Just recycling the plastic you use is no longer good enough in this day and age. We actually need to start making conscious choices to reduce the amount of plastic waste we produce. These choices can happen on a day to day basis and are actually pretty easy to integrate into your life once you commit to them.
Another benefit to reducing the amount of plastic and single use products you use in your day to day life is the cost saving. While reusable products have a higher cost initially, not having to replace them time and again will add up in the long run.
What's in this post:
- 1 10 Ways to Start Eliminating Plastic Waste from Your Life
- 1.1 1. Keep reusable grocery bags in your car
- 1.2 2. Shop at farmer’s markets for your fruits and vegetables
- 1.3 3. Stop using plastic wrap for leftovers and lunches
- 1.4 4. Say no to plastic knives and forks
- 1.5 5. Switch to a bamboo toothbrush
- 1.6 6. Make the move to a menstrual cup
- 1.7 7. Buy a reusable drink bottle and coffee cup… and use it!
- 1.8 8. Quit using straws.
- 1.9 9. Shop the bulk bins
- 1.10 10. Make your own cleaning products
10 Ways to Start Eliminating Plastic Waste from Your Life
1. Keep reusable grocery bags in your car
This is a no brainer and something that many of us already do but if you haven’t made the switch to reusable grocery bags then this is the best place to start.
2. Shop at farmer’s markets for your fruits and vegetables
Once you start to notice just home much plastic packaging comes home with your from the supermarket, you will be horrified. Fruit and vegetables are one of the worst culprits for unnecessary plastic packaging and you can easily fix this by shopping for these at a weekly farmers market instead of your supermarket.
Meat is another plastic magnet. Supermarkets love to wrap meat in plastic on plastic trays with plastic labels. Getting your meat from a local market or butcher is another easy step.
3. Stop using plastic wrap for leftovers and lunches
Stop using plastic wrap on your lunches and leftovers and either use a reusable container, a cloth or a beeswax wrap. Easy.
4. Say no to plastic knives and forks
If you’re getting take out with the intent of taking it home to eat, say no to the plastic knives and forks that come along with it. You don’t need to use them at home so don’t take them. The same goes for those little plastic ketchup packets. If you’ve got ketchup at home, say no to the packets.
5. Switch to a bamboo toothbrush
Plastic oral care products are some of the hardest to recycle so switching to a bamboo toothbrush is an eco-friendly alternative.
6. Make the move to a menstrual cup
Switching to a menstrual cup or menstrual panties instead of using pads & tampons every month definitely cuts back on the amount of waste you produce as a woman. Not just from the product itself but the packaging too.
7. Buy a reusable drink bottle and coffee cup… and use it!
Just buying them isn’t enough. Commit to using them. Even if you make it a challenge for yourself for a short time. It doesn’t take long for a new habit to form.
The convenience factor plays a big part in why many of us don’t use the reusable drink bottles and coffee cups we own. You actually do need to make a conscious choice to prepare in the morning, make sure your coffee cup is washed and ready to be refilled at your cafe.
Same with your water bottle. Will it the night before so you can grab it off the bench or from the fridge in the morning.
8. Quit using straws.
If you want to use a straw at home for smoothies or juices then buy a stainless steel straw. Why do you need a straw anyway?
9. Shop the bulk bins
Buying things like flour, sugar, beans and seeds in bulk bins doesn’t just reduce packaging, it also makes them a lot cheaper. Challenge yourself to shop the bulk bins first for a few weeks and see what difference it makes to your grocery bill. You can bring your own reusable bags or containers for bulk bin items too.
10. Make your own cleaning products
Just about everything around your house can be cleaned with baking soda or white vinegar. Instead of buying plastic bottles of cleaning products every month, get a big jug of vinegar and a container of baking soda and make your own. Here’s a good guide on what to use, where and the proportions you need for cleaning.
Just being mindful of the amount of plastic you consume can be a great step towards reducing your plastic footprint. Tweaking a few small everyday choices that you make can go a long way over time.
Don’t discount the positive impact your choices can have on the people around you. If you’re out with friends at a bar, decline the straw and your friends will likely follow suit. Without being one of “those” annoying people who preach their life choices to all who will listen, casually inform your friends & family about your conscious efforts to reduce the amount of plastic you use.
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