Getting rid of disposable plastic doesn't have to cost a lot of money, or take a lot of time. Here are five easy (and cheap) ways to ditch disposable plastic.
1. Ditch paper towels
Switching from paper towels to reusable dish cloths in the kitchen is a great way to reduce waste and save money. Dish cloths clean better and last way longer. Just throw them in the laundry when they're dirty, and you're good to go.
DIY: Cut up old towels into squares
BUY: Pack of 6 dish cloths - $3.99
2. Clean with vinegar and baking soda
Don't believe the marketing hype-you don't need a different cleaner for every surface of your home. Vinegar and baking soda work wonders for household cleaning. I keep a spray bottle of vinegar (half vinegar/half water) that I use to clean pretty much everything in our house. Baking soda works great for surfaces that need a scrub--the toilet, stovetop, etc.
3. Swap out your shampoo and conditioner for a solid shampoo bar
Like cleaning products, we are constantly told how many different personal care products we need. Ditch the plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles for a solid shampoo bar. Reducing the amount of products you use is a big money saver.
BUY: Shampoo bar by Aquarian Bath - $7.50
4. Say no to produce bags
Let your produce go naked. You don't need tiny plastic bags for your fruits and veggies at the grocery store. They will be fine in your cart, I promise.
5. Use mason jars to store and freeze food
You don't need plastic freezer bags to keep food fresh in the freezer. Wide-mouth glass jars work just as well, if not better. If you are freezing loose items (e.x., whole strawberries), freeze on a cookie sheet for a couple of hours first, and then pour into a jar. If you are freezing liquid, leave a little bit of space at the top of the jar to allow the liquid to expand. No more buying plastic baggies!
DIY: Save wide mouth jars from food items (tomato sauce, raw honey, etc.) to use in the freezer
BUY: 12 wide-mouth pint jars - $10.99
Most of these things you can DIY or find locally (except maybe the shampoo bars)--I added links for price info.