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Sadly, the use of plastic (even if it is recyclable or biodegradable) is drastically affecting our oceans and harming its wildlife. Not only that, but even recycling does not solve the problem. Recycling is a long process and it is sometimes hard to separate trash from recyclables, especially in public places.
Items such as plastic straws and plastic bags are some of the culprits. And even if plastic water bottles, food containers and other plastics say “BPA free”, it does not necessarily mean they are free of harmful chemicals. How can we help eliminate plastic waste and live a healthier life? The best thing you can do is make changes at home, when you shop and dine out and be more aware of your plastic use.
Below are some ways to reduce plastic use. These are changes you can make with your entire family and within your household. I know it is sometimes unavoidable, but there are other times when you can make the choice. Using reusable and eco-friendly products will also save you money in the long run.
Here are some ways to reduce plastic use:
I feel like this one goes without saying. The best thing you can do to eliminate the use of plastic water bottles is to refill a stainless steel water bottle.
Don’t want to drink tap water? No worries! There are so many amazing water filtration systems you can install at in your home including a reverse osmosis system, which is what we use and love. Simply fill up glass mason jars or glass pitchers with water from your home filtration system and have healthy water available anytime.
Having your own water at home will also save you a lot of money in the long run when you no longer have to buy plastic water bottles.
Plastic Grocery Bags
The plastic bag ban has been making its way around varies cities and and even states, including where I live in California. Even if plastic bags are offered where you shop, bring your own reusable bags instead.
Plastic bags are also used for bagging produce in a lot of stores. I have recently seen some of my stores switch to compostable bags which is great, but it is better to put your produce directly in the shopping cart or in a reusable bag when you can. (Since we all intend to wash our produce anyways right?)
I love that more and more restaurants are on board for banning the use of plastic straws. I understand that they are needed for certain people with disabilities, but if you do not need a straw, try to do without.
Bring your stainless steel straws and reusable cups to refill. Starbucks is one place that will fill up your own cup and give you a discount on your beverage. This is also great for taking coffee and other drinks on the go.
If you can, do without those plastic one time use straws.
Whenever you purchase something on plastic hangers, try to give them back to the store to reuse. There is no need to take them home unless you plan to reuse them and not just throw them away.
I know I always see a bin for hangers at Target and I always put the hangers in there since we have plenty of reusable hangers at home already.
Plastic Food Storage
Plastic food storage is not only unhealthy, but it is less durable, lower quality and the chemicals leach into your food. Use glass or stainless steel food storage containers and wash them to reuse for years to come.
In what ways do you use less plastic?