Cling wrap is one of the most common items made to wrap food, but it’s single use plastic. While aluminum foil might seem like a more eco-friendly alternative, it’s actually just as bad, if not worse, than cling wrap.
Plastic wrap is commonly made of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) or linear LDPE (LLDPE). Just like with all plastics, there are major drawbacks. It’s single use, and when it is reused, it doesn’t work as well and usually ends up getting replaced anyway. Plastic is also made with non-renewable materials, and this type can’t be recycled.
On the other hand, aluminum foil takes a lot more energy to manufacture (almost 6 times the amount required for cling wrap) as well as uses resources that have to be mined. The carbon emissions caused by foil production and manufacturing exceeds that of plastic wrap. Foil is also more toxic to nature, where it can harm flora and fauna if thrown away and released into the environment. Foil does have its good points, though. It’s easy to reuse, and its impact is reduced with every reuse. Aluminum can also be recycled indefinitely.
For the next two weeks, don’t use any cling wrap or aluminum foil. If this seems too hard, pick one of the two to cut out for one week, and try to do the other during the second week.
Comment to take the challenge!
The planet thanks you!
Products like beeswax wraps (made of beeswax and cotton, compostable) and fabric sandwich wraps can be easily washed and reused. They can be used for both covering and wrapping food. Another alternative that cover dishes are silicone lids that stretch over a cup or bowl.
The amount of water it takes to produce one pound of beef could hydrate the average American for 43 years. One pound of beef takes up to 2500 gallons of water to produce. Chicken takes 500-600 gallons/pound, which is less than beef but more than alternatives to meat. Going vegetarian saves water, and also saves the lives of the 270 animals that the average American meat-eater eats.
Worldwide, close to 3 billion animals are killed for food every day. Most of these animals are inhumanely farmed and then slaughtered for human consumption. This is a horrible and unnecessary practice.
Becoming vegetarian is not as hard as many people think it is. I’ve been a vegetarian for almost four years and, yes, there are still meat foods that I wish I could still eat, but there are many alternatives to meat. As more and more people become vegetarian, the demand for good meat substitutes grows.
For the next two weeks, be a vegetarian! If you’re daunted by this task, try doing it for just a week or a few days. You’ll find it easier than you expect!
The standard at fast food restaurants and backyard parties, plastic silverware is a favorite for minimizing clean up and costs. But, as you may have guessed, it is a classic example of single-use plastic.
Single-use plastic (designed to be used once) is common in today's world and is a huge pollution problem. These disposable materials take a lot of energy and resources to make but are typically used for a matter of minutes. After they're thrown away, even cheap plastics can last for thousands of years.
In addition to being single-use, most plastic silverware is made of a plastic called polystyrene, which usually can't be recycled. From the landfill, it can pollute local ecosystems, posing a threat to plant and animal health.
For the next two weeks, don't use any plastic silverware. Comment to take the challenge!
Quick tip: Many takeout and fast food restaurants put plastic silverware in with your to-go bags without telling or asking you. Make sure you say that you don't want it ahead of time.
There are a lot of alternatives to plastic silverware. For parties, use your everyday household silverware and give guests a place to put their dirty silverware when they are finished. If you don't have enough, borrow some from a neighbor or friend. Or, if you entertain a lot, pick up a permanent set of party ware at a thrift store.
If you need to use disposable silverware, use compostable types. They are more expensive than plastic, but they can be put into a compost pile and help your garden grow.
Bamboo is a great alternative for many plastic products, including silverware. There are sets of bamboo silverware that contain enough for one person that you can take with you.
These challenges ask you