35 Things You Should Not Buy Anymore in Sustainable Living

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In a world where climate change is more than just a buzzword, adopting a sustainable lifestyle is no longer a choice—it’s a responsibility. If you’re ready to ditch the old habits and make a positive impact, here’s a list of 35 things you should not buy anymore in sustainable living.

Plastic spoons and forks.
Plastic spoons and forks. Photo credit: Depositphotos.

1. Plastic Water Bottles

The ocean is drowning in plastic, and it’s high time we break up with disposable water bottles. Invest in a reusable bottle and stay hydrated without contributing to plastic pollution.

2. Single-Use Coffee Cups

Your caffeine fix doesn’t have to cost the Earth. Switch to a reusable coffee cup, and you’ll not only save money in the long run but also reduce the waste generated by disposable cups.

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3. Plastic Straws

Sipping a drink through a plastic straw might feel fun, but it’s disastrous for marine life. Opt for metal, bamboo, or paper straws, and enjoy your beverages guilt-free.

4. Disposable Cutlery

Say no to plastic forks and spoons. Carry a set of reusable cutlery in your bag, and you’ll never have to rely on single-use plastics again.

5. Fast Fashion

The fashion industry is one of the biggest contributors to pollution. Embrace slow fashion, invest in quality pieces, and reduce your carbon footprint.

6. Single-Use Razors

Switch to a safety razor with replaceable blades. Not only will you save money in the long run, but you’ll also reduce the environmental impact of disposable razors.

7. Paper Towels

Instead of reaching for paper towels every time there’s a spill, invest in reusable cloth towels. They’re not only more suitable to living sustainably but also more cost-effective.

8. Disposable Diapers

Consider cloth diapers for your little ones. They might require a bit more effort, but the environmental benefits are worth it.

9. Excessive Packaging

Opt for products with minimal packaging, or choose items with eco-friendly and sustainable packaging materials. Say no to excess plastic and reduce your waste.

10. Fast Food Packaging

Those convenient fast-food containers and wrappers? They’re a nightmare for the environment. Choose to dine in or bring your own reusable containers for takeout.

A collection of batteries in various colors.
A collection of batteries in various colors. Photo credit: Depositphotos.

11. Single-Use Batteries

Invest in rechargeable batteries. They may cost a bit more upfront, but they’ll save you money in the long run and reduce the number of batteries in landfills.

12. Disposable Cameras

In the age of smartphones, disposable cameras are unnecessary and contribute to electronic waste. Use your phone for photos and reduce your environmental impact.

13. Plastic Wrap

Beeswax wraps are a fantastic alternative to plastic wraps. They are reusable and biodegradable, making them an excellent choice for eco-conscious consumers.

14. Disposable Lighters

Switch to a refillable lighter or invest in matches. Disposable lighters contribute to plastic pollution, and there are greener alternatives available.

15. Air Fresheners

Many commercial air fresheners contain harmful chemicals. Opt for natural alternatives like essential oils, potpourri, or open windows to let in fresh air.

16. Single-Use Wet Wipes

Those convenient wipes are often made of non-biodegradable materials. Choose reusable alternatives or, if necessary, look for biodegradable options.

17. Plastic Toothbrushes

Swap your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo one. Bamboo is a renewable resource, and the handle can be composted, reducing your plastic waste.

18. Disposable Plates and Utensils

Ditch the disposable plates and utensils at your next gathering. Opt for reusable options, and if that’s not possible, choose compostable alternatives.

19. Non-Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products

Many household cleaners contain harsh chemicals that harm the environment. Look for eco-friendly alternatives or make your own cleaning solutions using simple ingredients like vinegar and baking soda.

20. Single-Use K-Cups

Those convenient coffee pods are a major environmental culprit. Switch to a reusable coffee filter or look for compostable coffee pods.

21. Plastic Packaging for Produce

Bring your own reusable produce bags to the grocery store and say goodbye to plastic packaging. It’s a small, positive change that makes a big difference.

A tissue box on a table.
A tissue box on a table. Photo credit: Depositphotos.

22. Single-Use Tissues

Invest in a few handkerchiefs or use cloth napkins. You’ll save money and reduce your reliance on single-use tissues.

23. Disposable Contact Lenses

Opt for reusable contact lenses or consider laser eye surgery. Disposable lenses contribute to plastic waste, and there are more sustainable alternatives available.

24. Paper Plates

While they may be convenient, paper plates contribute to deforestation. Opt for reusable plates made from materials like bamboo or stainless steel.

25. Bottled Shampoo and Conditioner

Switch to shampoo and conditioner bars. They’re compact, long-lasting, and eliminate the need for plastic bottles.

26. Disposable Shopping Bags

Bring your own reusable bags when you go shopping. It’s a simple change that significantly reduces your plastic usage.

27. Magazines

In the digital age, there’s no need to clutter your space with paper magazines. Switch to online subscriptions and reduce your paper consumption.

28. Disposable Gloves

Instead of single-use plastic gloves, invest in a pair of durable, reusable gloves for household tasks. You’ll save money and reduce your environmental impact.

29. Non-Rechargeable Electronics

Whenever possible, choose rechargeable electronic devices. It’s a small change that contributes to a significant reduction in electronic waste.

30. Plastic Hangers

Switch to wooden or metal hangers. Plastic hangers are not only bad for the environment but can also be harmful to your clothes.

31. Disposable Cleaning Wipes

Replace disposable cleaning wipes with washable and reusable alternatives. You’ll save money and cut down on unnecessary waste.

A set of orange plastic containers with food in them.
A set of orange plastic containers with food in them. Photo credit: Depositphotos.

32. Plastic Containers

Choose glass or stainless steel containers for your food storage needs. They are more durable and don’t leach harmful chemicals into your food.

33. Disposable Ponchos

If you’re caught in the rain, invest in a reusable rain jacket or carry an umbrella instead of contributing to the pile of disposable ponchos in landfills.

34. Plastic Freezer Bags

Opt for silicone or reusable fabric bags for freezing food. They are just as effective and eliminate the need for disposable plastic bags.

35. Single-Serve Snack Packs

Instead of individually wrapped snacks, buy them in bulk and portion them out into reusable containers. It reduces packaging waste and saves you money in the long run.

Final Words

Making these small but impactful changes in your lifestyle can contribute to a healthier planet. Remember, it’s not about being perfect but making conscious choices every day. So, here’s to a sustainable future—one eco-friendly decision at a time!

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Smart Sustainability: Things to Avoid Buying for Earth's Sake.
Smart Sustainability: Things to Avoid Buying for Earth’s Sake.

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About the author
Zuzana Paar
Zuzana is the creative force driving this sustainable living journey and share practical tips and experiences that make sustainable choices accessible for everyone. Join her in embracing a lifestyle that's good for both us and the planet.

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