Around the world, people are thinking more and more about how to use less plastic. Especially single-use plastics, such as plastic water bottles, food containers, and plastic wrap. To be more eco-friendly, folks are choosing alternatives to plastics such as glass, stainless steel, and other reusable materials for their everyday items. There are lots of easy swaps you can make to live life without plastic, such as using reusable shopping bags instead of plastic bags when you shop at the grocery store or farmer’s market. Other ways to go plastic-free include giving each member of your family personalized water bottles and to-go coffee cups with glass and stainless steel travel mugs. Another idea is to pack your lunch in personalized kids’ lunch boxes. Include a kids’ water bottle with their photo and name, too!
If you’re trying to use less plastic and reduce waste, Shutterfly makes it easy, fun, and practical to help the planet. In addition to helping reduce plastic, many of our personalized gifts substitute for the reusable plastic items that you reach for frequently. When your family is running out the door, they’re more likely to remember their travel mugs when they’re personalized with their photos and names. And when you’re at the gym, no one will take your water bottles if they have your photo and name on it. Shutterfly celebrates Plastic-Free July as a time to encourage people to reflect on their use of plastics and consider what easy plastic alternatives to reduce waste. Read on for more ways to be more eco-friendly with Shutterfly.
Each year, 13 billion plastics bags are used and, unfortunately, end up in landfill. Creating nifty, reusable shopping bags is a wonderful, stylish alternative to getting plastic bags. This one act can make a huge impact on plastic pollution and contribute to a healthier planet. And our reusable shopping bags are larger, stronger, and much more durable than flimsy plastic bags. Made of water-resistant polyester, they hold up to 50 lbs, and measure 15.5” x 15.5” x 4” – enough to hold a good load of groceries or nearly anything else! You can customize them in a range of patterns, add a special photo, design, and message.
You can be even more eco-friendly by using cotton tote bags and bags made from sustainable materials like bamboo instead of synthetic fibers. Versatile, trendy, and durable, our cotton tote bags measure 15″ x 18″ and can be personalized with different photo layouts, colors, text, and other custom options. If you don’t have reusable bags handy, opt for the paper bags instead and try to avoid getting a plastic bag when you can.
Stainless Steel Containers
Another simple swap (that will even save money) is avoiding single use plastic water bottles and using stainless steel water bottles instead. Sure, plastic water bottles are convenient but they take about 450 years to break down in the ground. An eco-friendly alternative are personalized water bottles you can reuse over and over again. Our water bottles are made of stainless steel with a BPA-free lid and a straw. They hold a good 25 oz and are insulated to keep your beverages nice and cold. Personalization options include photo layouts, messages, and colors. Once you make the switch, it’ll be habit to take your own reusable bottle with you everywhere you go.
As long as you’re replacing your water bottle, why not swap out all your to-go plastic containers, including your coffee mugs and wine glasses? When you’re on the go, our stainless steel travel mugs are a great replacement for single-use plastic cups. With double-wall construction, a 17-oz capacity, a tapered base that fits most drink holders, plus a handle, there’s no excuse for not personalizing your own to take everywhere you travel. While you’re at it, go ahead and replace your wine tumbler with one of our stainless steel travel tumblers. Perfect for outdoor parties, our travel tumblers hold up to 12 oz and can be personalized with your choice of designs, colors, and messages.
Kids’ Lunch Boxes and Water Bottles
When you have objects in your home that are personalized for your family members, they serve as visual reminders to reuse instead of getting another single-use container. Personalized kids’ lunch boxes are an excellent idea for helping your kids do their part to reduce waste. In fact, designing their own lunch boxes (with a little help from you, of course), is a fun way to get kids excited to go back to school.
Our kids’ lunch boxes come in a wide range of colors and designs that will add cheer to your kids’ school day whenever they use it. Insulated and measuring 9″ L x 7-1/2″ W x 3-1/2″ D Shutterfly’s lunch boxes are customizable with your kids’ photos, names, and messages to remind them of home. Add personalized kids’ water bottles for kids to use at lunch time, at school, at soccer practice or whenever they need a water break. With their photo, name, and favorite image on their water bottle, kids are guaranteed to remember them. And kids will enjoy contributing to a greener planet.
Creating Personalized Reusable Items
Eliminating or reducing single-use plastics is a great first step to reducing plastic waste. At Shutterfly, we’re big supporters of making personalized items to cut down on plastic pollution. Personalized items are easy to remember to take along when you leave the house and they provide an emotional connection to your home, family, and loved ones. We’d happily give up the convenience of plastic for the sentimental value of personalized gifts printed with photos, messages, and designs that make them one-of-a-kind.
Once you discover how easy and fun it is to create your reusable items, trust us, you won’t want to go back to plastic. When you find a gift you like, such as our photo water bottles, browse to find the design that speaks to you. If you want something with your name on it, choose a product like the classic border name stainless steel water bottle. Click “personalize” to customize the bottle with your own photos, name, and colors. You can choose from a wide rainbow of colors for the border color. Then, upload your photos and drag and drop them into the design and add your name. The process for personalizing most of our gifts is exactly the same, although the options vary depending on the product.
More Ways to Reduce Plastic
Though many of us have the best of intentions to reduce plastic, we often forget to bring our reusable bags with us and end up having to take a bag from the store. You can improve your chances of remembering your bags with a few practical strategies. Ideas for remembering your reusable items can be as easy as creating a personalized reminder on your water bottle or travel mug so you’ll think of it whenever you leave the house. You can stock up on customized neoprene wine totes to give as hostess gifts so you don’t use bags that will just end up in the garbage. Keep a few spare bags in your car in case you forget to grab them as you head out to the store. Or, toss an extra laundry basket or box in your trunk. It makes it easier to get the groceries home in one trip, and also, if you don’t have bags you can bring your items out in the cart and transfer them to the basket. Now you’re bag-free! Here are some other single-use swaps to think about this July.
- Personalize your water bottle, travel mug, or reusable shopping bag with the words, “Don’t forget me!” When you see this message, you’ll remember to bring them along.
- Don’t use throw-away wine holders when you give a bottle of wine. Instead, create customized neoprene wine totes for your gift recipient to make your gift extra special.
- Skip the straws (or reuse the straw from one of your stainless-steel tumblers or acrylic tumblers). Buying a reusable straw can be a good option too as long as you actually use it!
- Instead of using plastic utensils at work, keep an extra set at your desk.
- Find an alternative for plastic wrap – there are so many options now from aluminum foil (which is recyclable!) and beeswax wraps, to good old fashioned Tupperware (even better if it’s glass instead of plastic or reused from a carry out container).
If you’re ready to reduce your plastic use even more, start thinking about things like skipping the trash bags, think about bulk shopping with your own containers, and using bamboo toothbrushes. Ready to take the Plastic Free July challenge? Even if you’re starting off small, it makes a difference. We’re all in this together!
Additional Resources for Plastic-Free July: