How many single-use products do you use every day? Thanks to changes around single-use shopping bags over the past few years, most of us are aware that throwing away a ton of plastic is bad for the environment. Reusable shopping bags are in use nationwide, and it’s a great change for the better. However, it does give one pause for thought – what other aspects of everyday life are generating too much unnecessary waste?
Fortunately, there’s a lot of bright minds out there developing new products and business ideas to tackle the waste problem and make it easier for people to adopt a greener lifestyle. Read on to find out more about six innovative ideas that can help reduce the waste of single-use products in everyday life.
Before the advent of paper tissues, we used cloth handkerchiefs. Over time, that gradually fell out of fashion – perhaps due to how yucky it is to re-use the same, snotty hanky. The team at LastObject have come up with a way to bring back handkerchiefs – with some significant upgrades. Their LastTissue product sees six cotton tissues in a silicone case, similar to a pocket pack of single-use tissues. Just pull out a hanky from the dispenser at the bottom of the case, take care of business, then stash it in the ‘dirty’ section of the case to keep it separate from the clean ones. At the end of the day, you can wash your tissues at 60°C and then they’re ready to go again!
While there are plenty of ways to keep note-taking and design entirely digital, sometimes you just can’t beat a traditional handwriting experience. For those who can’t tear themselves away from their notepads, Team RocketBook have developed the RocketBook Fusion – a reusable notepad made of synthetic paper. Once your 42 pages are full, you can easily scan and store pages in the RocketBook App (available for iOS and Android) then wipe your Fusion notebook clean with a damp cloth. Just make sure you’re using the special Pilot FriXion pen to take your notes, otherwise you might have a hard time cleaning your pages!
Take-away coffee cups are usually lined with plastic which means they’re not easy to recycle. Reusable coffee cups are a great idea, but unfortunately they’re not always the easiest to carry around. Enter the Stojo collapsible coffee cup! Made out of plastic and silicone in a variety of colours and 12 ounce or 16 ounce sizes, these reusable coffee cups will fold down to a smaller size so they take up much less space in your bag. With some cafes beginning to offer discounts for those who bring in reusable cups, there’s never been a better time to adopt this good habit!
For those of you who like a less conventional tea, never fear! The bōba cup by Tea is Life is perfect for all your bubble tea needs. Bubble tea, or bōba tea, is typically served in a disposable plastic cut with a plastic film lid, which is pierced with a special, extra-wide straw to allow drinkers to enjoy sago pudding balls or jelly with their drink. The bōba cup is an eco-friendly, reusable solution made out of glass and rust-free aluminum, so you can enjoy your favourite drink in style. If you’re on the go, the set has two lids – one with a hole for the straw and one without, so no spills!
The team at Zero Co, based in Byron Bay, Australia, want to bring back the concept of the milk man for all your household cleaning products – refilled bottles included. A full starter kit includes all ten cleaning products and their matching dispensers, plus a reply-paid postage satchel to send back empty refill packs so they can be cleaned and re-used. Their dispensers are made from plastic pulled from the ocean, and the refill packs are made of recycled materials, so it’s ticks across the board! The company is looking to provide services to residents and businesses alike, and so far their existing customer base will save over half a million single-use plastic bottles over the next twelve months!
If you’re a fan of eating out on the go, particularly at markets and food trucks, you might not realise that there’s a lot of waste in the work when it comes to disposable cutlery. While there are some biodegradable alternatives to plastic cutlery made out of wood or similar materials, it’s still not ideal. Yet reusable cutlery is often too cumbersome to carry around – until now. The GoSun team have developed GoSun Flatware, a cutlery set that can fit into your wallet! You’ll never need disposable cutlery again.
Do you have any tips on reducing waste in a household? Share them in the comments.