The news stories about the metric tons of plastics that are floating in the ocean or the articles on sea life being poisoned by plastic tell us our use of plastic is choking the planet. If you are one of the many people who are concerned about the problem of plastic waste in the environment, here are a few simple ways to cut your use of plastic every day.
1 – Use Cloth Shopping Bags
One of the simplest ways of reducing plastic waste is by bringing your own cloth bags to the supermarket instead of having them pack your groceries in plastic bags. Supermarkets generally sell their own bags, or you can find them at discount stores for a very low price. Cloth bags can be re-used over and over, washed when needed and won’t be blown away into the environment where they add to litter and pollution.
2 – Stop Buying Bottled Water
The experts’ advice to drink more water has caused an avalanche of plastic bottles that must be disposed of or that find their way into the environment. This problem has now reached the level of one million bottles a minute in the U.S. Changing to a reusable water container can reduce the amount of water bottle waste significantly. If you prefer the filtered taste of bottled water, purchase a pitcher device that filters contaminants out of the water and then fill up your stainless steel bottle.
3 – Buy Laundry Detergent in Boxes
Today, many laundry detergent brands are sold in plastic bottles, which only adds to the plastic waste problem. You can still find detergent in cardboard boxes, which break down into organic components and leave no polluting contaminants.
4 – Avoid Frozen Food in Plastic Trays
Every time you purchase a frozen food item in a plastic tray, you add to the plastic waste that must be thrown into a landfill. Instead, cook extra portions of your favorite foods and store them in your refrigerator for later use. You can re-use the plastic containers and won’t contribute to further plastic pollution.
5 -Don’t Buy Single-Serving Foods
Food processing companies have been swift to package their products in easy-to-carry single serving containers. But this trend has added millions of pounds of plastic to the waste problem in the country. Instead, purchase foods in larger quantities and break them down into your own containers that can be reused over and over again.
6 – Stop Using Plastic Straws
Plastic straws are very lightweight, which means they cannot be recycled and are easily blown into waterways by the wind. Their fragility also means that marine creatures are quick to nibble on them, thinking they are a food source. When ordering food, always specify you don’t want a straw. If you really a need a straw for drinking, buy a stainless steel straw you can carry with you.
7 – Use Real Flatware Instead of Plastic Cutlery
Purchase several sets of inexpensive stainless flatware to use for parties and large gathering, instead of using plastic cutlery. You can “share” these within your family group or among your friends to keep from adding to the plastic waste problem.
8 – Consider Cloth Diapers for Your Baby
Disposable diapers are a real boon to moms and dads with new babies, but the plastic coverings on these products fill up landfills and add to pollution. Changing to cloth diapers can often be cheaper than disposable ones, and many moms believe they are healthier for babies. If cost is not an object, consider a local diaper service that can do the cleaning a replacing of diapers for you.
9 – Buy a Razor That Uses Replaceable Blades
Disposable razors add millions of tons of plastic to the landfills in the country. Using a traditional razor with replaceable blades cuts down the amount of plastic that must be stored in landfill areas.
10 – Re-Use Glass Containers
Those glass containers that contain peanut butter, pickles and other foods can be thoroughly washed and reused to store leftover items safely and without the plastic waste that pollutes the planet.
Reducing the amount of plastic you use is not difficult. It just takes a bit of thought and a change of habit. You can help decrease the amount of plastic in the environment with these easy tips. And you can feel good about your efforts to make the planet a healthier place for everyone.
10 Easy Ways You Can Reduce Your Use of Plastic