How to Reduce Single-Use Plastics in 2019

I want to reduce single-use plastics for our family. Single-use plastics are no good. I have known this for some time, but only more recently been confronted with how much of a problem they actually are. Too much plastic is making its way into our oceans and freshwater sources. They are being consumed by our wildlife. Ultimately, they are making their way into the food chain for our own consumption. I do not want to eat plastic, and I don’t want to feed it to my kids either. Sure, someone needs to do something about cleaning up what is already out there in the world, but that’s not going to make much difference if we consumers cannot find a way to reduce what we are putting out there.

So, for 2019, our family is taking a few steps to reduce single-use plastics for our family. As soon as I made this decision, I found some really easy things that we could do that would actually make a big dent in our daily use. I hope you find my list to be helpful if you’re interested in doing the same thing.

Reusable Grocery Bags

We have plenty of reusable grocery bags, but I often leave them at home. For 2019, I’m taking the very minor step of always leaving some reusable bags in my car. I put a couple on the floorboard below the car seats so that I will actually see them as I am getting my kids out of the car. A friend recommended another kind of bag that scrunches into something you can clip to your purse. I might give that a whirl too.

Compostable Kitchen Trash Bags

Our family goes through a fair amount of trash. I found some well-rated compostable kitchen trash bags online. We have only used a couple, but so far, so good. I love that they will completely break down over time.

 

 

 

 

Silicone Food Storage Bags

We’ve tried the reusable, cloth-type zipper bags for food storage. They are okay, but there are so many kinds of food that they just do not work for. The reusable silicone bags, on the other hand, are genius. They lock in moisture and lock out air. They are easy to hand wash and dry. They can literally be used thousands of times. They can go in the microwave, freezer, oven, or even boil on the stovetop. I found them at Target, and on Amazon.

 

Compostable Poop Bags

These are meant for dog poop, which we use them for, but I also use them for diapers. Rather than stinking out our trash can, I put a dirty diaper in one of these bags, tie a knot, and then toss in the trash. So good to know that they will completely break down over time! Side note: we use biodegradable, plant-derived diapers as well.

 

 

 

 

Wax Paper Sandwich Bags

Did you know that before plastics, wax paper was a major form of food storage? My mom told me that she remembers her sandwiches being in wax paper for her school lunches. This is still a great form of food storage, plus it’s toxin-free and biodegradable.

 

 

Waxed Cotton Wraps

Do you use a lot of plastic wrap? I have. It’s such an easy way to cover leftovers before placing in the fridge. Plastic wrap, unfortunately, is one of the worst culprits in our single-use plastic problem. Because it’s deemed a tangler, it’s almost never recycled. Because it’s light, it very easily blows into the ocean. It chokes or entangles wildlife very easily. There are now a ton of waxed cotton wrap options that can be used and reused many times, then will biodegrade because they are totally naturally made. I found mine on Amazon. So far, it does an excellent job at sealing and keeping the moisture in the container. It actually seals better than most plastic wraps I’ve used in the past.

 

Again, I hope this list was helpful to you. If you’re feeling inspired, give some of these a try and let us know how they work for you. If you’re doing something else that works, I’d love to hear about it!

Naomi D'Antonio
Naomi moved with her family to Tampa in the summer of 2017. She loves playing at the parks, museums, and zoo with her two kids. She also enjoys attending a local Bible study, seeing live music, reading actual books, running, eating good food, and drinking delicious dark beer. Naomi stopped working to become a stay at home mom in the fall of 2018. Naomi is married to her best friend, Dan. They have two kids - a little girl, Coco and a toddler boy, Ranger. Naomi has an English degree from the University of Florida, and has worked for the US House, owned her own business, run a non-profit, and taught English.