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30 Creative Ways to Use Less Plastic and Go Green!
Plastic. It’s everywhere. It’s cheap to make and sometimes so convenient it seems as if modern day life could not continue without it. Our food comes in plastic bags, we take it home from the supermarket in plastic bags, we put our refuse in plastic bags (much of which consists of, you guessed it, plastic). We drink from plastic containers or pour beverages into plastic cups and glasses, we use plastic to store our leftover food or use plastic wrap to cover it. And we’ve only scratched the surface here!
It’s true, plastic is cheap and convenient but it’s hurting us and hurting the environment. No matter how much you might want to think that most plastic gets recycled, the truth of the matter is, it doesn’t. The majority of it ends up in landfills or our oceans. This is destructive to every single living thing on earth. Keep in mind that there is no “away”. When you throw something “away”, it doesn’t magically disappear; it just goes “away” someplace else. We need to start thinking about how wasteful it is to use something for 15 minutes, or even a few days, just to toss it in the trash.
According to Plastic Oceans:
- 35 Billion Plastic bottles are thrown away every single year just in the US.
- 500 Billion Plastic bags are used every year, worldwide.
- More than 250 species are known to have eaten or have become entangled in some form of plastic. This is species not single animals.
- Plastic makes up about 8 percent of the world’s oil production.
Plastic has become such a way of life that trying to go plastic free is more difficult than you think, but, step by step, little by little, it can be done. If you want to go more green and cut back on plastic use, here are 30 ways you can cut down or cut back on the amounts of plastic you use in your day to day life.
1. Avoid convenience foods when shopping.
Highly processed foods are bad for your health so why eat them anyway? If you stick to the outside sections of the store, you will generally find the healthier foods such as bakery, meat, and produce.
2. Can your own foods in glass bottles.
This means you don’t have to buy canned foods that are lined with plastic or foods in plastic containers. Mason jars are reusable too!
3. Freeze food in reused flour or cloth bags instead of those plastic freezer bags.
4. Make your own laundry soap
Reuse those huge liquid soap containers or try making granulated soap that comes in cardboard boxes.
5. Commit to not buy personal care products in plastic containers
This means things like shampoo, lotion, soap, or deodorants. If you can’t’ find these items in other containers, then make your own. There are tons of recipes online.
6. Switch to using menstrual cups
Instead of buying tampons with plastic applicators or individually wrapped pads, buy menstrual cups of non-applicator type of tampons.
7. Don’t use disposable travel-sized items
Bring your own from home! You don’t need to buy those extra travel sized toiletry items when you probably have them right in your own bathroom, just pack them when you go.
8. Simplify your life
Before you buy something that is made of plastic or packaged in plastic, ask yourself if there isn’t some other option or if you even really need this item at all.
9. Buy in bulk
Sometimes we can’t avoid plastic but we can limit the amount we use. Buy in bulk as much as possible and avoid those individual serving type of packaging. If you live or work near one of those warehouse stores try buying things in bulk such as rice, grains, oil, flour, herbs and spices, nuts, beans, seeds, coffee, and pasta. Find out why 80 percent of packaging is toxic waste.
10. Reuse any plastic that you already have in your home
Buy large, supersize containers of things like dish soap and sugar and then put them into smaller containers that you already have for easier handling.
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