Plastic – it’s like the background noise of convenience in society. Single use straws. Plastic bags. To-go containers. Water bottles. In good conscience, we always recycle, but we rarely stop to think about what happens to an item after it’s dropped into the bin.
Many don’t realize that more than 90% of plastics aren’t recycled, which means they’re wreaking havoc on our environment – oceans especially. After viewing the below heartbreaking video of a sea turtle with a plastic straw up its nose years ago, I’ve been striving to consume less and less plastic. Here are a few ways we can change our daily habits today to make an impact.
Say no to single use items. I get it – I loved sipping an iced coffee from Starbucks on a hot summer day, but the environmental cost isn’t worth it, and it’s so easy to make a better choice. Now, I typically make my (better tasting) cold brew at-home, and when I do sip out, I bring my own reusable cup + straws.
Bring your own <insert>. Which single use items are you most likely to use, and then throw away? Buy a reusable version and always bring your own. Shopping bags are common, but we can also bring our own coffee mugs, straws, water bottles or glass jars for bulk items that often come in plastic bags (like pasta or rice),
Make a change on items you regularly throw away. Think about your trash habits – are there items you’re consistently tossing in the garbage? When I took stock in my own personal habits, I noticed I was using Ziplock bags way too often. Now, I’m putting my half avocados in glass containers. Silicone bags (which bonus, are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning) and beeswax wraps are also great alternatives to plastic bags.
Clean up your beauty & hygiene products. Seek brands that put their products in glass or compostable containers. Evan Healy is a favorite line that uses glass packaging, and Garden Goddess has skincare products not in plastic bottles, too. And instead of tossing plastic tampon applicators each month, consider a Diva Cup or an applicator-less option.
Encourage others. Inspire, encourage and have conversations about creating less waste with the people in your life. Make reusable mugs your go-to holiday gift this year. Ask your favorite café to incentive people to bring their own cups. Inquire with the restaurants you frequent if they’d consider not offering plastic straws.
How are you using less plastic in your day-to-day life? Please tell us in the comments. Let’s help one another to make a meaningful change.