13 5 Disposable Products You Can Easily Replace

There are many items that we use every single day that when we are done with them have no where to go but into the garbage. A lot of times we just think that this is the way it is, that there is no better way. Here are 5 common products or issues that products are used for that people typically by disposable products for. Products that do end up in the landfill. The good news is that there are many options for swapping your disposable item for one that can be recycled or even better one that is reusable.

1. Loaf of Bread

Replace the traditional plastic bag of bread with a loaf in a brown bag that you can recycle. Look for brown bags that do not have the plastic window on the front. If you want to take it to the next step then bring a reusable bread bag to the store with you or start making your own bread at home that you can store in a reusable fabric bag or a bread box. 

2. Ear Wax


Ditch the plastic Q-Tips that get thrown in the trash and opt for either the wooden version that be composted or use a washcloth and warm water when you are in the shower each morning.

3. Sandwiches

Don't buy into the myth that you need to wrap your sandwich for it to stay fresh. While you could switch from non-recyclable plastic wrap to aluminum foil for your sandwiches, why not just go straight to a fabric sandwich bag. Once you buy one you will never use plastic wrap for food every again. 

4. Fabric Softener

Dryer sheets are full of toxic chemicals that get left on your clothes after each use. Stop using them and start using vinegar or wool dryer balls for fabric softener. A common question is if your clothes will smell like vinegar if you use it. Don't worry, they won't!

5. Toothbrush

50 million pounds of toothbrushes are thrown into landfills each year in the USA. Help to reduce that number by buying a recyclable toothbrush or a recyclable toothbrush with a replaceable head.  Or you know you could try the old baking soda on the finger trick if you are really hard core!

What products have you switched from disposable to either recyclable or reusable? What products do you still need to work on?

Related Posts - Check them Out
A Simple Way to Reduce Dependency on Plastic Wrap
Minimizing Food Waste
Conducting a Home Waste Audit

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  1. Every Earth Day Glass Dharma http://glassdharma.com/ has a give away I got a glass straw from them!

  2. At whole foods I could bring my own food for bread, and it was great. Now my options are a plastic bag at the health food store or I order it through my weekly basket and it is in a paper bag. There are no bakeries that sells any organic bread, so I choose paper and reuse the bag for other things.

    U love my wool dryer balls. Love! :)

  3. Love the "old use your finger trick" with baking soda. I happen to love old toothbrushes. They are my go to in cleaning.

  4. I have a stock of toothbrushes that I use in cleaning too! They are great on tile grout.

  5. Love the graphics/ flow charts. I am constantly trying to shift from disposables (esp. single-use disposables) to reusables. My kids' doctor tells us we shouldn't be using Q-tips anyway to clean ears, but I so like to.

  6. Have you seen the little gun like thing you can put into your ear that melts the wax and then sucks it out. I really hope people don't buy that because 1. It is all plastic. 2. It doesn't look safe and 3. No way is it lasting past more than a few uses.

  7. Love the fabric bags for sandwiches, last year I gave them out as the party favors for my daughters birthday party (it had an ocean theme so I thought it was really perfect... even though most parents probably did not get it!)

    1. I give them out as Christmas and birthday presents all the time ;)

  8. Wow this is a great little series of suggestions. I'm not sure about the washcloth achieving the same as the q tips, as I mainly use q tips to dry my ears after a shower! I'm lucky to have found them in bamboo - but I need to use up my 'bad' plastic ones from my stockpile.

  9. I find that if you use a wash cloth each day then the wax doesn't seem to build up deeper inside the ear canal. But obviously everyone is different and it may not work for some.

  10. Happy to try it - I've started using a towel to dry them more thoroughly, in place of the q tips...

  11. These are great tips. I'm curious how to use the vinegar as fabric softener. Do you put it into the washing machine? I also use plastic balls in the dryer which help it dry faster, but I had never heard of the wool ones.

  12. @May - just add the vinegar in the washing machine in the fabric softener section.

    Wool dryer balls are awesome because they are non-toxic!