Clean living is a rather vague term that encompasses many aspects of our lives. One way we can choose to live a little cleaner, is to replace a lot of the single use plastics that many of us tend to discard as trash on a regular basis. Even if you recycle, this can still make an impact.



Plastic Free Challenge describes single-use plastics as items that are “used only once before they are thrown away or recycled. These items are things like plastic bags, straws, coffee stirrers, soda and water bottles and most food packaging.” These really add up, and don’t just go away because they’re thrown in the trash. They end up in land fills and the ocean. Luckily, there are items you can buy instead of single use plastics that will help.

Metal Waterbottle

Bottled Water

According to Earth Day, “Americans purchase about 50 billion water bottles per year, averaging about 13 bottles per month for every person in the U.S.! That means by using a reusable water bottle, you could save an average of 156 plastic bottles annually.” Amazon has an impressive variety of insulated water bottles to choose from. Whether you want something water bottle shaped, huge, or cup-like with a built-in straw, they’ve got your needs covered.



If you apply deodorant under your arms daily, the case that contains the product may not feel like a single use plastic, but it’s still considered one all the same. There are several companies that are committed to cutting the plastic waste that our pits make annually. By Human Kind sells deodorant sticks that can be reused for years to come, and the refills that go inside.  Dove isn’t yet offering an alternative, but says they are “trialing a new refillable deodorant format that radically reduces plastic use.” Myro also offers refillable sticks and pods. Eco Roots has a Zero Waste Biodegradable Deodorant Stick that comes packaged in cardboard.


Grocery bags

Sure, it may be convenient to have a grocery bag full of other grocery bags that you must fight with every time you open a certain cabinet, but these thin little buggers aren’t recyclable in most curbside bins. The good news is, many stores actually recycle these bags, and you can find the locations nearest you, here.  Another alternative to hoarding grocery bags like a dragon, is to take your own reusable bags to the store. There are usually different sizes available for purchase in the checkout line, but amazon has a variety too. You can even get bags that are insulated, in case you’re not directly going home to put your groceries away.

Grocery bag


Plastic straws end up in the ocean and on the shorelines. We can drink things without them or use more sustainable alternatives. If you only want to use the straw once and then discard it, biodegradable straws are a good option. If you don’t mind reusing a straw, you have the option of silicon, metal, reusable plastic, and bamboo.


When it comes to living clean, small changes can make a big impact.