Friday Favorites – Sustainable Swaps for Plastic Free July and Beyond

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In “Friday Favorites,” our team shares a handful of favorite items. These can range from clothes to beauty products to recipes to books and anything in between.

Our sustainable living journey began four years ago when I got up and personal with our trash. 

I kept taking out so much trash. Every single day. The garbage bin overflowed at the end of the week. It was unsightly. 

As I became more aware of our amount of trash, I decided to do a trash audit. I took note of our family’s consumption and each piece of waste. I quickly realized patterns of single plastic consumption and decided to take action towards more conscious consuming.

Our family practices imperfect sustainable living, and we have a far way to go to calling ourselves zero waste. Here are a few of my favorite sustainable living swaps that will help you ditch the plastic during Plastic Free July!

Compostable Sponges

I started using these a year ago and will never go back to traditional sponges. These sponges are made of vegetable plant-based material, wrapped in brown paper packaging, and are fully compostable when worn out! 

Mesh Fruit and Produce Bags 

These were my first sustainable swap, along with reusable grocery bags. These are a fantastic alternative for single use plastics while grocery shopping. I use these for all sorts of produce and fruits, storing straight in the fridge until time to wash!

Beeswax Wraps 

Beeswax wraps are very versatile! I use our wraps to store cheeses I pick up at the local markets, leftover baked goods, or to use as a lid over bowls. Wash with cold water after use and an alcohol free soap, hang to dry! I no longer need single use plastic wrap for food storage thanks to beeswax wraps. I recently found these cute beeswax patterns by Hive and Honey Farm.

Reusable Kitchen Towels 

I never imagined replacing paper towels in our kitchen, especially having a dog and two toddlers in our home. I stumbled upon Cozy Simple Living on Etsy and found the shop’s paperless “paper towels”. Seven months later, I haven’t bought paper towels since purchasing. These towels are absorbable and machine washable, easy to throw into the laundry and hang to air dry for the next day’s mess that awaits. 

Who Gives a Crap Toilet Paper 

This is my most recent swap, and I am living for the Premium 100% Bamboo Toilet Paper. This toilet paper is as soft and strong as advertised! I purchase 48 rolls at a time, averaging a dollar per roll. I love that the toilet paper is packaged in plastic free wrapping and most importantly, serves an impact upon purchase! 50% of profits go to WaterAid, an organization that builds toilets and improves sanitation in the developing world.

Waste-Free Kitchen Handbook by Dana Gunders 

The Waste-Free Kitchen Handbook: A Guide to Eating Well and Saving Money By Wasting Less Food by Dana Gunders is the holy grail of cooking resources! This handbook teaches the consumer tools to change consumption habits that lead to waste. These tricks include proper storing, freezing, pickling, and cellaring techniques based on each specific food item. Consider checking out this handbook from your local library or buy it used for your kitchen. 

If you have an interest in learning more about sustainable living, these are my favorite accounts to follow on Instagram!

o Plastic Free July

o Going Zero Waste 

o Junk Yard Journals 

Buy Nothing Project 

o The Fairly Local Family