By Jodi Milner

Jodi Milner author/bio pic

I don’t usually talk about environmental issues here on Strong Mom Tips because I want the focus to stay on personal endeavors and goals. However, there is one topic that I have to cover because as moms, we can make a big difference. Worldwide, the dependence on single-use plastics has gotten out of control.

There is a single-use alternative for practically every item that you use. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the items you use throughout your day and ask yourself what your grandma might have used and how it was packaged. You might be surprised at just how many single-use plastics you have come to depend on. 

That plastic sandwich baggie you used in kindergarten is still out there.

Some of these items include: drinking straws, disposable water bottles, plastic cutlery, disposable dishware, plastic baggies, garbage can liners, grocery sacks, shampoo and conditioner bottles, individually wrapped snacks, preprepared produce, and the list goes on and on. 

One of the common beliefs behind reducing our use of single-use plastics is that it means less plastic ends up in our oceans. While this is technically true for some countries, most single-use plastic in the United States ends up in a landfill where it takes hundreds of years to break down into smaller molecules. That plastic sandwich baggie you used in kindergarten is still out there.

reduce plastic use

Three easy ways to reduce your plastic footprint

What can you do to reduce your plastic footprint right now? It’s actually easier than you think and you probably have the solution in your home. The first swap to consider is plastic water bottles and single-serve drinks. Instead, find a favorite reusable water bottle, fill it up with a drink you enjoy, and stick it in your fridge. Next time you want a cold drink on the go, it’s ready to grab. Even better, you won’t ever mix up whose drink is whose when you know yours is in your cute water bottle.

The second swap is to transition your cleaning products into ones that have refillable options. Not only can you get a more attractive dispenser that is built to last longer, but the refills tend to be far less expensive because you are buying in bulk. Hand soaps, window cleaner, and sanitizer are my top three picks to refill.

The third swap is to consider plastic-free beauty products. Instead of Q-tips with plastic handles, make sure you get the paper ones. Swap bottles of body wash for yummy bar soaps. Consider experimenting with shampoo and conditioner bars. When there isn’t a suitable plastic-free option, seek out larger sizes that last longer.

Discuss – What are some swaps you’ve tried to reduce your use of single-use plastics? Tell us in the comments!

Benefiting from bar soap

For most of my life I was a body wash girl. It smells good, is easy to use, and is usually pretty cheap. However, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve struggled more and more with dry itchy skin. Most body washes contain lots of stuff that aren’t great for your skin, so I knew it was time for a change. 

At the same time, a friend of mine was selling homemade cold-process soap. I figured I would support her and give it a try. Boy, was I surprised. Not only did I feel cleaner, but I found my skin wasn’t as dry. It turns out that I am mildly allergic to some fragrances and additives which was causing dry itchy skin. 


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