Eco-friendly replacements for 50 plastic items in your life

By Nicole Caldwell for Stacker

About 300 million tons of plastic are produced from oil each year. Almost half of that is used for single-use packaging, such as plastic wrap on food, containers for personal care items, bottles for cleaning products, and other everyday purchases—including the plastic bags we carry them home in. Worse, only about 9% of all the plastic ever created has been recycled. And things are getting worse, not better: Almost half of all the plastic ever made has been created since 2000, the production of plastic is way up, and recycling alone can't stop the flow of plastic pollution into the world's oceans.

As more statistics come out about the volume of plastic ocean pollution (18 billion pounds annually from coastal regions alone) and the effect that is having on marine life (267 species worldwide have already been adversely affected), people have begun eschewing plastic products for zero-waste, eco-friendly options. Most global consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable products, which has inspired thousands of companies to seek alternatives to plastic items from zero-waste personal care products and kitchen items to office equipment and ethically sourced, sustainable clothing.

Stacker has pored over the research and scoured product reviews and company backgrounds to compile this gallery of 50 easy, eco-friendly replacements for common plastic items in your life. Prices have been provided, and represent the cost for long-term use, except in the case of items that run out, like toothpaste. Those numbers should be compared to an individual's or family's spending on similar, single-use products over time for items such as sandwich bags or disposable razors. Wherever possible, products listed in this gallery represent less expensive options over time to their plastic, disposable counterparts.

In the interest of being most serviceable, Stacker has left two of the most ubiquitous, eco-friendly items—stainless steel drink canteens and reusable shopping bags—off the list in order to make room for items that may be less well-known. Wherever possible, products referenced come in zero-waste, plastic-free packaging, as well.

Continue reading to discover 50 easy alternatives to everyday, plastic items.

Vegan Dishes Find a Home on Fine-Dining Menus Throughout the North Country

Vegan Dishes Find a Home on Fine-Dining Menus Throughout the North Country

Vegans and vegetarians in the north country will log hundreds of miles throughout the year in order to patronize restaurants with savory options stretching beyond a simple salad, pasta with red sauce, or having to be that customer, asking for customized meals that aren’t on the menu.

     But these days, vegetarians and vegans in the north country don’t have to make pilgrimages to Kingston or Syracuse—there are plenty of options here at home. Chefs throughout the tri-county area are taking on the challenge of catering to vegans and vegetarians with dishes flavorful enough to please even the most discerning omnivore.

     There are a number of reasons people are more open to plant-based eating nowadays, whether they be for the environment, health or animal welfare. But we can add a new excuse: Chefs in the north country are making vegan and vegetarian meals that are just plain delicious.