Nowadays, waiters basically hit me over the head with a plastic straw when I don't want one. When I'm weak and take one, all I can see is that Facebook video of a sea turtle getting one of these bad boys pulled out of his nose, and there’s blood, and it’s just so sad. It's like I'm killing Shamu with every sip. . . I'm not interested in carrying around a stainless steel straw (no offense to those of you who do), but I am totally interested in saving Shamu (RIP.)
Honestly, I like the earth, and all those videos of surfers wading through trash on exotic beaches you see on Instagram make me sad. The thing is, I just don’t have the time and energy to live the @bezerowastegirl lifestyle. If you show me two items, one of them is made sustainably, and it costs less than 20% more than the alternative that either (a) pollutes the ocean or (b) causes a tree to be cut down, I’m definitely going to choose the sustainable option. For real, I bought a whole bunch of paperless paper towels and napkins from Grove Collaborative after seeing their Instagram ad where a tree fell down. Did you know that for toilet paper and paper towels in the U.S. alone, 94,000 trees are knocked out every day? (talk about a load of crap). That advertisement rocked me to the core. I have the receipt and also a reusable spray bottle made of glass to prove it.
I guess what I’m trying to say here is, it would be good if there was always an easy, good-for-the-earth alternative when I’m about to make a purchase. While I feel great about wiping my nose with tissues made from sugarcane and bamboo, I also feel a little bit pretentious. Like I should be sipping mimosas afterwards and offering lemonade to the pool boy. Sometimes it’s hard to make the right choice for the environment when you need to look fabulous, you’re on a budget, and you don’t have time to scour the interwebs for eco-friendly weekend wear. So, here are a few sustainable alternatives that I’ve found in the course of my very normal, happy about bendy straws from Chick-Fil-A, daily life that seem worth sharing.
- Grove Collaborative is a super cool marketplace where you can find sustainable and/or natural alternatives for daily needs like paper products (save the trees! 😃) and cleaning supplies (if you’re one of those people who actually clean on a regular basis. More power to you!)
BONUS: The Seedling project is the whole sustainable paper product thing. I have used the paper towels and the napkins, and I can’t actually tell the difference between them and normal paper products. They work really well, and I highly recommend them!
- Yuhme is an awesome brand who make water bottles out of sugarcane (say no to plastic) with a NEGATIVE CO2 footprint. For every Yuhme water bottle sold, they give 6 months of clean water to someone in the Central African Republic, and they are like, really cute, too. On top of all that, drinking out of a Yuhme water bottle is way better than a plastic one from the store because (1) it holds more water and (2) the water doesn’t get that gross weird taste from sitting in plastic for so long.
- Rothy’s. I’m sure you’ve heard of these bad boys because Megan Markle was spotted wearing them on her tour of Australia with Harry. So jealous of Megan for her literal Princess Diaries life and also the fact that she has these shoes. Rothy’s knit uppers are made from 100% post-consumer plastic water bottles. The foam in the insole is made from recycled shoes, and among other sustainable aspects of their royal-worthy shoes, the box they ship in is made from 85% post-consumer recycled materials. Praise, guys! 🙌 Cute shoes with a lot of TLC for the earth.
- Fresh Scents Sachets. As you can probably tell by now, I’m a normal person with granola aspirations. So, I’ve got to have my favorite fragrances on the daily. Thankfully, with a sachet, I can get ONE and it lasts usually over 4 months (reuse much?!) They consist of fragranced vermiculite, which is like fancy dirt people who own actual homes use for gardening, and they use recycled paper for the envelope! Sometimes I’ll get a sachet instead of a candle since it comes with a lot less packaging and it’s biodegradable if I put it in my compost pile.
- Reusable grocery bags are life. Well, when I remember to take them to the store they are. Trader Joes has some really sturdy, insulated ones that I use every week, and the even better part of reducing plastic by taking reusable grocery bags to the store is that sometimes you get a discount for using the reusable bags! Last week at Bi-Lo, they took off 12 cents for every reusable bag I brought. 🤑 I figure this is one of the ways that I can make a big difference because sometimes those people put like 2 items in a plastic bag at a time, and that adds up really quickly.
If you have any sustainable alternatives that you love, PLEASE send them my way! I would love to hear about how you save Shamu (RIP) and that other sea turtle we talked about too.
P.S. In April, we celebrate Earth Day, but we can totally think about making every day earth day again. Or at least, we can try not to be plastic hoarders. You know what, no, let’s just be like Mindy.