Americans generate approximately 254 million tons of trash each year. That’s 508,000,000,000 pounds… a whole lot of zeros. Luckily, there are some easy swaps you can make to reduce the amount of waste you add to our planet.
Alternatives to Plastic WrapBeeswax wrap is a great alternative to plastic wrap. It can easily cover bowls of leftover food or cut fruit with much less waste. A simple cool water rinse, and it’s good to go again and again! To start your transition, check out the stock at Colony Urban Farm Store in Winston-Salem or try making your own. Beeswrap and Abeego are two of the best known brands.
Cut Down on Plastic Straw UseThe world uses one billion plastic straws a year, and a quick internet search for “plastic straw” shows just how many people are focused on the waste they produce. In fact, Seattle is getting ready to ban them! You can find bamboo, paper, glass, and other reusable and/or biodegradable straws easily online; Bambaw, Strawsome, and Kikkerland are some good options. In addition, stainless steel or silicone straws like these from Seraphina’s Kitchen are easy to toss in a purse or backpack for everyday, on the go use.
Alternatives to Paper Cleaning SuppliesPaper cleaning supplies are one of the biggest contributors to household waste, but switching can be very intimidating. Wellness Mama has a great breakdown of what has worked for her kitchen, and where to find or how to make towels.
Bring your Own ContainersThere are a fair number of places around the Triad to buy food items in bulk and bringing your own reusable contains makes it an even more sustainable choice. Celia at Litterless has some great info on how to start. Locally, Whole Foods and local produce stores make the process really easy. At other stores, you may have to ask for help weighing your containers.
For more tips and tricks and regular waste-free goals, check out the Waste Free Winston facebook group. They are a great resource for any questions and for sharing which stores have bulk food sales or how to make your own napkins. Make a resolution in 2018 to do your part to reduce a zero or two from the amount of trash we produce!
Ann Davis-Rowe is a member of the PEA Marketing Committee. She has spent many years doing volunteer marketing for a variety of non-profits and trying to be ever more environmentally conscious. www.anndavisrowe.com