Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!

25 Wasteful Things You Can Live Without

By Planet Green

We produce a lot of waste. In 2008 alone, Americans generated 250 million tons of trash, and though about a third of that was recycled, a lot went into landfills or was incinerated. Our culture is centered around disposability, and only we have the power to change that.

Take stock of the disposable, overly-packaged, and single-use products that you use, and then look for reusable alternatives. Not sure where to start? Here are more than two dozen items that many people use . . . and can easily live without.

25 Wasteful Things You Can Live Without:

  1. Tin foil — Use an oven-safe pot or dish with a lid.
  2. Plastic wrap — Instead, use a container with a lid.
  3. Disposable cleaning cloths, dusters, etc. — Use a microfiber cloth that can be washed.
  4. Paper towels — Use a tea towel, instead.
  5. Disposable pens — Buy a good pen that only needs the ink well changed.
  6. Plastic cutlery — Use the metal stuff.
  7. Paper plates — Washing dishes may be an effort, but it’s worth it.
  8. Paper or plastic single-use grocery bags — Get a few reusable bags.
  9. Packaged fruits and vegetables — Produce does not need to be packaged.
  10.  Individually wrapped snacks — Snacks travel better anyway in a hard container.
  11.  Disposable razors — Invest in a razor that only needs the blades changed.
  12.  Juice boxes — Put juice in a reusable container (not plastic).
  13.  Electric pencil sharpeners — Use the hand-crank version of days gone by.
  14.  Disposable diapers — Cloth diapers aren’t that much more difficult to use.
  15.  Disposable cloths — Fabric cloths can be washed regularly to avoid bacterial or viral build-up.
  16.  Plastic cups — Stick to reusable cups.
  17.  Bottled water — Install a water filter on your tap or pick up a water jug with a filter.
  18.  Non-rechargeable batteries — Make the investment for rechargeable batteries and you’ll save   money in the long run.
  19.  Electric can openers — Use a little muscle.
  20.  Single-serving pudding or yogurt cups — Buy a large container of yogurt or make your own pudding, and send it in a reusable container.
  21.  Antibacterial wipes — If you must, use a gel hand sanitizer.
  22.  Disposable table cloths — Spills are a reality of life; just clean them up as they happen.
  23.  Facial tissues — Unless you have a bad cold, a handkerchief will work just fine.
  24.  Paper billing — Switch to e-billing for your bank statement, credit card bill, utility bill, etc.
  25.  Plasticized sticky notes — Use the original paper sticky notes; they can be recycled when you’re done with them.

Planet Green is the multi-platform media destination devoted to the environment and dedicated to helping people understand how humans impact the planet and how to live a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle. Its two robust websites, and, offer original, inspiring, and entertaining content related to how we can evolve to live a better, brighter future. Planet Green is a division of Discovery Communications.


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