Tips and tricks to end our dependence on plastic
By C J Sommerfeld, Contributor
Plastic straws are banned—now what?
Methane is going to reverse spewing into the Arctic and stop melting the ice caps? I think not. The ban on plastic straws is a grain of sand in the beach of plastic that is causing utter environmental distress. There are many objects in our homes that we are so conditioned to using, we do not even realize that they too are made of this horrendous material. Fortunately there are many alternatives! Common plastic perpetrators are:
Disposable and cartridge razors
Replace them with a carbide steel safety razor. They are very easy and safe to use, as well as being cost-savvy. On top of all this, aesthetically these bad boys are so classic—why did we ever swap to plastic razors in the first place?
Disposable and electric toothbrushes
Just buy one with a bamboo or wooden handle! Admittedly they are disposable; however, they last a lot longer than your regular plastic disposable toothbrush and are largely biodegradable. The bamboo ones tend to run a bit cheaper than the wooden-handled ones, but both are entirely plastic-free!
Hairbrushes and combs
Yep that is right, plastic that you forgot was there. Again, we can buy these in bamboo and wood, with bristles made out of horsehair.
Anything with microbeads
Ban the bead! Microbeads in facial exfoliators have recently been banned in Canada but we still see them in soaps, which means that these little guys are still getting washed into our oceans. The alternative is simple: Just buy soaps without them!
Linen and cotton all the way. Not only does polyester less-than-optimally dry your dishes and hands in comparison to natural fabrics, these guys are also plastic in disguise.
Yup, that’s right. Plastics are hiding here too and are being washed down your bathroom sink every single day! Toothpastes with polyethylene, polythene, polypropylene, and polyethylene terephthalate are actually toothpastes with plastic. Look for natural toothpastes or other teeth-cleaning methods such as charcoal (weird!) or perhaps making your own toothpaste. There are an endless number of recipes that you can find with a simple Google search.
There is plenty that we can do to eliminate plastic waste. We have become conditioned to accepting the idea that everything is to be made with this material. We need to change this way of thinking to progress further.
If this article sounds like a different language and you are unsure of where to purchase any of these items, I can recommend The Soap Dispensary, most natural food and supply stores, as well as a growing number of drug stores—thanks to the recent outcry of people looking for plastic alternatives.