I recently came across a blog called Plastic-Free Guide. The author Beth Terry lists every possible way to reduce plastic usage in your life. In fact, there are 95 clever suggestions!
Her top two ways to reduce plastic usage you are hopefully already doing – bringing reusable bags and totes to the store with you (and that includes all stores, not just grocery stores!) and drinking from reusable water bottles, preferably a stainless steel one.
Beth conveniently categorizes her other suggestions for easy reading, the most doable ones I have listed below.
Plastic-free Grocery Shopping
Shop from local farmers markets; buy from bulk bins when possible; eat whole fruit instead of buying sodas, fruit juices and other plastic- bottled beverages; buy fresh bread or bread wrapped in paper; buy milk in returnable glass bottles; stop buying frozen convenience foods.
· Plastic-Free Eating and Drinking on the Go
Carry your own containers for take out food and leftovers; carry a stainless steel travel mug or water bottle; carry reusable utensils and glass drinking straws.
· Plastic-Free Lunches at School or Work
Choose glass/stainless steel food storage containers; store foods without freezing; avoid non-stick cookware; choose stainless steel ice cube trays.
· Learn to Make It From Scratch
Make your own soy or almond milk, condiments or snacks.
· No More Plastic Trash Bags
Compost food waste.
· Switch to Natural, Plastic-Free Household Cleaning Techniques
Clean with vinegar, baking soda and water; use powdered dishwasher detergent in a cardboard box; use natural cleaning cloths and scrubbers; wash laundry with soapnuts or laundry powders without a plastic scoop.
· Personal Care
Use bar soap instead of liquid hand soap; give up shampoo in plastic bottles; use soap instead of canned shave cream; choose lotions and lip balms in plastic-free containers; choose toilet paper that’s not wrapped in plastic.
Bring your own water bottle or travel mug— even on the plane; bring your own snacks; don’t forget your headphones.
· Plastic-Free Pet Care
Avoid plastic bowls; choose pet toys/furniture made from natural materials instead of plastic.
· Get it Fixed!
· Buy it Used!
Say No to Plastic Packing Material
Request zero plastic packaging when ordering online. (I love this one!)
· Reduce Plastic in the Office
Avoid disposable plastic pens.
· Plastic-Free Entertainment/Electronics
Look for secondhand electronics, games, and toys first; take care of what you have already; avoid buying CDs and DVDs.
· No New Plastic Clothing
Choose natural fibers; shop thrift stores.
Avoid the worst plastics: Polyvinyl Chloride (#3 PVC), Polystyrene (#6 PS), & Polycarbonate (#7 other) which cause a host of environmental problems and can be toxic to the brain and nervous system.
Plastic is in practically everything! It’s impossible to eliminate it entirely from our lives, but Beth’s blog certainly makes us aware of our overuse and over dependence on it. Plastic has definitely made our lives more convenient, but at what cost? I wonder given the harmful effects from the manufacture of and constant exposure to plastic; given that so much of it ends up in our oceans and landfills; and given that most of it is not biodegradable, why chemists aren’t coming up with more green plastic. It’s time we demand it.
I encourage you to visit www.plasticfreeguide.com, read her tips and take her plastic trash challenge.
For more green tips, visit greenwithbetsy.com.
Information compiled from www.plasticfreeguide.com.