Look around you, from the device you are reading this on to your kitchen trolleys and extravagant sofas, the articles may have a life between five to twenty-five years. You replace them with new ones when they wear out. But the problem arises when these articles are broken into micro-plastics and dumped into oceans or piled up in huge heaps next to an almost dead river. It is the result of unsustainable product designs. There are various approaches from how many kids one would like to have to what soap one uses driven by the same fervor for sustenance. But if you want to focus on what’s close at hand, here are some sustainable alternatives that are easy and approachable to begin with.
1. Bamboo Toothbrush:
According to National Geographic, about 1 billion toothbrushes are discarded each year in the US alone. As a thought, we’ve reached for a plastic handle every morning in our lives. Plastic are nearly impossible to recycle or decompose, thus every plastic toothbrush you’ve ever used is out there. Instead, Bamboo toothbrushes are an excellent alternatives with just as great hold. Bamboo can degrade in over six months in your backyard. Bamboo toothbrushes can be mass-produced since they are fast-growing plants and resilient to shape.
2. Up-cycled Cloth Bags:
It takes up to 20 to 200 years for a cotton bag to degrade. Instead, upcycle your old clothes to make them your shopping or tote bags. Even in 2020, when you buy fruits from a local vendor in India, they pack them for you in a black polyethylene. Cloth bags are much sturdier than plastic and paper and can be reused multiple times. Up cycled cloth bags are an underrated alternative for it replaces both plastic bags in its place and provides a disincentive for the vendors to keep them. Next time you go shopping, don’t forget to flaunt your beautiful cloth bags.
3. Stainless Steel Water Bottles:
Many of us have around 5 to 6 plastic water bottles in our family as some travel to office or schools with it. Plastic bottles wear out soon and have to be replaced with new ones often. Whereas, eighty-percent of single-use plastic bottles are dumped in landfills where they leach harmful chemicals into the environment or are incinerated by the municipal corporations which is also not best. As a sustainable enthusiast, Steel bottles would be a great replacement in your home for they have longer durability and are much safer. Use Stainless bottles instead of aluminum for there exist concerns of harmful reactivity in the latter.
4. Recycled Newspaper Pens:
It’s one plastic pen says eight billion people. Of course we do not use only one pen. And again, not surprisingly, plastic pens are not recyclable. We may use fountain-pens as they are reusable instead of ballpoints but they are not very convenient at workplaces and colleges. Recycled Newspaper pens, for now, is closest to the center of the dart board. These ballpoint pens’ bodies are made from rolling newspaper tightly around a refill donned by banana fiber to keeps it aesthetic in look. The newspaper and banana fiber are both up cycled and low-energy materials – a win-win situation
5. Composting kitchen waste :
When wet waste is dumped in a landfill it releases methane gas which is 30 times more potent in trapping heat. It accelerates the rise in temperature of the earth. Composting your kitchen waste makes a significant difference. One might argue that they do not have a garden to compost, but there are composters available in the market that you may place in your balcony. With the provision of both soil and nutrients available composting can now be done in every household.
These were five quick, hopefully quirky ways to reduce your carbon footprint and acknowledge your support for a better future. Obviously, you may also take up minimalism to further your sustainable living by buying only what’s absolutely necessary. Let us know what else you do for a sustainable living.