For years we have heard Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. However, with America in the midst of a recycling epidemic there is a new word more important than the rest and that’s REFUSE. Refusing single-use plastic or Styrofoam is the easiest way to cut down on waste. Reusable products such as water bottles, bags, cutlery, straws and so many others help reduce single-use plastic waste. Investing in a few key products can make a big impact on our environment.
Here are the top 10 promotional products for zero waste living:
- Reusable water bottles: Globally, people use one million plastic bottles per minute and most aren’t recycled. Switching to a reusable water bottle is one of the most important things you can do to cut down on waste. It will save you money by not buying single use drinks.
- Reusable shopping bags: Many stores like Target and Whole Foods offer discounts when you bring your own bag. Aldi doesn’t even provide customers bags free of charge. The average American goes through six shopping bags per week. With a population of roughly 300 million, that means 1.8 billion bags are used and discarded in America every week. Keep reusable bags in your car, in your purse, your desk drawer, your backpack and it will be easy to refuse plastic bags.
- Reusable produce bags: While many eco-minded grocery shoppers bring their own bags, they still use produce bags. Choose reusable produce bags that can be machine washed or forgo one altogether. You’re going to be washing the produce before you eat it anyway, correct?
- Reusable straws: Single-use straws are one of the easiest items to REFUSE. Most people can drink without using a straw. But, if you prefer to use a straw, invest in reusable stainless steel or silicone straws. They are small enough to be easily portable and are low-cost. You’ll be able to invest in multiples to keep in your car, at your desk or in a purse or backpack.
- Reusable utensils: Like reusable straws, reusable utensils are easily portable. Workplaces can reduce single-use utensil waste by investing in reusable utensils for the kitchen, the break room or giving employees their own reusable cutlery sets to keep at their desks.
- Reusable sandwich/snack bags: Think about how much waste can be reduced by replacing single use plastic bags/parchment paper/aluminum foil with a reusable sandwich bag. This reusable sandwich bag keeps your sandwich, chips, grapes, etc. together until lunchtime and it is machine washable.
- Reusable lunch bag: Packing your lunch every day using a reusable container not only cuts down on waste, it also helps people save money and eat healthier.
- Travel tumblers: Like the stores that give you a discount for bringing your own bag, Starbucks offers customers a $0.10 discount for bringing their own cup, whether it’s an insulated travel tumbler for hot beverages or a mason jar for cold brew. Single-use coffee cups are difficult to recycle, if they can be recycled at all in local recycling programs.
- Reusable food containers for bulk shopping or leftovers: Food-coops and bulk food stores will encourage customers to bring their own containers for bulk food shopping. If you frequently bring home leftovers when dining out, bring your own container instead of using the restaurant’s take home containers.
- Reusable storage wrap: You’ll never have to use plastic wrap again with a silicone storage cover or Bee's Wrap®. It’s the natural alternative to plastic wrap for food storage. Bee's Wraps are reusable, biodegradable and compostable. At the end of your wrap’s useful life in the kitchen, cut the wrap into strips to add to your compost heap.