5 Simple beginner plastic swaps that men can make today to lower their carbon footprint
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The zero waste lifestyle is very inclusive—Mother Nature doesn’t discriminate who can practice an eco-friendly lifestyle and who can’t. It’s equally important for both genders to do their part and make a collective effort to lower humanity’s carbon footprint.
The reason that more men don’t make as much of an effort when it comes to green living is because the zero-waste industry doesn’t focus on the male gender as much as it does on women. There are barely any advertisements of men holding these products—it’s all women. I mean, do you know that there are zero-waste products made specifically for men? There are shampoo bars, natural deodorants, grooming kits, and even zero waste cologne bars that you probably don’t even know exist.
I’m hoping to bring awareness to this issue. That’s why I’ve included product recommendations in this article to show that not all zero-waste products are feminine. Zero-waste living, in general, is not feminine. It’s about doing what’s right as a human being to take care of this planet, and your body. Because zero-waste living is also healthy living. Plastic alternatives lead to less waste and cleaner air.
So let’s start today. It’s relatively easy to begin a zero waste lifestyle. And you probably already own some of these eco-friendly items, which shows that you’re already on the right path. And if not, you can gradually add them and apply them in everyday life.
- Switch To A Reusable Water Bottle
Single-use plastic water bottles are horrible for both the environment and your health. When you switch to a reusable water bottle, you’re saving many single-use plastic water bottles from becoming a burden in landfills and our oceans. And even if landfill facilities have the capability to incinerate a good chunk of plastic bottles, it still doesn’t help our environment because incineration releases toxins into our air.
Another reason to switch to reusable water bottles and avoid single-use plastic bottles is your health. Plastic bottles leach hormone disrupting chemicals into the water and lead to health problems in the long run.
If you already have a favorite reusable water bottle or two, that’s great! Keep on using them! If you don’t and would like a recommendation, then consider TheCrazyCap2, which is an insulated, stainless steel water bottle with a pretty cool UV light gadget attached to the cap that sterilizes and purifies your water. It’s literally a self-cleaning plus purification system in one, and it’s pretty cool.
2. Get A Reusable Straw
Single-use plastic straws are one of the most hated items in the world. Not only are they a burden on our landfills, they also pose a threat to our marine life. They end up in the nostrils of sea turtles or are ingested by sea creatures. You see, like other plastic items, plastic straws don’t biodegrade. They merely breakdown into smaller pieces—turning into micro plastics that fish and other sea creatures ingest.
Owning a reusable straw is the best zero-waste solution to this world-wide dilemma. But, if you’re a guy, you may have avoided getting one because a majority of them are too “pretty”—and that’s true. A lot of reusable straws are marketed towards women. They’re colorful, feminine and even a majority of advertisements contain only women using them. How is a man suppose to be motivated to purchase one?
But, rest assured that there are actually a lot of reusable straws that are very masculine. Take this collapsible straw by FinalStraw, for example. It’s dark, it’s compact and you can attach the case to your keychain or belt loop. No one will even suspect that a reusable straw is in there. It’s the perfect on-the-go straw for men who like simplicity.
3. Switch To A Shampoo Bar
I can’t emphasize enough how great zero-waste shampoo bars truly are—especially for men. Traditional shampoo is packaged in plastic, which is bulky, takes up space, and made from harsh chemicals and ingredients that strip your hair of natural oils and can actually irritate the scalp. And if you suffer from dandruff or psoriasis, traditional shampoo can worsen your symptoms.
Shampoo bars, on the other hand, are biodegradable and made from nontoxic, all-natural and organic ingredients that get rid of grime and debris while soothing your skin and scalp. They’re great on beards and perfect for travel as well as camping—you never have to worry about it spilling all over your clothing.
There are a lot of really great shampoo bars for men, and Bossman shampoo bar is a great one to try. It’s a four-in-one cleansing bar that can be used on the hair, face, beard and body—which saves you money and there is no plastic packaging involved.
4. USE A REUSABLE SHOPPING BAG
There are a ton of single-use plastic bags that fill up landfills and float around in oceans—and there is such an easy solution for this problem, yet people still choose to bag their groceries with plastic at the check out lanes. The reason? Convenience. Not everyone wants to purchase a reusable grocery bag, and those that do, usually end up forgetting them in their car.
Reusable bags don’t have to be an inconvenience. And no, they’re not feminine. In fact, some are really masculine and compact, like the ChicoBag. When it’s all folded up, you can’t even tell that it’s a bag. It even comes with a carabiner for easy carry into the store, and transforms into a large capacity shopping bag at the check out. The design itself is very outdoorsy and masculine and makes the perfect zero-waste shopping bag for men.
5. USE TRAVEL UTENSILS
Reusable travel utensils are a great zero-waste product to own and come in handy when you’re traveling, camping and eating out. When you switch to reusable travel utensils, you’re able to avoid plastic cutlery which is sometimes wrapped in even more plastic.
And in addition to being a good steward of the Earth, you’re also keeping yourself germ-free. You see, restaurant utensils may not be as clean as you’d expect them to be. Plus, can you imagine how many people’s mouths one fork has visited? Thousands. This is the very reason that I, myself, have purchased a travel utensil kit.
Now, I get it—you’re a guy. You don’t want to be carrying around a “kit”. No worries. Because the same good people at FinalStraw, have invented FinalSpork. And it’s everything a minimalist’s heart desires: it’s a stainless steel spork that’s compact, disassembles, folds up, and you can attach it to your keychain or belt loop. Pretty cool, right? It’s the perfect on-the-go zero-waste utensil that would make McGyver proud.
What swaps could you see yourself making?