Plastic Free Living: Simple Swaps for an Environmentally Friendly Home


Environmentally Friendly Plastic Free Swaps Ashley Rodrigues

Over the last few years, our family has been trying to create a more environmentally friendly home. I am obsessed with following the zero waste, plastic free account on Insta. I still fantasize about beautifully stacked glass jars of dried goods in my pantry. But alas, we are a family of 5, with infant twins. I failed miserably at cloth diapering with my first and didn’t even dare attempt with twins. We are imperfect, but we are making steps towards our goal of becoming a plastic free house. I try to remind myself that every single swap I make away from plastic makes a big difference in the environment.

Today, I am sharing some of the simplest swaps you can make in your home to use less plastic. The best part, most of these swaps will save you money!

Bar Shampoo and Face Wash

Disclaimer: I use fancy shampoo and it comes in plastic bottles. I would love for this to change but guess who does not care about their shampoo? My husband and kids. I started buying the Badger Shampoo/Conditioner Bar for them. Badger always does an incredible job of using natural ingredients and one bar will last months. Instead of having kid’s shampoo/ conditioner and men’s shampoo/conditioner in plastic bottles, we now have one bar of shampoo! Facial Cleanser was also another cosmetic that I admit I am a bit picky about until I met Osmia Organics. They hand make facial cleansing soap bars that will change your skin!  The price is a steal considering it lasts twice as long as a typical liquid cleanser in plastic bottles. 

No more Ziplock Sandwich Bags

I use a combo of things to get rid of the dreaded ziplock bag. Ziplocks are a single use plastic that most families are completely dependent on. It takes a few different swaps to meet all the uses of the good ol’ ziplock bag. I found these great sandwich size paper bags and even lunch size paper bags. These don’t have the ability to close, so it I need something for lunch to be sealed I started using Bento Box style storage .

Plastic Free Grocery Packaging

We often get so used to having our favorite brand of grocery items, sometimes we forget to look around. Items like cream cheese, butter, milk, and orange juice all have plastic options and cardboard storage options. Honestly, my biggest complaint is that it is hard to reseal in the convenience of plastic tubs. Once you open a stick of butter, a cardboard package of cream cheese, how do you reseal it? Problem solved! We have Pyrex containers at home designed for this reason that live in our fridge. Next time you go to the market, look at other options. You may be surprised that there is a cardboard or plastic free packaging option right next to your staple purchase. You just have to rewire your brain to look!

Environmentally Friendly Toothbrushes

This one is pretty straight forward. There are tons of options on the market for wooden or bamboo tooth brushes. I even found a package at Target the other day! If cost is an issue, try buying in bulk. I must confess, we still end up with the plastic toothbrushes lying around that we will end up using. I also have yet to get my 4 year old daughter to buy into the plastic free toothbrush. Perhaps if they print Elsa on it somehow?  

Environmentally Friendly Plastic Free Swaps Ashley Rodrigues

Plastic Free Produce Packaging

Let’s talk about the plastic produce bags that they keep in the produce section. Confession, I just don’t use them anymore. I don’t use anything, just throw that apple in my cart. I wash all my produce when I get home anyways, so I don’t sweat a few extra germs in the meantime. If you are totally grossed out by this concept, that’s okay. I respect that. Try reusable produce bags.

Some packaging is just completely not needed at all. I am a midwestern girl at heart, so nothing boils my blood like seeing corn in plastic/styrofoam packing when it is literally is grown in its own natural packaging. Walk into a grocer in the midwest and you will just find ears of corn piled high in all their un-shucked glory. Just throw that corn husk in your cart! 

Step by step we are making changes in our house. Someday I hope to be able to shop in bulk with my glass jars and live my plastic free utopia. Until then, I will make changes slowly and learn from other moms doing the same. I hope these tips and easy swaps help you on your journey to plastic free living.

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Ashley Rodrigues
Ashley Rodrigues is passionate about mental health, holistic wellness, and other mamas! Ashley is a licensed mental health counseling intern in the state of Florida as well as a registered yoga instructor. She provides counseling and psychotherapy to moms in south Florida, specializing in women’s issues, perinatal, postpartum, and anxiety. She also provides trauma informed yoga instruction. Ashley is wife to a Brazilian soccer coach and mom to a strong spirited, tutu loving, toddler girl. She is a recent transplant to Miami from Kansas City, and still finds every excuse to get to the beach. Ashley loves gardening, live music, food, and coffee. She is active on social media and hopes to provide moms practical tools to improve their mental health and wellness. Follow Ashley on instagram @AshleyRodriguesWellness


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