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Plastic has consumed the world. It’s everywhere you look.
There are 2,000 active landfills in the United States. The average American generates one million pounds of waste per year.
The environment pays for our carelessness.
Some people don’t care and the facts won’t phase them. They figure, “it doesn’t affect me” or “I can’t do anything about it”.
Well, we can do something about it. Even if a small group of us take a stand against plastics, it will make a difference. We’ll lead by example rather than say it would be a nice thing to do.
I’m not saying it’s easy, but taking baby steps will help the environment and our health.
Here are 10 ways to reduce plastic waste.
Stop buying plastic water bottles
It’s shocking to see how many people buy water bottles at the grocery store. Most bottles can’t be recycled, so they end up in landfills where they sit waiting to decompose.
Did you know it takes 450 years for plastic bottles to decompose?!
Plastic water bottles are also bad for your health. They are full of toxins that leach into your water, especially on hot summer days.
Instead of buying bottles of water, buy glass or stainless steel water bottles. They are easy to clean and are reusable.
Before we leave the house, we fill up this half-gallon growler with water, so we have freshwater throughout the day.
As a bonus, you can ask to use your reusable cups and bottles at restaurants and Starbucks!
Also Read: Sustainable Water Filtration
Stop using plastic straws
I know this might not seem like a big deal, but those plastic straws add up!
Get rid of your Keurig
Kcups are not recyclable and are terrible for the environment. Not to mention they’re so expensive!
Instead, use this manual espresso maker. Sure it’s a little more work, but the only waste generated is coffee grounds. Use those grounds on acidic-loving plants. It’s a win, win for everyone!
Say no to disposable silverware
You may not run into this very often, but it’s good to be prepared.
Ask for paper instead of plastic
Paper bags are great because you can use them as a base layer in your garden or compost them. Another alternative is using reusable bags. These bags are biodegradable and machine washable!
Don’t grab that plastic produce bag
Let’s be honest. That plastic bag is only good for corralling those veggies while they are in the cart. Other than that, they are useless. Instead, let the produce ride freely in the cart or bring your own produce bags. Use Cotton muslin bags for bulk items like rice, oats, or popcorn. You’ll be happy you made the switch.
Stop using plastic baggies and food wrap
Plastic zip-lock bags are the worst because you use them once for something, then throw them away. Food wrap leaches toxins into your food.
Instead, use these beeswax wraps. Beeswax wraps are safe to use around food and are reusable.
No more plastic razors
Conventional plastic razors have removable heads that you can toss and replace. The problem is, the blades are surrounded by plastic! So, after a few uses, you’re tossing plastic back onto the pile… Switch to a safety razor. These aren’t only for men. Ladies, we can use them too!
Switch to reusable sanitary pads
Ladies, I know disposals are a convenience but they don’t decompose. They are terrible for your health as well. They are made of plastics and bleached cotton. The chemicals contained in sanitary pads cause hormonal imbalances and cancer. Tampons are just as bad as they can cause toxic shock syndrome. Although you have to hand wash reusable pads, they are so much healthier for you.
Make the switch to reusable pads. You’ll be happy you did. Plus, you won’t be throwing money away. Know how to sew? You can also make your own!
Stop buying synthetic materials
Polyester, nylon, and other synthetic materials are made out of plastic polymers. When we wash synthetic materials microfibers are washed away.
This includes clothing, towels, blankets, pillows, etc…
These microfibers have been finding themselves in our drinking water, food, canned foods, and even beer! We are consuming plastic!
Instead of buying synthetic clothing look for cotton or wool clothing. They do cost more but they are worth it!
We love our wool shirts and wear them even in the hot summer months!
Use cotton kitchen towels for dusting, cleaning, etc.
Reuse plastic containers
Use plastic jars from peanut butter and nuts to store loose screws and nails or organize tools. Use plastic egg cartons as seed starters.
Think of ways to re-purpose the plastic you already have in your home.
Recycle what you can. Make the needed changes to reduce your plastic waste. Educate others about the importance of reducing plastic waste.
If we all work together, we can make a difference.
How have you reduced plastic waste? I’d love to hear in the comments!