We can all do something to reduce plastic in our everyday lives. Even something as simple as using reusable cloth bags instead of disposable plastics bags can have a big impact in a fairly short time.
With over 9 million metric tons entering the ocean each year, single use plastic is one of the largest worldwide problems our species is facing. 300 millions tons of plastic are produced yearly, only 9 percent ends up being recycled of that extreme number. As a result, many people are committing to reduce the plastic pollution problem our species has caused.
Of the many tips and tricks in this post, most are aimed for reducing single use plastic. I really hope this post will help you to make more environmentally conscious decisions about single use plastics that we use daily. Together we can all make a large impact on this problem. Because if we don’t our planet as we know it may be very different.
Why Is Plastic So Bad?
- Plastic Practically Lasts Forever. Most plastics are designed to be extremely durable, which is great for keeping our packages safe, but not so great for our oceans and environment.
In The United States Only 23 Percent Of All Plastic Water Bottles Are Recycled Annually.
- It Makes Us Sick. Many plastics has chemicals added to make them more durable. These chemicals leach into the soil and water, making rain and plants infused with chemicals. Eating these plants we ingest some of the toxic chemicals.
- Plastic Harms And Kills Wildlife. Plastic affects some 700 marine species around the world. Massive whales down to microscopic plankton are all affected by plastics. In some areas of the ocean it is predicted there is more plastic than wildlife.
- Plastic Poisons Everything. From the water we drink to the air we breath, plastic can be pretty much anywhere and everywhere. This has created many problems for our environment and ecosystem.
How To Reduce Plastic Use
- Stop Drinking Bottled Water. There are some really nice plastic free water bottles that aren’t too expensive. If you absolutely need disposable water bottles go with a mostly paper option like Boxed Water.
- Give Up Plastic Straws. Americans alone use 500 million straws daily! Instead of using plastic straws invest in a nice metal or bamboo straw set.
- Give Up Ice Cream Cups. Instead treat yourself to a nice cone or bring your own plastic free cup or bowl. If you go with a plastic free cup option don’t forget plastic free spoons.
- Bring Your Own Takeout Containers. Stainless steel containers are durable and great for everyday adventures. Styrofoam used in takeout containers is terrible because it grinds into smaller and smaller pieces, getting everywhere and poisoning everything.
- Stop Using Plastic Shopping Bags. Around 500 billion of them are used worldwide annually! Plastic bags use a lot of oil to make, so with every 15 plastic bags produced means one more mile we can’t drive in a car. So instead of wasting oil, polluting oceans, and poisoning fish, use reusable shopping bags or go without bags at all.
- Say No To Plastic Toothbrushes. Over the course of this year people around the world will throw out some one billion plastic toothbrushes. Of that number quite a large percent comes from the United States. Bamboo toothbrushes are a good alternative and look quite rustic. If you absolutely need a plastic toothbrush try getting a durable and long lasting one.
- Give Up Gum. The sad truth about gum is that most companies use plastic as the base to reduce the manufacturing costs. Who doesn’t love chewing on a nice blob of plastic? If you have your heart set on gum, why not chew on an alternative, like Simply Gum?
- Make Your Own Juice. I love a glass of OJ as much as the next person out there, but I’m not fond of the plastic bottles. Besides not being in a plastic bottle, freshly squeezed orange juice is healthier and tastes much better and fresher.
- Ask Yourself: “Do I Need It”. Everything thing these days are wrapped and sold in plastic, so giving up your favorite candy for a fresh apple is probably a good idea. I’m not saying to give up everything in plastic, but try to cut down on unnecessary and useless items.
- Pledge To Reduce Plastic Online. My favorite place to pledge is National Geographic: Planet Or Plastic, which is aiming to keep one billion pieces of plastic out of landfills by 2020. It’s amazing to see how people doing little things to reduce plastic can really add up!
- Push To Ban Plastic Locally. Help to push for bans on plastic bags, takeout containers, straws, single use cups, and more. The more cities that do this, the less plastic has to be made. Several large cities have done this including: Seattle, San Diego, Washington D.C., among others.
In conclusion to this post, reducing plastic may not be easy, together though we can all do something to help. If You enjoyed this post please share it so we can get as many people as possible onboard the mission to reduce plastic use! Post any questions or tips right down below.↓