5 Foolproof Ways To Reduce Plastic Waste
In this article you're going to learn 5 simple ways to help you reduce your plastic waste.
If you're anything like us, unnecessary plastic waste infuriates you... And yet, it's everywhere!
Millions of drink bottles, coffee cups, and grocery bags are thrown into our environment every single day.
And we're sure you will agree when we say- it's time for each and everyone of us to be responsible for our actions!
But being perfect ain't easy or even possible...
While zero waste living might be the overall goal - in reality, we know that the transition from living a ‘normal life’ to a ‘zero-waste life’ - can be challenging and overwhelming.
That's why we wanted to share these 5 small lifestyle changes that you can make right now, so you know EXACTLY how to reduce plastic waste and save some money in the process! Win win :)
5 simple ways to reduce your plastic waste, save money, and preserve the planet
#1 - BYOB (Bring Your Own Bags)
Plastic bags are the worst offenders of trash which pollutes our oceans.
If you keep a reusable bag on you at all times, you never have to contribute to this waste again.
You can pack your produce as you shop, wash them inside the bag when you get home, and pop them straight in your fridge.
Another honourable mention are these super compact reusable grocery bags! They're handy to keep in your handbag at all times because they fold down into a 4 inch square!
Next time the checkout person offers you a plastic bag just whip out one of these bad boys instead!
You'll save the environment and the small fee if your grocery store charges for plastic bags.
Meme from @fuckjerry
#2 - Switch your plastic for a bamboo toothbrush
Dentists recommend changing your toothbrush every 3-4 months. This means that every year, most people throw away a 3-4 pieces of plastic that will never fully biodegrade.In the US alone, over 1 billion plastic toothbrushes are discarded every single year. Imagine if just 50% of the US population switched to bamboo. That would save 500 million pieces of plastic entering the environment every year, and 5 billion every decade!
We've tried to make it super easy for you to make the switch to a bamboo toothbrush.
Our 10-pack is priced at $14.95 (under $1.50 per brush) - which is cheaper than most brand name toothbrushes!
Plus, they have been recommended by multiple dental hygienists.
This is one tiny change you can make that will make a positive difference to our environment!
#3 - Ditch Plastic Straws
Plastic straws are the epitome of waste.
They are unnecessary. Flimsy. Pathetic.
They only last once, but even worse, they are too small to be recycled and end up either in landfills, floating in our ocean, or getting stuck up turtles’ noses :(
#4 - Make MORE at home & SAY NO TO STYROFOAM
Avoid Styrofoam and Polystyrene! These are types of plastic that are used in coffee cups, lids, packaging, and so much more. They never completely decompose, so once you’ve used something containing styrofoam or polystyrene once - it will linger in our environment forever.
The easiest way to say no to Styrofoam is to make more things at home.
If you like a coffee on your morning commute, freshly brew a cup at home and transport it in a reusable coffee cup. They feel much sturdier to drink from than the flimsy paper ones with the pesky plastic lids.
Swap take outs or ready meals that come in disposable packaging - for home cooked meals to reduce your use of Styrofoam. If you have leftovers, pop them in a bowl and cover with reusable beeswax wraps to keep fresh (rather than using plastic wrap). Not only does it look prettier, but it’s healthier too.
It’s estimated that the amount of plastic wrap used each year in the USA, can wrap around Texas! Shocking. Awful. Ugly.
#5 - CHANGE YOUR MINDSET
Living a zero-waste life doesn’t have to be an inconvenience, it just takes a little more preparation. And with that, you need to have the right mindset.
1. Be as prepared as possible
2. Don’t get down on yourself when you make a mistake
3. Treat everybody kindly
A zero waste mindset should be a positive one. You should pat yourself on the back anytime you dodge unnecessary waste or make a positive change that helps preserve the planet.
There will be plenty of times that you screw up. The important thing is that you continually grow from your mistakes. With each mistake you make you can be more prepared next time. This will help to set a positive example for your family and friends.
Under no circumstance should a zero waste mindset involve belittling people who don’t understand the impact of their decisions. Treat everybody kindly and do your best to educate those who aren’t as conscious about the environment as you. They may not change immediately but planting the seed with kindness is important. Remember, that in order for us to move the needle and improve the health of our planet - we need everybody on board!
Harriet S. Co-Founder of Zero Waste Cartel & surfer of very small waves.