By now, chances are you have a pretty good understanding of the negative effects plastic has on both our body and the planet. Daily exposure to BPA from plastics has been found adversely affects our health (reproductive disorders and heart disease, among others.) Plastic in our oceans affects marine life and humans Health too – we are watching you, Pacific trash. Oh, and have you heard of micro plastic Rain from the sky? I won’t spoil the punch line, but rest assured, you won’t find it interesting. While figuring out how to minimize plastic usage is only part of a larger and more complex puzzle, it’s a great place to start.
Whether you are motivated by keeping your own Health In its peak form, or you feel inspired to reduce the plastic pollution on our planet (or both!) then the first step is to cut down on our dependence on plastic.
Manufacturing materials only became popular in the 1960s – so how did we shop and store our leftovers before that time? Today, everything from food containers comes baby bottles is plastic. So what must we do when we want to reduce plastic waste in everyday life? Turns out, it’s actually simpler than you might think.
photo taken by Emilee Kunas
Step one in changing our plastic habits is to acknowledge the role we each play in creating pollution. No one prefer seeing tons of plastic pollute our oceans, but in doing so, do you often realize that the coffee cup lid or floating storage bag you see could be yours?
I know that. You will never throw rubbish in a creek, and you always pick it up after being at the beach. Sadly, even if you throw your plastic in the trash, you are choosing to send them to a landfill, where they risk being blown or washed away into our currents and contaminating our oceans. we. Enter a picture of a baby sea turtle chewing a bottle cap of Nat Geo.
photo taken by Molly Culver
We know it can be confusing knowing exactly the proper ways to dispose of your trash – especially when it comes to certain plastic operations. That’s why the easiest way to reduce your plastic waste is to reduce your plastic intake use And to do that, you need to remove it from your daily routine in the best possible way. These common everyday items are among the largest plastic pollutants and also the easiest to remove.
- Plastic bag. Unfortunately these are non-recyclable, so reuse and reuse whatever you currently own until it’s time to get rid of the trash.
- Cup of coffee for disposable use. Used paper cups cannot be recycled because they are soiled. Throw them in the compost or trash, then rinse and recycle the plastic lid.
- Plastic bottle. Rinse them and throw them in the recycling bin.
- Plastic food containers and Tupperware. Same as above!
- Plastic utensils. Plastic forks, knives and spoons can be washed and recycled. I’m trying to do better by telling restaurants that I don’t need plastic in my take-out dish, but it can be hard to remember!
- Plastic production bags and grocery bags. In Austin, these bags go with any plastic wrap (like your tissue wrapped in it). can be recycled at certain drop off locations. I collect these and recycle them every week or two.
Now that you’ve figured out how to minimize your plastic usage, here are a few rules of thumb to remember to move forward:
- Never put your recycling in the trash bag. Garbage bags are not recyclable and will lead to your entire collection in the landfill.
- Always wash your plastic items.
- Hard plastic is recyclable. Soft plastics such as bags and plastic wrap are generally not applicable unless specified by your city.
- Not sure how to remove something? This site makes it easy to find any household item and immediately find out what to do with it. Take less time logging into Instagram, guys!
photo taken by Kristen Kilpatrick
Now that you’ve phased out your plastic, you may find yourself needing a few things. Today’s environmentally conscious markets make it easy to find an eco-friendly alternative to any product. Here are some of our favorites:
- Food storage
- Wax wrap. I have been using them for the past 7 months and would love to have them in my kitchen. The sheets come in a variety of sizes and can be folded to hold products or snacks such as plastic bags, or they can be glued to the top of any bowl or plate and used in place of actual wrap. Products.
- The bag is reusable silicone. Can’t separate yourself from that baggie life? Reusable silicone bags are for you and yes, they’re dishwasher safe!
- Glass food containers. For everything in between, a pyrex lided container is the way to go.
- Water bottles
- Shopping bags
- You have about a million reusable shopping bags. Use them!
- Mesh production bags is a great addition to your grocery shopping trips. Sometimes I find them a bit cumbersome to take back from the store, and in general, end up just bringing most of my fruit and vegetables out without a grocery bag.
This post was originally published August 27, 2020, and has since been updated.