Plastic is everywhere. Almost everything we buy comes with plastic of some kind. While many plastic items are recyclable, not all are. That plastic you toss today will outlive you + potentially even your 30 times great-granddaughter. So while one solution is to recycle as much as you can, another complimentary solution is to reduce your consumption of single-use plastic.
Last September, I spent an entire month not using plastic straws. You don’t really notice how much you use something until you can’t. Not using straws was a real exercise in taking an honest look at my consumption + I was shocked. Since then, I have tried to reduce my use of plastic straws. There are also other areas in my life where I could also take a step back + cut out some of the plastic I use. While in an ideal world we would use little to no plastic, our society is a ways from helping us eliminate its use. In the meantime, you can reduce your consumption of single-use plastic.
How to Reduce Your Consumption of Single-Use Plastic
- Cut out straws. This is one of the easiest ways to reduce your consumption of single-use plastic. Opt for biodegradable straws or reusable ones like metal or bamboo.
- Cut out to-go cups. People are quick to point out how much plastic is on a lid or cup. See if your local coffee or tea shop will allow you to bring your own container + save on plasticware.
- Say goodbye to water bottles. I don’t drink nearly enough water, but when I get close, it’s because I have a new cup. Not only will it reduce your consumption of single-use plastic it will also keep your beverages hot or cold longer.
- Bring your own bags. Cut out plastic bags at the grocery store, Target, etc. by opting to bring your own reusable bags. If you live in a city like Austin, stores may even charge you to use bags + even then, it’s paper.
- Speaking of plastic at the grocery store, reduce your consumption of single-use plastic with reusable produce bags. Considering you typically keep your apples in that bag for maybe one hour, it is a huge waste of plastic.
- Make smart choices. When you’re purchasing items at the store or market, choose options that have the least amount of wasteful packaging. Do you *really* need individually wrapped make-up wipes or would micellar water + cotton pads do the trick?
- Tupperware is your friend. Ditch the saran wrap and put your leftovers in proper containers that will extend the life of your food + not end up in a landfill.
- Reuse what you do use. If you do end up using a paper bag to carry some grapes, reuse it the next day. Just because something is single-use, doesn’t mean it has to be.
- Rethink disposable in the bathroom. While disposable razors are convenient for us, they aren’t exactly environmentally-conscious. You’ll waste less plastic by choosing a razor with disposable heads in lieu of tossing the whole thing out.
- Make your own products. From body wash to laundry detergent, Pinterest is full of recipes to make your own products that can be stored in glass + other container types. Not only will you reduce your consumption of single-use plastic, but you’ll also save money on products in the long run.
While making any of these choices to reduce your consumption of single-use plastic may seem like a small step, it can snowball. One choice leads to another. One person inspires another. If everyone is willing to make small changes, we could see a real impact on our oceans + climate. How are you planning to reduce your consumption of single-use plastic this Earth Day? Let me know over on Instagram.