon which come from fossil fuels.

9. Use a metal razor 

Try a saftey razor with a metal head to save plastic!

10. Use bar soap instead of bottled 

Bar soaps save plastic bottles from landfills

Home

Reduce your plastic at home11. Wash your clothes less!

Each time we wash synthetic clothes they release microplastics which can end up in oceans.

12. Use reusable clothes and clothes as rags and Swiffer pads 

Instead of throwing out a Swiffer pad each time, use a rag soaked in water and vinegar. Old t-shirts and washcloths also make great replacements for paper towels!

13. Use dryer balls instead of sheets 

Instead of dryer sheets, wool dryer balls can reduce waste!

14. Try a homemade cleaning solution

Reduce packaging and make a simple cleaning solution at home! This 2-ingredient cleaner uses just vinegar and citrus peels!

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