The idea of being plastic-free is unimaginable for most of us – one stop at the store to buy lunch and you likely have three pieces of plastic to throw in the trash. But just because going completely plastic-free is impossible, that doesn’t mean the environment won’t thank you for every small effort.
The plastic waste that ends up in landfills and out in the ocean takes hundreds of years to degrade, and we’ve likely all seen the traumatic pictures and footage of ocean animals trapped in our garbage or with plastic straws wedged in their noses or throats, injured or dead. We’ve done enough damage to our environment, so it’s time we all take small steps to undo some of the damage.
Below are 5 ways you can reduce your plastic waste at home:
Bring Your Own Shopping Bags to the Store
Many countries across the world are phasing out, charging for, or completely banning one-use plastic bags. Instead of going to the store empty-handed, purchase some reusable bags and take them with you to the store. Not only will you stop contributing to that drawer or cupboard in your home (the one filled to the brim with bags you never reuse), you’ll also do your bit for the environment.
It can be tempting to buy a cheap pack of disposable knives and forks for a big party so you can avoid doing the washing up after, but it seriously contributes to your volume of waste. Instead, choose to wash and keep the plastic cutlery for next time.
Don’t Buy Bottled Water Unless You Have To
And if you have to, recycle the bottles. Most people’s tap water is perfectly safe to drink, but if you are worried you can always run your tap water through a filter to ensure what you’re getting from your tap is as good as store-bought water. The same goes for the water you drink while you are out and about – opt for a reusable bottle and fill it at home.
Choose Products Packaged in Cardboard
Take a walk down the laundry aisle at the store, what do you see? Most of the bottles and containers there will be made of plastic that cannot be recycled. Whenever you have the option, purchase the products in the cardboard containers, be that your laundry detergent or a box of spaghetti instead of a bag of it.
More and more brands are turning to recyclable packaging, so do your part by supporting those brands with your wallet (money speaks louder than words), and make the little changes around the house which will make a huge difference to your environmental footprint.
Don’t Buy Plastic Straws
Plastic straws are a big problem – such a big problem that McDonald’s has stopped providing plastic straws in European countries and instead now only offers paper straws that are easily recycled. You too can follow suit and choose to purchase reusable metal straws instead of boxes of plastic straws you are only going to throw away after one use. You can buy our reusable drinking straws here.