Plastic Dupes: Why and How We’re Working on Dumping Plastic for Good

By: Malak Atwa

Plastic. My number one enemy. The thing I hate the most. This year I vowed to myself to try to reduce my carbon footprint on this lovely planet and by doing so that means that I need to reduce my plastic usage – among other things obviously. Reducing your plastic usage is definitely a hard task, especially if you’re just a teenager. You don’t buy your own utensils or some of the basic necessities. You don’t do the grocery shopping and – most likely – you have working parents that just want to purchase an easily accessible and affordable items to go back home and rest for another very long day ahead of them. But, here are some environmentally friendly dupes that I found works best.

Most hygiene products do come in plastic containers or plastic packaging which is very unfortunate, but you can find some products that don’t have as much plastic packaging or products that have reusable containers. Reducing your carbon footprint is about eliminating plastic usage completely, but unfortunately most products are manufactured with the help of plastic, so the best you could do is find products that have very little plastic packaging or containers or wrappers. You can use glass bottled deodorants or organic deodorants. They are on the more expensive side of things, but it’s worth it if it means that our children will live long enough to have children of their own. Now, for toothbrushes a good dupe that you can use is biodegradable bamboo toothbrush. They can last a very long time, but it’s recommended to be changed every 3 months. The bristles are made of castor oil bean, and the handle is 100% made out of bamboo. The packaging of the toothbrush is compostable so it most likely can be recycled. For shampoos and conditioners, there are shampoo bars and conditioner bars. They are very simple, just like a soap bar except for your hair. They are organic, they come in reusable containers that you can send back and purchase more of their products.

If you’re bored on a friday night and your parents are going grocery shopping, go with them! Preferably go to Gourmet market. I found that even though Gourmet market is rather expensive than other grocery stores, it does have some biodegradable packaging, or compostable plastic packaging that can be recycled. Most of Gourmets products are imported from the US, which is why they are more expensive than your local supermarket, but not only is it healthier, it’s also better for the environment. This goes without saying but, bring your own bags. When shopping bring your own reusable cloth bags, and if you don’t have one you can just buy one or use a bag you already own, a backpack even. You can also find them – reusable cloth bags –  in Seoudi supermarket.

If you want to be “trendy” or if you are, then you probably know about this. Ditch the starbucks straws – or just straws in general. However, just because you can’t use plastic straws doesn’t mean that you can’t use straws period. You can very easily purchase reusable straws online for an affordable price with a case and a straw cleaner to easily clean it. Another thing that you can purchase is a metal water bottle. It’s reusable, it keeps your water cold, its affordable, easy to clean and take with you anywhere and everywhere. It’s a great way to ditch the plastic water bottles. 

Even though cutting plastic out completely is almost impossible, there are little things here and there that you can do to reduce your plastic usage. And step by step you might eliminate plastic from your life completely. It’s the little things that’ll make a huge difference.

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