Mon. May 20th, 2019

Alternatives to single-use items to save the environment

A compiled list of environmentally-friendly alternatives to wean you off your old, single-use products.

The post Alternatives to single-use items to save the environment appeared first on The South African.

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Being environmentally friendly isn’t always easy in today’s society. When single use products are mass produced, and heavily advertised, it becomes difficult to find alternatives for everyday items.

The impact of these everyday items are having a huge impact on our planet. The quality of freshwater is declining, the air pollution is growing stronger, and the beautiful landscapes of South Africa (SA) are peppered with litter. But this probably far extends the impact it has on the individual SA citizen. The beloved wildlife sharing this slice of heaven are also in peril.

So fear not my barefoot friend, because I have compiled a list of environmentally-friendly alternatives to wean you off your old, selfish, single-use products.

Reusable straws

A self-explanatory investment to save marine life. According to The Assosciated Press, up to 8.3bn plastic straws litter the earth’s shorelines. So next time you’re in the supermarket, invest in one of those reusable straws advertised.

Reusable feminine hygiene products

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Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Periods suck, but they don’t have to be environmentally unfriendly. Abandon your once-off use tampons and pads, and try a Diva Cup, or reusable/washable pads instead. Watch this Diva Cup review by Safiya Nygaard to find out more.

Bamboo/recycled toothbrushes

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Photo: Envato Elements

Regular plastic toothbrushes are terrible for the environment. Bamboo and recycled toothbrushes, not so much. Made of dense plastic, and bristles, most toothbrushes can be recylced and turned into various other products.

Reusable grocery and produce bags

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Photo: Envato Elements

There is no need to continuously buy, and use, the plastic bags supplied by your local supermarkets. These bags don’t biodegrade, and are one of the largest causes of marine pollution to date. Try bringing reusable produce and grocery bags from home (they can even be made from T-shirts), or spend the extra R2 to purchase a paper bag. Every choice matters.

A tea-leaf infuser

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Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Unfortunately, tea bags are only up to 80% biodegradable leaving behind 20% plastic pollution, reports The Guardian. This may not seem too bad, but with the vast amount of teabags consumed on a daily basis you should really consider switching to a tea-leaf infuser.

Beeswax food wraps

Instead of covering your food in plastic wrap, or cling wrap, you should really consider beeswax wraps. Reusable, durable, and not plastic, these wraps may seem pricey, but are definitely worth it. So whether you’re hoarding cheese, or transporting your sandwich, the wraps are made to fit perfectly around any food item.

Natural deodorant

I hate to break it to you, but using commercial deodorants – along with other personal care products – could contribute as much to air pollution as your daily commute. The New York Times states this is due to the petroleum-based chemicals used in many everyday products (including shampoo). Try switching to a natural alternative.

Composting

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Photo: Envato Elements

You may not have a huge garden or a green-thumb, but composting may still be for you. Composting your natural waste reduces the amount of waste in landfill sites, and contributes to the removal of water pollutants in the soil, says Planet Natural Research Centre.

More environmentally alternatives to follow.

The post Alternatives to single-use items to save the environment appeared first on The South African.

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