How to Reduce Plastic Use for a Naturally Toxin Free Home

Plastic seems to be everywhere and unfortunately it’s not going away anytime soon.  No, plastic stays around for the long haul whether we like it or not. Plastic is not only bad for the environment and our earth, but it really is unhealthy for our bodies too. Plastics have been linked to endocrine disruption, which means they disrupt the natural hormone production within our bodies.  Because we want our bodies to be a pillar of health from the inside out, you can see how harmful plastic can be when it starts altering the natural way our bodies function. The good news is that there are many ways to reduce plastic use at home, where we spend a large portion of our time. There are also many companies and natural alternatives to plastic-made products.  I bet you’ll find it easier than you thought to switch over to toxin free products and reduce plastic waste.

KITCHEN

The kitchen is a great place to start when trying to reduce plastic trash and toxic chemicals in the home.  Unfortunately plastic is all over our kitchens, in our cabinets, storing our food and more. The reason plastic food containers can be so harmful is due to the fact that the chemicals within the plastic leach into the food or beverage we’re drinking.  If the food or beverage is warmed, even more toxins leach in. Here are a few places in the kitchen you can switch your plastic out for something healthier:

  • Plastic water bottles: You can opt for a glass or stainless steel water bottle that is just as functional as plastic bottles.  
  • Plastic food containers: Try using glass for food storage. Or if you’re looking for an easy lunchbox container, opt for stainless steel.
  • Kuerig coffee cups: Single use plastics are really unhealthy for both the environment and our bodies.  These reusable k-cups are made of stainless steel and a perfect alternative (plus they save you money!)
  • Plastic Utensils: Always opt for real silverware over plastic utensils.  You may have to do more dishes, but it will be worth it in the end.
  • Plastic kids’ dishes: Ikea has some great dishes and cups that are perfect for little hands.  Try to avoid plastic and melamine if you can as these both contain many toxins and chemicals.
  • Plastic straws: If you MUST have a straw, opt for a reusable option or ditch them all together.

Another area you can reduce the use of plastic in your kitchen is through intentional shopping.  Bring your own reusable cloth shopping bags with you whenever you shop. This will help reduce waste and eliminate the need for plastic bags.  

You can also purchase your own plastic free produce bags when you’re shopping.  This is a great way to eliminate a lot of plastic pollution as these bags are very dangerous to the environment around us.  If you have a store near you that you can buy in bulk at, you’ve got another great resource at your fingertips.

Save money and reduce plastic use at the same time with these stainless steel reusable k-cups on Amazon

BATHROOM

The bathroom is another place that we typically have a lot of plastic. One of the reasons reducing the amount of plastic in the bathroom can be beneficial has to do with our indoor air quality.  Bathrooms typically have a very high humidity level and because of this, toxins and VOCs tend to off gas at a much higher rate. When you start to add up all the personal care products that come in plastic containers, you’ve got quite a bit of plastic in one little spot. Some ways you can reduce the plastic in your bathroom are pretty simple, others may require a bit of a bigger change:

  • Plastic Shower Curtains: Opt for cloth (like this one) or a naturally mildew resistant material like hemp instead. 
  • Reduce the number of personal care products you use to cut down on plastic
  • Opt for natural silicone or other non-plastic bath toys if you can 
  • Try to switch a few products over to homemade items stored in glass bottles (Get this book to get you started)
  • Get bar soap, bar shampoo and bar conditioner to reduce plastic use for personal care products

TOYS

So much easier said than done, really.  Plastic toys are everywhere and no doubt you haven’t even purchased most of them.  Plastic toys, especially those toys that go into mouths are best avoided. Anyway you can reduce the number of plastic toys in your house is a win.  My house still has plenty of plastic, but we try to limit it where we can and donate toys that won’t be missed.

EARTH HERO has many options for toys and kids’ gifts that are eco-friendly and plastic free.  Wooden toys and cloth toys are by far the best options, but there are also some safe silicone products that kids can use as teethers as well. Use Coupon Code amandak10 for a discount.

This wooden doctor set was a HUGE hit over Christmas and I’m happy to say it’s plastic free! 

CLEANING PRODUCTS

Creating a cleaning routine that doesn’t involve plastic is pretty tough, but it can definitely be minimized.  The first step is to reduce the amount of products you use. I switched a lot of my cleaning products to just one glass bottle of Thieves (I use it to disinfect the bathroom, clean the mirrors and clean out sinks and fixtures).  Other ways you can switch out your plastic products:

  • Replace toilet bowl cleaner with vinegar, baking soda and a few drops of tea tree oil or these homemade tabs stored in a glass jar.
  • Use microfiber cleaning cloths and wooden brushes in place of plastic
  • Make your own laundry detergent and store it in a glass container
reduce plastic at home
What are ways to reduce plastic use?

– Plastic water bottles: You can opt for a glass or stainless steel water bottle that is just as functional as plastic bottles.
– Plastic food containers: Try using glass for food storage. Or if you’re looking for an easy lunchbox container, opt for stainless steel.
– Kuerig coffee cups: These single use plastics are really unhealthy for both the environment and our bodies. These reusable k-cups are made of stainless steel and a perfect alternative(plus they save you money!)
-Plastic Utensils: Always opt for real silverware over plastic utensils. You may have to do more dishes, but it will be worth it in the end.
-Plastic kids’ dishes: Ikea has some great dishes and cups that are perfect for little hands. Try to avoid plastic and melamine if you can as these both contain many toxins and chemicals.
-Plastic straws: If you MUST have a straw, opt for a reusable option or ditch them all together.
– Plastic Shower Curtains: Opt for cloth or a naturally mildew resistant material like this hemp shower curtain instead.
– Reduce the number of products you use to cut down on plastic
– Opt for natural silicone or other non-plastic bath toys if you can (Check out EarthHero – couponcode AMANDAK10)
– Try to switch a few products over to homemade items stored in glass bottles (This book is gorgeous and walks you through how to make your own)
– Get bar soap, bar shampoo and bar conditioner to reduce plastic use for personal care products
– Opt for wooden toys (EarthHero has some great, inexpensive options)
– Replace toilet bowl cleaner with vinegar, baking soda and a few drops of tea tree oil or these homemade tabs stored in a glass jar.
– Use microfiber cleaning cloths and wooden brushes in place of plastic
– Make your own laundry detergent and store it in a glass container

This Post Has 27 Comments

  1. We have tried to do a lot more natural toys with our son. I really try to use as much non toxic as I can!

    1. That’s so great! What a great way to enhance your health and environment.

  2. I’m guilty of a lot of this but sometimes it seems so overwhelming. Going to take my next day off and really work to reduce my plastic. Thank you.

    1. Oh, I’m still guilty of lots of this too! I’ve found biting off little pieces at a time has helped me 🙂 Even the smallest step in the right direction can add up to a big change.

  3. This is such a good article. We have been doing the same at our house and I love all of your suggestions. We changed out tupperwear for glass a while back and also for our cleaning supplies to glass with essential oil cleaner instead of plastic. I love wood toys as well. Going to try to work in more non plastic in our lives.

    1. That’s so great, Renee. It’s been easier than I thought to reduce plastic at home — good for you for committing to the change. 🙂

  4. This is so useful! We’re trying to cut down on our plastic usage at the moment… I’m definitely going to start using bar shampoo and conditioner – I hadn’t even thought of doing that!

    1. Bar soap was definitely an “aha” moment for me too! So great that you’re doing this in your home too!

  5. We have eliminated almost all plastic in the kitchen, and I am working on the bathrooms next! It’s not always easy, though, and I find that some items are unavoidable because I don’t have access to a bulk grocery store here.

    1. You guys have accomplished a lot already! I agree with you on some things just not being feasible to avoid. But in my opinion, as long as you make changes were you can, it counts as enough.

  6. I really need to work on nit having plastic in our house. I do however use all natural homemade cleaners in stainless steel spray bottles, so at least I got that down. Great article. I’m going to save this. The next thing I’ve been meaning to do is get reusable grocery bags. I have too many plastic bags in my house. I use them for bathroom trash bags though, but I’d like to eliminate them altogether.

    1. I’m in the same boat, Jessie. I reuse the plastic that I do have, but I would really like to eliminate all of it.

  7. I try to reuse as much plastic as I can. I use plastic bags again and again for various tasks like carrying lunch. And I use plastic bottles for a long time.

  8. Oh wow! I could definitely switch a couple of the things I own to make my home more plastic free. Will keep this in mind when it’s time to switch them out after they’ve done their duty and it’s time to replace (I.e. tupperwares, shower curtains and soap) thank you! 🙏🏻

    1. I have a running list of things to swap out too! 🙂

  9. These tips are awesome! we don’t use a lot of plastic around here, but I have to make an effort in the hygiene products, shampoo, soaps, etc,

    1. That’s a tough one for me too, Nati! I have had a tough time replacing shampoo and conditioner with plastic free for sure.

  10. Reducing waste especially plastic is super important to us as a family. I am always trying to make effort to reduce our waste xx

    1. Us too, Melanie! It’s so great when the family can get involved too.

  11. I’ve def made some big changes this year. I don’t use plastic straws anymore (if I can avoid it), we bought all new glass Tupperware instead of plastic as well! A little change always helps!

    1. You’re so right, Tonya – every little change helps! Good for you!

  12. These are such great suggestions! Moving towards more sustainability is such an important step we all must take.

  13. These are great ideas. I’m definitely bookmarking. I’d love to make my home more plastic free!

    1. Thanks, Jenn! Glad it was helpful!

  14. I am currently working on getting my kitchen plastic free. Specifically struggling with baggies but I think I’ve found a solution and I am working towards switching over to it as I use things up. It’s hard but such a good idea.

    1. YES – snack bags have been such a problem for me too. I’ve struggled with a good replacement. Glad you found something that works! 🙂

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