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Is it possible to be eco-friendly during this time of COVID-19? Restaurants have shifted to using more plastic and throw away products.  As some of you may know, there is no “throw-away” magical place that all this plastic will disappear too. 

There is no magic abyss that will take the plastic away.  It’ll be here on earth for years and years to come. Learn more about why you need to stop single-use plastics.

My family has ventured out to a few restaurants lately, trying to get out and about during this crazy time.  But things are different, as you may know.  There are marks on the ground as to where to stand while waiting in line, servers and such wearing masks, no more self serve stations, and more plastic containers to throw away.

As my family and I sat outside to eat dinner at our local restaurant, ketchup, and plasticware are given to us, plastic straws, and another plastic container for ranch dressing that my daughter requested.  I said to my husband I understand the reasoning for using all this plastic. But the eco-friendly part of me is cringing at the use of all this plastic.  

So what do you do? 

I don’t have the complete answer to that question other than we make the changes in our own home.  Change what you can control and what is in your home.  Make the switch from plastic products to more eco-friendly items.

Practice Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and make the swap on certain products in your home.

The following list is to help you find some easy swaps from plastic to more ecofriendly products.  Do one or more to start making your changes. 

Glass baby bottles rather than plastic bottles and plastic bottle bags. Use a silicone sleeve to prevent breakage.

Bamboo and stainless steel straws rather than plastic and smoothie straws

Use Silverware rather than plastic cutlery, if you need to use disposable cutlery try these instead of plastic.

Stainless steel reusable mug for water and beverages rather than plastic cups.  

Homemade detergent and store in a metal container rather than using detergent in large plastic jugs.

Use Vinegar in a glass bottle rather than fabric softener. Store Vinegar in a glass bottle if using a separate bottle to store.

wool dryer balls rather than dryer sheets

Reuse plastic bottle dispensers for other homemade products. Or use bottle spray bottles for homemade cleaners.

Use reusable sandwich, snack bags rather than a single-use sandwich or snack bags. 

Use glass food storage containers instead of plastic storage containers (I use my old Corningware dishes for storage).

Use silicone sheets for baking rather than aluminum foil.

Reusable shopping bags for groceries and other stores rather than plastic grocery bags.

Use reusable produce bags rather than the plastic bags in grocery stores.

Use cloth towels rather than paper towels.

Use eco-friendly loofah rather than your plastic loofahs.

Use your regular glass plates rather than using paper/styrofoam plates

Use your drinking glasses rather than single-use plastic cups

Use filtered water rather than purchasing water bottles 

Eco-friendly cutting boards rather than plastic cutting boards.

For your furry friends biodegradable poop bags.

Be mindful of making the swaps. Be aware of how you can reduce, reuse, and recycle.  We’re already making the mental shift of being more mindful in washing our hands, not rubbing our faces, disinfecting all surfaces, and being aware of not coughing on people. 

All of these are things that should have been self-evident before, but because of current circumstances, we have all been made aware of being more mindful.

Making these swaps is apart of being in that same mindfulness state.  

How are you limiting single-use plastics when you are in restaurants these days?

Any suggestions would be helpful for our next family outing.  I will say we did go to another restaurant that did not use plasticware, although I think you could have requested it, the only plastic used was straws.  

So it appears some places are using more single-use plastics, understandably so, others are not.  I know it is also personal preference as to what makes you most comfortable in this COVID-19 era.  Find what works for you and makes you feel comfortable and safe.

I wish you peace and guidance on your journey.  Take care and be well.

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