Disposable plastic items aren’t great for our planet or our health. You’ve likely noticed that several states are beginning to ban the use of plastic straws and plastic grocery bags due to their impact on the environment. What can you do to help lessen your own impact and stop using the damaging plastics we’re all dependent on?
Check out our best tips for lowering your environmental impact and eventually saving some money on single use plastic items around your home!
· Use What You Have– For starters, you shouldn’t just toss every single use plastic in your home. Use up those sandwich baggies for your lunches before buying reusable bags, continue to use your existing plastic straws for your morning smoothie until you can replace it, or use what you have for grocery bag instead of buying brand-new bags right away. The greenest option is the one that uses what you have instead of wasting it. Keep that in mind and make upgrades as you’re able!
·Sip Smarter- The reusable straw options on Amazon.com go on for pages! Choose from flexible silicone, sleek stainless steel, or beautiful glass straws. Buy a couple to keep around the house and stash a few in your purse to say “no thanks” the next time you’re in the drive-thru.
·Wrap it Up– Your leftovers don’t need plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Try using some of the cool silicone covers available at stores or use flexible beeswax wraps for an airtight seal on your bowls. Your existing storage containers can also continue to do a great job of storing without waste. Toss leftovers into a box with a lid instead of wrapping it with.
Make Snacks Adorable– Your snacks can travel in style in reusable pouches. Check Etsy to find indie makers creating cute bags in endless prints and styles.
· Go Glass– Glass is one of the cleanest materials we can choose for storage and drinking purposes. Try using that collection of mason jars you have in your cupboard or invest in a couple of glass storage containers when your plastic ones have met their end.
· Turn Around Takeout– When you receive takeout in a plastic box or finish that tub of hummus, why not wash out the container and use it again and again? There’s no need to toss it in the recycling bin right away. Try saving it to use a few more times for storing things around the house.
· Take Your Totes– Most of us have an array of reusable shopping bags or tote bags that have been given as free gifts or we’ve picked up through the years. Don’t forget to take them along to the grocery store before you head out to go shopping this week.
· Cut Back on Baggies– When shopping for produce, don’t grab one of those plastic bags from the roll if you’re only grabbing one bulb of garlic or a bunch of bananas. For larger purchases, try out some of the lightweight reusable produce bag options available to purchase to cut back on your plastics use.
· Buy in Bulk– Purchasing from bulk bins (with your reusable bags or mason jars) is a great way to cut back on the packaging. Many grocery stores offer these bins as a packaging free way to buy grains, beans, or even fresh ground peanut butter! Plus, much of the time, the items cost far less than the comparable ones on the shelf.
Taking a look at our plastic consumption is an important thing we should all do. These tips make it more approachable and easier for you to achieve. Start small by implementing a few of these and slowly add more as you go.