50 Things We Can Live Without (For the Planet)

Updated: Sep 28

It's World Environment Day! The Earth gives us so much — beautiful trees that provide a habitat for singing birds; healing plants that give us oxygen to breathe; the soothing ocean that helps to form clouds that give us fresh water; and majestic rainforests that provide freshwater, energy, biodiversity and medicinal plants. It's up to us to protect the planet and World Environment Day is the perfect reminder of how we can be more conscious about our daily habits that could be detrimental to the planet and ultimately to our own health. It's not necessarily about perfection, it's about making a conscious effort and be more mindful about our daily habits and conveniences. Recycling is no longer enough (plus less than 15% of what we recycle actually gets recycled).

A friend challenged me to craft a blog listing 50 things we can do without so I took him up on the challenge! :D And I realized there is a lot that I could personally do without to help make the planet a better place. Let me know what you would add to the list.

  1. Plastic single-use water bottles: Not only do they contain particles of plastic that you ingest upon drinking, but consider this fun fact from Ban The Bottle: Americans used about 50 billion plastic water bottles last year. The alarming fact is the EPA estimates that less than 10 percent of plastic is actually recycled in the U.S. Consider investing in a fun water bottle and water purification system.

  2. Plastic produce bags: These reusable eco-green produce bags are cute and eco-friendly so plastic never has to be used at the store again.

  3. Plastic shopping bags: (Not new news.) Reusable bags can easily by kept in the car. Still not convinced about the detrimental effects of plastic on both our health and the environment? Read this

  4. Straws: Crazy fact — over 500 million straws are used daily in America alone. See why straws are no good for us, marine life and our oceans. 

  5. Balloons: when released, balloons can end up in the bellies of wildlife and sea life as they mistaken balloons as food. The end result is fatal for them. See more from the Fish and Wildlife Service

  6. Lights off when it’s light outside: Let the natural light shine in for your health and vitamin D production!

  7. Swiffer pads: Use old rags lying around the house. Plug into the little grooves and swiff away! Wash and reuse.

  8. Paper towels: Check out these twelve alternatives to paper towels from Huffington Post. 

  9. Qtips: They aren’t recommended anyway. See this article from Atlanta Hearing Associates. Using a q-tip may actually cause worse damage to your ears by pushing earwax in even further and there’s a risk of harming the eardrum. Instead try this: Mix a solution of half alcohol and half white vinegar in a bottle with a dropper (great way to recycle old bottles) and add a couple of drops in your ear after a shower or swim.

  10. Liquid body soap: To ditch plastic packaging, purchase bar soap with minimal to no packaging like this company.

  11. Keurig cups: This sentence sums up K cups — "Some say it won’t be possible, ever, to make a K-Cup that is anything short of an environmental shit storm." See more here

  12. Plasticware: Look for eco-friendly solutions for your next party like