Every day, each one of us contributes to the plastic waste that gets dumped into our oceans. The European Parliament Research Service estimates that we have more than 150 million tons of plastic polluting our oceans right now.
Every plastic cup, bottle or bag you have ever thrown away is in a landfill or in the ocean right now. It’s so easy to forget this, especially in developed areas where we throw away garbage and a nice truck pick it up for us every week to never look at it again. It has to go somewhere, and it doesn’t just disappear.
This is a huge global problem and every one of us can make a difference.
Here are ways to use less plastic
1. Swear off plastic water bottles
What a racket. Not only do plastic water bottles cost too much and pollute our oceans, but they also leach hormone-disrupting chemicals into the water which end up in your body.
Invest in a glass or stainless steel water bottle, and use an in-home water filter like a berkey or reverse osmosis system to filter your water.
2. If you need disposable cups or products, use recyclable paper instead of plastic
When you’re in need of disposable cups, plates (hi summer BBQs!), or anything else, opt for recyclable paper instead of plastic. In general, always opt for glass, stainless steel, wood, bamboo, or paper over plastic.
3. Pack your lunch in reusable containers and bags
Opt for fresh fruits and veggies and bulk items instead of products that come in single-serving cups or bags
4. Stop your plastic produce bags
You really don’t need one of those little plastic bags for every fruit or vegetable you buy. If you bring your own shopping reusable bags, just place them inside your bag until you get to the checkout. Wash them well when you get home and wash your shopping bags every now and again. You can easily stop using dozens of plastic bags per month by doing this.
5. Store your food in mason jars or other glass containers
Beyond getting plastics out of your food (health-win!), you’ll be helping reduce the plastics in our oceans and landfills, too.
6. Bring a reusable mug when you order coffee
Show it on your desk, in your purse, car or bag so you have it on hand when you order or refill your drink.
7. Bring your own container for takeout and leftovers.
When ordering takeout or bringing home leftovers, ask if you can get the food in your own reusable container.
8. Say "No straw, please."
Straws are one of the top 10 items found on beaches. In most cases, drinking out of a straw is simply unnecessary. If you do need a straw, you can get a reusable stainless steel or glass one.
9. Don't just discard electronics
Aim to repair or upgrade your devices instead of buying new ones. Sell gadgets and computer parts, or find a facility where you can turn them in for recycling.
Benefits of a plastic-free life
The personal pay-offs for using less plastic include:
1. Being healthier (you will eat more ‘real’ food and less packaged stuff, also reducing your exposure to the toxins in plastic which have been proved to cause hormonal imbalances and cancers)
2.Having less rubbish to take out on bin day (a practical bonus!)
3. Also feeling better doing something about the plastic crisis rather than feeling despair
Once you see the benefits, for you personally as well as the planet, choosing to use less plastic will become something you commit to, it will become part of your identity.
Now it's your turn
I hope you liked the article 😊
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