Have you ever wondered if you could do with less? I sure have. That is why every year I reduce my physical waste on this planet by 1-2 items.

When my partner brought home some cookies from his parents that were wrapped in saran wrap, I didn't even remember how to open it. If this sounds crazy to you, it really isn't. I haven't bought saran wrap since 2017-ish and have not missed it one bit. Paper towels, since 2018.

The truth is, there are great alternatives that really can help the planet and also help you help the planet. I encourage you to start slow so you don't give up immediately, and if you diverge, it's okay!

Here are seven things you could try without in 2021.

  1. Paper Towels. This one is easy, just purchase 8 dish towels and use them instead. If you have small children you may want to add a few more. For large spills, I just use an old T-shirt that has lost it's comfort (I keep them under the sink).

  2. Plastic Snack Bags. I use silicone bags and love them. For a while, I could only afford 4 and I alternated between silicone bags, jars, and glass airtight containers. To keep them fresh I have a house rule that no meat or fish ends up in the bags.

  3. Straws. I detest straws. They are the bane of a clean ocean and kill so many animals per year. If I end up without a straw somewhere I just go without. I keep reusable silicone straws in the car, but my partner has been driving more and I don't have them on me 24/7 as I do switch bags. You can keep travel straws, but I generally do without. For takeout that arrives with a straw, instead of tossing them I have a jar below the sink where I will keep them until I no longer exist or can create an amusement park for ants (whichever comes first.

  4. Saran Wrap. You can do without it. Try a fun project with your kids making a bees wrap or a vegan version with soy wax. I have not attempted it, but maybe it will be a nice bonding activity? If not, you can purchase it online.

  5. Disposable Napkins. If you are reading this I am assuming you sew. Sewing napkins is a phenomenal scrap buster and, it is a good project to help get you out of your sewing lull. Ignite your passion for the planet with napkins!

  6. Dryer Balls. Use these instead of those disposable sheets. To have fresh clothes you can add a few drops of peppermint oil.

  7. Face Rounds. Swap the disposable kind for reusable ones or make them yourself.

Decreasing your waste is easier than ever with all of the resources online. I hope this helps you with your journey on decreasing your disposables. 

Until next week,


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