Wasteless Alternatives to Reduce use of Single-Use Plastics
Whether you are considering making changes, or have already started to reduce plastic use in your daily life, we have compiled a list of alternative products and budget-worthy considerations to get you thinking about other sustainable options.
Beeswax wraps: They are a lightweight, breathable and natural wrap that will help prolong the life of your food. Beeswax wraps easily fold around your food or dish, making them a good alternative to plastic wrap.
One of the best things about these wraps are their versatility. They come in a variety of sizes, which are suitable for smaller items, like cut lemons or half-eaten granola bars, and for larger items, like a loaf of bread or a head of cauliflower.
One option is Abeego wraps.
Reusable Snack Bags: Options range from silicone bags to cotton bags, and because they are often resealable, make a great lunch companion for your cut veggies or sliced apples. These bags are a great alternative to plastic snack bags, which don’t have a long reusable life. Also, don’t feel limited to use them only for food items. They can be useful as a travel pack for your toiletries or as pencil case for your school essentials.
Mason Jars: If you know a savvy canner who is willing to part with a few jars from a collection that has been passed down through generations, then mason jars can be a great option. Although if their grip is firm, fear not, you can often find these jars lining the shelves at a second-hand store or at a local grocer.
Lonely Dishes: Were you once convinced that buying multiple dish sets would be in your best interest, but now they just spend most days stored in your kitchen cupboards? Well then, by golly – let’s give them a purpose! This low maintenance solution allows you to store your washed lettuce or leftover mac n’ cheese in a bowl covered with a plate.
Food and Drink
Reusable Straws: Reusable straws can be necessary for slurping your favourite smoothie, protein shake, or soda. One option is Straw Hut Co., which operates in Calgary. They offer an assortment of straws, including bamboo, silicone, stainless steel, and glass, to name a few.
Reusable Drink Cup: A travel mug can act as a portable hydration-station or a thermos for a favourite beverage. Your choice of a reusable drink cup might depend on what you want to use it for, but the nice thing is some brands, like Yeti and Klean Kanteen for example, make alternative lids choices for their mugs that are bought separately.
On-campus at SAIT, you can bring your own mug to fill up your beverage of choice at The Odyssey Coffeehouse or at The Station Market.
Utensils: Whether you are packing a lunch for on-the-go or dining where plastic utensils are your only option, consider packing your own reusable set.
Take from your stash at home, or, if you are looking to add one to your essentials pack, consider a spork. There are some great lightweight options, like the Sea to Summit alpha light spork.
Reusable Bags: There is a reusable bag for every occasion, for instance, shopping bags, bread bags, produce bags, milk bags, and soap bags. And whether you start with one, or end up with many, they should be durable enough to last you a long time; thus, making it a useful investment.
Produce bags should come with a tag that displays the weight of the bag, so make sure the weight is deducted from your total when going through the till.
The Better Farm Co. sells a reusable canvas shopping bag with six pockets to store jars so they don’t roll around, bumping into one another.
B.Y.O.C.: Whether you have fabric bags, glass or stainless-steel containers, consider bringing your own container to buy your items in bulk. Ask a store ahead of time if this is a service they offer, and if they don’t, maybe they will consider offering it in the future.
Boxes: Most grocery stores will have boxes for you to pack your groceries or items for no additional charge. Simply return any boxes to the store for another shopper to use, or if you have the space, they make for great gear storage in your trunk in-between shopping adventures.