You’ve seen the pictures of birds with pieces of plastic trapped around their necks or feet, beaches covered in plastic trash, and worse of all the giant plastic “island” in the Pacific that grows ever bigger daily. Known as, “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch” it even has its own wikipedia page and is about twice the size of Texas. Maybe you just read an article about the billions of plastic waste that flows into oceans on a yearly basis.
Whatever your reason or reason(s) you’re reading this because you know you need to reduce or eliminate single use plastic from you life. I say single use plastic, because it’s impossible to eliminate all plastic from our lives, we need to focus on wasteful single use plastic instead of demonizing all plastic. There’s a lot of single use plastic waste out there and A LOT of EASY ways to cut it out (or at least start to) of your life. Here are 10 simple ways to reduce plastic in your life.
“Scientists and explorers agree that limiting or eliminating our use of disposable plastics and increasing our use of biodegradable resources will be the best way to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Organizations such as the Plastic Pollution Coalition and the Plastic Oceans Foundation are using social media and direct action campaigns to support individuals, manufacturers, and businesses in their transition from toxic, disposable plastics to biodegradable or reusable materials.” - National Geographic
So let’s get started making this transition in our own daily lives-
1. Get a glass or metal water bottle. Stop buying bottled water. If drinking out the tap freaks you out get a water filter for your sink. I personally love my glass water bottle.
2. Buy natural fiber clothing. Stick to cotton, wool, or silk. Don’t EVER buy polyester- it’s plastic fabric. Read the label and stick to natural.
3. Buy a reusable coffee cup and make your own coffee at home. You’ll save money too!
4. Say “no straw please” when you at a restaurant. You don’t need a straw, you really don’t. But if you have to have one get a metal one and bring it will you. This is the one that I have.
5. Request no utensils when you order take out. And, order less take out. It’s healthier for you and your wallet.
6. Buy used clothing. Remember number 2, buy natural fiber clothing? The exception to this is if the clothing is used. You are saving a garment from the landfill and saving yourself some money.
7. Don’t use a produce bag. When you shop for produce just put the produce in a small reusable shopping bag or straight in your cart or basket. You don’t need a plastic produce bag, they are totally unnecessary.
8. Try to avoid pre-packaged items that are packed in plastic. For example, buy the glass bottle of pasta sauce instead of the plastic one.
9. Buy less frozen veggies. I know, they are SO EASY. But, you are compromising on health benefits for convenience, and the plastic wrappers are bad for the planet. Get a metal veggie steamer and steam fresh veggies instead. It will take a little longer to fix, but it’s worth it.
10. Store your food in glass containers. I have two sets that I really like one is round and the other is square. The bowls are stackable, which helps with storage. Anther idea is to buy old mason jars and other glass containers at flea markets and antique shops. Give them a good soak and they're as good as new! They make great decorative items, serving pieces, or drinking glasses. When any of your existing plastic storage containers are broken or scratched recycle them if you can, or throw them away. Plastic that is broken or scratched can possibly leak chemicals into your food. NEVER replace a plastic food container with another plastic food container.