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10 Tips For Reducing Single-Use Plastics

Our beautiful planet has a fragile ecosystem, and it’s no secret that we have a surplus of plastic on the planet. Plastic trash has a high potential to harm the environment, wildlife, and humans. Even with recycling programs in place, there is more plastic being thrown in the trash than ever before. The key is to first reduce, then reuse, and finally recycle. Follow these 10 tips to learn more about how to reduce the amount of single-use plastics used on a daily basis.

Woman practicing reducing single use plastics by bringing her own products.

1. Choose a reusable water bottle

Get reusable water bottles for yourself, your family, and gift them to others! Refill at hydration stations and water fountains to avoid buying pre-packaged beverages throughout the day.

2. Avoid single-use straws

Carry your own reusable straw, or a reusable cup that doesn’t require a straw. Many coffee shops and restaurants have either started using biodegradable straws, or stopped offering straws to customers altogether. Supporting these businesses (over others that don’t prioritize the environment) can make a big difference!

3. Bring your own grocery bags

Instead of using plastic bags for your groceries, invest in a few reusable totes! Keep them in your car for shopping and make it a habit to bring them inside any time you think you’ll be purchasing multiple items.

4. Utilize reusable containers

Pack lunches and store leftovers with reusable storage containers and wax wrap. This will help to keep your food fresher throughout the day, decrease excess trash, and save money on disposable zipper storage bags!

5. Buy packaged foods in bulk

Make the switch to bulk food shopping for processed foods like snacks, pasta, or coffee. Find a grocery store near you that offers more bulk food options so you can bring your own storage containers to transport it from the store to your kitchen.

6. Eat more whole foods

Choosing whole foods over processed will both benefit the environment, and your health! Less packaging means less trash. Invest in a local farm share to enjoy fresh, local produce throughout the year while reducing the amount of packaging in your home.

7. Pay it forward

When you have to use a single-use plastic container, recycle it! Never leave trash on the ground, and pick it up if you see it. Any litter could find its way into the ocean through streams and rivers, so pay it forward by picking it up and inspire others to do the same.

8. Make your own body products

Order a few basic ingredients to make your own skincare mixtures, and reuse the containers. Eliminate the use of micro-bead products, which pollute our water and eventually make their way to the ocean, damaging ecosystems and wildlife.

9. Support local farms and small businesses

Find a local farm to supply your fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. These small farms will use little to no packaging, and simultaneously provide you with nutrient-dense local food options. Small businesses like butchers and bakers can also offer you fresh goods with minimal packaging required.

10. Empower others by sharing the savings

Though smaller local shops may have slightly higher prices, but they often support reduced-waste initiatives. Coffee shops usually offer discounts for bringing your own reusable cup, and sometimes participate in reusable-cup-sharing programs.

 

While there are many ways to reduce the amount of trash you create, just doing a few of the things listed above can make a bit impact. If we all make small steps towards a better future, together, we can change the world!

 

Sources:

https://www.epa.gov/trash-free-waters/impacts-mismanaged-trash

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