7 essentials to replace with reusable versions

November 29, 2020

 


If you are becoming conscious about waste reduction or you're just wanting to cut expenses with disposable items that you keep needing to restock, this list may help you substitute a few things you probably use every day for reusable versions.

These items may also be good ideas of useful Christmas presents to buy for the eco-friendly or conscious friend or family member.

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1. Cotton pads

At the beginning of this year, I realized reusable make-up remover pads were a thing, so I bought a pack of bamboo pads and I've never looked back! 

Sure, cotton pads aren't very expensive and they aren't that big of an item of waste but I just started realizing I used one or two every single day and that I could avoid that expense and that waste if I bought a reusable version.

I bought a box of 18 bamboo make-up remover pads and it came with a wash bag where you can put the dirty pads and throw them in the washing machine (you can also wash them with by hand after using them, if you prefer).

My make-up remover pads have been washed several times in the washing machine and they are still in great condition. 

They are also bigger than normal cotton pads so I don't usually need to use two of them.

I just wouldn't use them for nail polish removal because I don't think nail polish will come off in the washing machine. However, there are reusable pads for removing nail polish, too!


2. Disposable plates, glasses and cutlery

If you're still using disposable items for meals, it's time to replace those! 

Proper plates and cutlery are so much nicer and they aren't necessarily expensive! There are even some that are made out of durable plastic which doesn't break, if you're worried about that.

They're also a lot easier to use and we can reduce so much plastic waste by using them. Even if you have to use a little more water to do the dishes, I think it's worth it. 

You can always save the paper/plastic plates, cups and cutlery to use only for outdoor parties or kids' birthdays, where it's probably more convenient to use disposable ones.




3. Water bottles

We already know that reusing plastic water bottles can pose a health risk because of degrading plastic. 

And buying a new bottle of water every time is such a waste of money when you can just drink tap water and use a reusable water bottle!

There are bottles in several materials, sizes and colours or designs. There are even bottles that measure how much water you drink and collapsible bottles that pack easily when they're empty!

There is really no excuse to spend so much money buying water and to waste so many plastic bottles of water (unless you are somewhere where you can't just go fill your bottle from a tap).




4. Coffee travel mugs

If you usually pick up coffee at a coffee shop or you like to take your coffee or tea with you, you might want to think about buying a travel mug. It's super convenient and many coffee shops are used to people bringing their bottles and filling them directly for their customers. 

These travel mugs also tend to be more comfortable to carry because they won't spill as easily or burn your fingers because they are sturdier and not made out of paper. They will also help maintain the temperature of your drink for longer.



5. Notebooks

If you use a notebook very often (to take notes or to draw something), you might want to consider buying a reusable notebook!

There are a few options out there already on what are usually called infinite notebooks. 

Some of these are simple erasable notebooks - they come with a cleaning kit or you can use a wet cloth to easily erase the pages and reuse them.

There is also a smart notebook (the Rocketbook notebooks) that scans and transfers what you write down or draw into a virtual format. After that, you can just wipe down the pages to erase them and reuse the notebook!


6. Coffee capsules

If it pains you to use and throw out a capsule every time you make a coffee, I'm here to tell you that there are reusable capsules for coffee machines!

Of course some companies take back your capsules for recycling but wouldn't it just be so much better if we didn't actually have to recycle things and we could just produce less waste?

Capsule coffee machines are very practical but their creation made things worse regarding waste. These refillable capsules are a great way to avoid that. 

Just buy coffee in a bag instead of the capsules. When you want to make a coffee, you just have to fill the capsules with the ground coffee and then you just wash the coffee out after using the capsule! 


7. Shopping bags

Whenever you go shopping, you really don't need to buy (or use, even if they're free) plastic bags to bring your things home. 

There are several options out there. You can buy a fabric tote bag or one of those bags that you can wrap and pack into a little case and just throw in your purse for whenever you need to pick up some groceries.

You can also keep durable and reusable bags or even a foldable crate in your car (if you have one). That way, you just have to use a shopping cart, take your things to your car and put them in the bags or the crate you have in there!


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