It's the kind of material that sounds borderline pie-in-the-sky: durable, versatile, flexible, long-lasting, and cheap. Understandably, we have obliged by including it in nearly every facet of modern life: garbage bags, credit cards, headphones, toothbrushes... the list goes on.

But, unfortunately, this miracle material does have a fatal flaw — and it's wreaking havoc on the environment that sustains us.  Scientists estimate the ocean will be more plastic than fish in 2050, and images of sea turtles stuck in 6-pack plastic rings are so ubiquitous that we are almost entirely desensitized to the implication. The ecological damages are piling up faster than we can wean ourselves off the material itself. 

The news regarding climate change is dire. It's no longer a question of if we will experience repercussions, but simply their severity. If want to make a difference — or take baby steps towards making a difference — you can start with actions like replacing plastics in your own home. 

The next time you run out of something, replace it with a metal or glass alternative. Knowing you'll reuse something makes it a better value, and wood and metal alternatives tend to hit within the same price neighborhood as plastics with the secondary benefit of also looking much more high-end in a home. 

There are habits you can develop to mitigate your impact (cut 6-pack rings with scissors before they go in the trash, drink your cold brew without a straw), but your consumption is what is going to send the largest ripples without asking much of you in terms of convenience or cost.

This set of five reusable produce bags are a big life hack for sustainability. You can bring them to the grocery store to pick up veggies without each fruit having its own individual plastic bag. They're foldable, washable (and you can wash your produce in them, too), and have color-coded tags. 

Stasher bag is billed as the world's first fully functional, self-sealing, non-plastic bag, and was developed as a healthy alternative to plastic storage bags. It has an air-tight, pinch-press seal for freshness and is made from 100% pure platinum food-grade silicone safe for everything from the freezer to the microwave, dishwasher, and boiling water, which is why you can even use them for sous vide. 

Rather than plastic lighters, pick up box matches for the dual perks of being eco-friendly and mastering a life skill with street cred. These 300 matches are under $7 and include wood from sustainably managed forests. Plus, they're probably more reliable in an apocalypse than a lighter that needs to be refilled. What more could you want?

Another well-known brand in sustainable households (and those of anyone who loves the promise of an ingenious newcomer) is Bee's Wrap. They make wraps that are washable, reusable, and compostable, made out of eco-friendly ingredients like cotton, sustainably harvested beeswax, organic jojoba oil, and tree resin. And they work.

Use it to cover a bowl, pack a snack, or as a place-mat. Just use the warmth of your hands to soften the wrap and form it over a bowl, container, or food. As the wrap cools, it will naturally create a seal. To reuse, wash gently in cool water with mild soap and air dry. The natural antibacterial properties of beeswax and jojoba oil help keep food fresh and allow Bee's Wrap to be used over and over again.

It will also save you money. Used multiple times per week, the Bee's Wrap wraps should last for a year.

Instead of plastic water bottles or store-bought drinks, store homemade beverages in a glass carafe. For drinks you do buy, opt for those that come in glass containers. 

Plus, a glass carafe just looks nicer inside a fridge, and this one comes with the perk of a stainless steel flow lid. 

If you're looking for one incredibly solid beauty routine — pun intended — New Zealand startup Ethique (French for "ethical") makes sustainable beauty that works exceptionally well. 

Ethique bars last two to five times longer than their bottled counterparts, dissolve completely, are TSA-friendly, and come in entirely eco-friendly packaging (even the sleeves they arrive in are 100% dissolvable and compostable, so there's zero consumer waste).

This conditioner bar comes packed with the equivalent of five bottles of liquid conditioner and ingredients like cocoa butter, coconut oil, vitamin B5, and lime oil to tame frizz. 

Overall, Ethique has prevented the manufacture and disposal of more than 350,000 plastic containers worldwide.

Rather than buying things like pasta or cereal in individual containers on a regular basis, save money and plastic by shopping from your store's bulk bin and storing them in these glass containers with stainless steel coverings. You won't have to worry as much about pulling them down from high shelves since they're not entirely glass, but you'll still be able to tell how much you have left and what ingredient is inside. 

It's one of the smaller appliances in your home, but it's easy enough to find scissors made from metal. 

Instead of hoarding plastic bags under your kitchen sink (you will never use them), save yourself the space and the landfills from the extra baggage. You can pick up a complete starter set for zero waste shopping from Simple Ecology for less than $25. And thanks to the timing of a new trend in netted purses, you'll also get some accidental style points. 

The six bags are organic, biodegradable, reusable, and recyclable. They also abide by Organic Textile Standards. You'll get two shopping bags, two muslin produce bags, and two mesh produce bags.

If you can cut one habit out of your life for an immediate boost in the eco-friendly department, it's probably getting your water from (expensive) plastic water bottles. To give you an idea of what we're up against, some estimates put our consumption at one million bottles every minute. 

This Hydro Flask is beloved in its own right, though (as you can clearly see by the happy couple above). It has slip-free grip; double-wall, vacuum-insulated TempShield insulation; and can keep drinks cold up to 24 hours or hot for up to 12. 

If you need bottles for juice or other beverages, pick up some of Epica's glass variations for a bit of style and sustainability. 

FirstChoice makes a great option, and donates 10% of its annual net profits to non-profit environmental organizations. The utensils are FDA approved and are 100% biodegradable.

It's true that there are plenty of cheap plastic options out there for iced coffee makers, but glass is generally preferred for its look, durability, safety, and, some argue, for its taste. 

This stainless steel compost bin will look nice on your kitchen counter, and its replaceable charcoal filter will control odors naturally. 

Straws are an increasingly trendy thing to ditch, and that's something to be grateful for. According to the National Park Service, you could fill over 125 school buses with the straws Americans use every single day (500 million in all).

This set of four is under $10, comes with its own cleaner brush, and stays deliciously cold to the touch. 

Send memories of living in a dorm room into the trash and upgrade to uniform, better-looking wood hangers that won't break under the sigh of heavier sweaters. 

Instead of adding more plastic, grab some glass meal prep containers for a non-toxic solution that's also more convenient for cooking and better-looking in your cabinets. If you'd prefer something you can throw around a bit more, there are also sets of stainless steel food containers, like this trio for $21.99.

While we're at it, why not convert all your food storage containers to glass? This convenient 18-piece set is under $25, looks better in a drawer than mismatched takeout tops and yogurt bottoms, and is safer and better equipped for cooking in general.

Ditch the plastic bags in favor of these 100% compostable alternatives. They meet the stringent requirements of municipal composting programs and are BPI certified. 

Invest in a large bamboo cutting board complete with juice groove. Like many of the eco-friendly products on here, it looks nicer in a home than a plastic alternative, and it will serve you well as a durable, low-maintenance alternative. This one is extra large, has side handles, and is knife-friendly. 

It's a small habit, but if you frequently use store-bought citrus juice in your cooking, all the plastic bottles can add up. Fresh-squeezed tastes better, anyway. 

Instead of picking up another plastic hairbrush, grab one made out of bamboo instead. This is Amazon's choice, and it's designed with one bristle missing to allow air circulation throughout the pad and water to drain.

Great as a more rough-and-tumble option to glass, this set of four stainless steel containers are great for snacks on the road, hike, plane, backyard picnic or anywhere else life takes you.

A metal tray is probably preferable, but I'd wager most of us will be more than happy with silicone if that means we can still own a flexible ice cube tray. This option is made from pop-resistant silicone, is stackable, and comes with spill-resistant lids. 

For the last time: bamboo does a lot more for decor than plastic in a home. This drawer organizer is made from bamboo and expands for your needs.

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