Water bottles and travel mugs.
Ok, this one is mostly for out-of-the-kitchen, but then again, many people use bottled water in their homes. Bottled water does serve a purpose and plays an important role in specific situations - after a natural disaster such as a hurricane or when water supplies are not safe for consumption (looking at you, Flint, Michigan). But outside of those situations, tap water is best. It's got the fluoride your teeth need, and the price is right. Tap water must meet many requirements to be considered safe, but bottled water has no such regulation. You don't really know what's in there.
Best case scenario: bottled water is sometimes tap water from another location! You are paying a premium to have tap water bottled up and shipped to your area! While the bottles themselves are recyclable, many do not end up getting recycled, and remember the fossil fuels needed to produce those bottles, ship them, and then recycle them.
Lastly, if you do use bottled water, remember that these bottles are designed for single use. It's tempting to refill that bottle and continue using it, but the plastic starts to break down and soon you are consuming endocrine disrupting chemicals like BPA.
I shared a picture of my very loved water bottle to remind you to bring your water bottle everywhere! Most people own a reusable water bottle, but they don't carry it all the time. How about when you go on vacation? Check out the portable water bottle in the foreground of the picture - it's perfect for throwing into your suitcase. While you can't bring a full bottle of water with you through security in the airport, you can bring an empty one. Fill it up at the water fountain at the gate. What's more dehydrating than air travel?
I had to show my travel coffee mug for a similar reason. Most people own one of these, but do you keep it in the car? How often do you make an unplanned trip to the coffee shop? Once again, bring it with you when traveling - especially on car trips! Is it just me or does everyone drink more coffee when they're driving?
Paper cups from coffee shops are a major contributor to landfills. Commit to using your travel mug more often and we can make a difference together! ❤️🌎
Over the course of the past 10 years or more, I have be working on developing more sustainable practices at home to reduce waste (including recycling). I have also been on a mission to swap out cleaning and personal care products with safer versions (products that limit exposure to environmental toxins).