10 easy ways to reduce plastic usage and why you should!
Landfill sites are completely clogged up with the stuff; there are 5 large islands of plastic in our ocean – the largest being the in the North Pacific and growing all the time.Plastic as a household item first exploded into history after the First World War. What was every homemaker’s answer has become a killer to people, plant, animal,oceans worldwide & complete mankind!.
Plastic never biodegrades, it just breaks down into smaller and smaller particles in the environment. Only about 27% of plastic is recycled in the USA annually. So what happens to the other 73%? It ends up in landfill and the waterways and oceans of our world. Other big consumer countries and even the little ones like South Africa, also have added their plastic waste to the worlds water, I just don’t have the figures.
Even though our household recycles all plastic and other recyclable materials, I still feel that we need to reduce our plastic usage. Things like items stored in plastics using cling wrap, particularly ones that contain fats, carry warnings for the end user. If there is a warning on a product, why use it? Surely I could do better?
I took an inventory over a few weeks looking at how and where I used plastic and I came up with 10 ways to reduce plastic usage. The pledge below I felt I needed to make publicaly to keep myself accountable as it was a pledge to invest my time to reducing plastic in my home, and in my life time is a very precious commodity.
Don’t let this list be anything more to you that a guide. You know your home and family and will be able to make a list to reduce plastic usage that is more suited to your needs.
My pledge: I will always be a mindful shopper and will constantly look for ways to reduce my once off plastic use including buying produce that is packaged in plastic.
The list: 10 ways to reduce plastic usage
1. Do not buy any new plastic wares – no drinking cups, no Tupperware or similar items.
2. Find other ways to cover food. Wire, netting, glass and muslin covers are often attractive to use and can be used again and again. Creative use of bowls and plates can keep food covered in the fridge.
3. Never buy plastic bags at the grocery store. Keep your material grocery bags in your car so that they are always available when you need them. Keep a light material bag rolled up in your handbag for small purchases.
4. Buy seasonal foods at farmers markets instead of pre-packaged vegetables and fruits at the store. If you do not have farmers markets nearby, then opt to buy loose produce over bagged produce.
5. Cut out all beverages that are bottled in plastic. We have not used bottled water for years but I see it is still popular for many…cut it out! Buy a reusable water bottle which you can fill from the tap or distiller. Same goes for coffee if you buy coffee…get yourself a trendy mug with a lid that you can fill up at your local coffee place.
6. Buy items in bullk. These are generally packaged in paper as versus plastic and you can compost the paper once empty.
7. Take the step and start making your own things at home that you would buy packaged in plastic at the shop. Yoghurt, biscuits, condiments, there are recipes for everything. You will find this is a multiple blessing as you are then getting real nutrition, not empty calories, saving money as it is always more frugal to make your own than buy and you will be producing less waste.
8. Switch to vinegar and bicarb as cleaners for your home. You can buy these in bulk at most stores and you will be saving some money too while creating less waste and providing a safer greener home for your family.
9. Wash clothing with soapnuts. These are one of those wonderful gifts from the Creator of our earth. Soap nuts can be used in your dishwasher too as well as for washing hair and many more uses.
10. Get rid of chemical personal products. Deodorant can be replaced with coconut oil and bicarb. Shampoo with soapnuts or bicarb and vinegar or even a homemade shampoo bar. Most lotions and potions contain petrochemicals. Steer clear!
These are things that I already do or will be doing more now. Will you join me in making your own list to reduce plastic usage and showing those around you that you can live without or at least reduce our dependence on plastic in all its forms? This choice is to switch from being a consumer to being a producer…are you up to the challenge?
If you are already doing those things on my list, why not aim higher and reduce plastic usage even more? Beth Terry is a heroine and has a complete zero plastic waste! How cool is that? She has a book called: Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Toowhich you can purchase at Amazon. This book is 100% plastic free as well! You can also take her plastic free challenge at My Plastic Free Life