Plastic is the enemy. There, we said it.
Really, we should all know that by now. But how the heck do we avoid the stuff? And what can we use instead? We’re talking, beyond the obvious, like saying no to the darn straw already.
Well, we’ve thought long and hard about the hidden ways plastic creeps into our lives and are offering some ninja tips and tricks to kick it to the curb. Well, not literally. (TerraCycle that sh*t!)
But, for real, we know that many of us are thinking more deeply than ever about our impact, on our shared home and on one another, but the goal is to be able to say “everyone” rather than just “many.”
We don’t know what the world is going to look like when we come out on the other side of this, but we have a chance to make it better.
The simplest, most direct impact we can have on the health of our future, right now, is to change our daily habits. Consider the weight of the plastic waste you’re leaving in your wake, every single day, and make small, sustainable changes to reduce that.
We’ve jam-packed our 2022 Planet Over Plastic Challenge with as many actually helpful, practical tips as possible, with shout outs for some of our fave eco companies doing it right—not because they paid us, or even know we mentioned ’em here, but because we genuinely love what they’re doing to help rescue this precious planet of ours from drowning in plastic.
Take one tip a day to stay inspired, informed, and empowered. Share the challenge with your friends, family, colleagues. Start a Planet Over Plastic group to keep each other pumped and accountable.
Even if you only manage to change 1 of these 30 things, you’ll have made a difference.
Planet Over Plastic 2022: Hot Tips for Cool & Easy Eco-Friendly Livin’.
Friday, April 1
1. Repurpose your Mascara Wands—(it saves wildlife).
Time for a new mascara? Don't just toss your old one! The Appalachian Wildlife Refuge, a North Carolina-based nonprofit organization that helps treat injured and orphaned wildlife, uses the soft, compact bristles to gently remove fly eggs, dirt, fleas, ticks, and larvae from the fur of animals and the wings of birds. (Check the link below to find out where/how to donate.)
Donate & help furry friends
Saturday, April 2
2. Composting is Cool. Food Waste is Not.
Simplify the way you deal with waste, while giving back to the earth. With composting systems (like Lomi), you'll be able to turn your waste into nutrient-rich dirt. No more smelly, leaky garbage, or throwing food scraps away to rot in landfills.
Get yours & give back to the Earth.
Sunday, April 3
3. Chill out, Chew Gum & Plant Trees.
Endoca is entirely plastic-free—once disposed of, this 100% biodegradable gum will simply break down and dissolve. The company has also vowed to plant more chicle trees for every pack of gum they make. A win-win for everyone!
Chew for a Cause.
Monday, April 4
4. Prepackaged is so last century.
Ditch the premade, GMO-ridden foodies of the supermarket. You can create gourmet, nutrient-dense goodies right on your counter—it's quick, plastic-free, and cheap. No special sprouting equipment needed, just a large clean pickle jar or any jar, really.
Read how to do it.
Tuesday, April 5
5. Recycling is (mostly) a marketing lie. Ecobrick it!
Ecobricking brings awareness to how much problematic plastic we're using. It also offers a solution to containing hazardous plastic waste. Have a two-liter soda bottle? Fill it with clean, soft plastics.
Lay down your own Eco Brick.
Wednesday, April 6
6. Be an Eco-Influencer: Green your social media feed.
You’d be surprised at how influential that world can be on us. Follow accounts that promote a greener lifestyle, slow living, self-love. Unfollow all those accounts who do shopping hauls every 3 seconds. Goodbye fast-paced, shallow world, hello slow, sustainable 2022!
Here's a zero-waste hero to follow.
Thursday, April 7
7. Ditch the Plastic Phone Case, Karen.
Plastic phone cases are no bueno, my friends. Greedy companies use cheap, polluting plastics. So, Pela decided that you and our planet deserve better—they created the world’s first compostable phone case. The easiest eco decision ever, amirite?
Get your own gorgeous case—today
Friday, April 8
8. Always keep wine around—it's for the plants *wink*.
With just a bottle and some water, you have a simple upcycled self-watering system for when you're leaving your plant babies for a while. Not only are you recycling something into a beautiful and functional piece of art—you're using that to LITERALLY make the world a greener place! Now that's how you #plantparent!
Turn wine into water.
Saturday, April 9
9. Never mind your relationships; Detoxify your Kitchen.
We’ve got a pan—and a plan—to help you get started. Check out Green Pan’s upcycled aluminum pans that are free of “forever chemicals” that harm your body and the environment. Not to mention...they’ll become a visual staple in your kitchen with their colorful design options.
Safe, stunning pans for your home.
Sunday, April 10
10. Ma, don't go tossin' the leftovers!
Still throwing your food scraps in the bin? Stop! It's so much easier and more rewarding than you think to use your leftover bits for a delicious broth! Here's a recipe to get your mouth watering (and help you avoid bein' a waste-r).
Good for your tummy (& the planet).
Monday, April 11
11. Did someone say Community Book Exchange?!
Listen up, fellow readers and word nerds: book exchanges are great ways to help reduce plastic waste. A study on textbook recycling estimated that 320 million books (640,000 tons) are discarded into landfills every year. Don't be the villain of this panet's story. Help save it!
Find a book exchange near you!
Tuesday, April 12
12. Have an EcOrgasm. (Oooooh!)
Say goodbye to lubes made with carcinogenic parabens and propylene glycol (AKA the stuff in anti-freeze). Instead, say hello to all-natural, body-safe, and planet-safe lube from Living Libations. The oil comes in a recyclable glass bottle with a recyclable plastic pump and a sustainably harvested ash wooden cap. The label is printed on paper and can be recycled.
OoOohh, yes! Zero-waste lovemaking.
Wednesday, April 13
13. Start Bulkin' up...on Food, that is.
From produce to cereal, drinks to snacks, the shelves of grocery stores can be filled to the brim with plastic packaging. Bulk and loose foods can offer a solution to this. Many people keep a shopping list and visit their bulk food store just once a month, to stock up on items such as flour, nuts, dishwashing liquid, and more, in a way that doesn’t use single-use plastic.
protect wildlife & avoid single-use
Thursday, April 14
14. You're getting Engaged! Please do it Ethically.
It can feel like a Goldilocks tale to find an ethical, crafted, quality ring...unless you've heard of Aether. They created the world's first positive impact and truly sustainable diamonds, handset in responsibly-sourced metals. Each circle of love is crafted using carbon extracted from the atmosphere. Like that sound of that?! "I do."
Find your eco ring, here.
Friday, April 15
15. Become a Gray Water God or Goddess.
With proper treatment, gray water can be put to good use. These uses include water for laundry and toilet flushing, and also irrigation of plants. Treated gray water can be used to irrigate both food and non-food producing plants. Saving on freshwater use can significantly reduce household water bills, but also has a broader community benefit in reducing demands on public water supply.
Make your home gray water system.
Saturday, April 16
16. When life hands you lemons, hang 'em on your tree!
Ditch the plastic box full of plastic ornaments. DIY some cute ornaments with dried-out fruit slices.
Yule love this citrusy switch >>
Sunday, April 17
17. Don't be superficial: embrace the Misfits.
Misfits Market is dedicated to making affordable, high-quality food more accessible while helping break the cycle of food waste. They work directly with farmers and makers to rescue organic produce and other grocery items that might otherwise go to waste, then deliver them to your door—all while passing the savings on to you.
Order sustainably-sourced groceries
Monday, April 18
18. DIY—your Dry Shampoo.
Don’t wait in line to buy the last plastic-covered bottle of dry shampoo. Make your own with organic essential oils, instead.
Dry DIY inspo right this way >>
Tuesday, April 19
19. "That" time of the month—but make it Green.
Ladies, the bleaching process involved in the manufacture of tampons is toxic AF. Not to mention they're a big source of waste. Flex Reusable Disc is a body-safe alternative to tampons that provides all-day comfort and protection—and it's a zero-waste product.
Shop your greatest eco Flex yet >>
Wednesday, April 20
20. When you get hurt, don’t hurt the planet.
Regular band-aids can do a number on our environment, but everything in these PATCH eco-friendly bamboo bandages’, from their outer packaging to the tube they come in, is all made from 100% compostable materials—making them a solid choice for saving piled up trash from first-aid fixes.
Buy compostable cut protectors >>
Thursday, April 21
21. Being wasteful is totally wax, bro.
PSA: the wax from a used-up candle can actually be repurposed in a surprising number of ways. Don't ditch it quite yet! Play your part in the reduce-reuse-recycle game!
15 ways to reuse that candle wax >>
Friday, April 22
22. Boost your Iron levels—sustainably.
Low on iron? You don't need meat! Cook with the Lucky Iron Fish. Just 1 "fish" = 5 years of iron pill bottles that you're not putting into a trash bin (and it's perfectly suited for a vegan diet).
A plant-based source of iron.
Saturday, April 23
23. Parents: Ditch the throw-away Diapers.
Many people have switched to cloth inserts inside a durable outer diaper, combining the leak-proof elastic of a disposable with the sustainability of washable cloth. By choosing reusable over disposable, you’ll save approximately 6,000 nappies from landfills per child.
Eco-parenting—made easy >>
Sunday, April 24
24. Stop wiping with trees.
Either invest in a bidet-type set up and cut your use of TP entirely, or become a toilet-seat activist just by changing the brand of TP you use. We love Who Gives a Crap—they’re eco and help build toilets for those who need ‘em. 'Cause you shouldn’t have to wipe out forests to wipe your bottom!
Get some swanky eco TP >>
Monday, April 25
25. Psssst...your kitchen can go plastic free, too.
Ever heard of beeswax food wrap? The main advantage is that it helps you reduce your plastic use. They're great for covering your leftovers or helping you pack a waste-free lunch. Plus, since you can use them again and again, you'll never have to buy plastic food wrap, which helps you save money. Cha-chiiiing!
More zero-waste lunch tips.
Tuesday, April 26
26. Join a cult (the eco-friendly Cleancult, of course).
Many detergents come in non-reusable, non-recyclable packaging—ending up in landfills every, single week, creating even more pollution. And, the ingredients? Terrifying. Make a switch to more eco-conscious brands like Cleancult. Their dishwasher tablet refills are 100% biodegradable and packaged in a 100% recyclable, paper-based box, and shipped sustainably to you.
Eco cleanin' supplies right here >>
Wednesday, April 27
27. F*ck convenience—you gotta get picky.
Shopping small and local is always going to be your best best, but if you can't fight the urge...choose with care. Say no to mindless "big guys" like Amazon that use excessive, wasteful packaging.
Favorite companies to shop >>
Thursday, April 28
28. Have you heard of herb bombs?
Cooking cubes (aka herb bombs) are a great way to preserve herbs while avoiding plastic waste and food waste. Add to water or olive oil and freeze in your ice tray! This way, you’ll have boosts of fresh herbs no matter the season.
Go green & stay flavorful >>
Friday, April 29
29. Aw, nut again! Stop buying that damn tetra-pack, dude.
Making your own nut milk at home isn't only more versatile and fun, but it's easier on the planet. Making almond paste for DIY milk leaves leftovers to use for some homemade goodies like crackers, dog treats, and hummus. Break out of your store-bought shell, and try this instead.
You're nuts if you don't try this.
Saturday, April 30
30. Spread the Word far & wide.
Let's make plastic-free, all-around eco-conscious livin' sexy again! Share this challenge with your coworkers, your fam, your friends. Heck, write about it on Elephant!
Got more ideas? Share 'em here!