Plastic is one of those persistent enemies that the world just can’t seem to get rid of. Though everyone knows how harmful it is, it’s still used in incredible amounts. Take a 10-minute walk around your house and briefly note everything you see that’s made of plastic. You may be surprised to discover just how much of this undesirable material you have in your own home.
Fortunately, you can do what I did and make these lifestyle changes to turn yourself and your family from plastic consumers to plastic shunners.
Buy Boxed Instead of Bottled Products
This tip may seem nearly impossible at first, but it is possible to avoid some bottled products by looking for boxed alternatives. For example, instead of buying liquid laundry detergent in plastic bottles, shop for laundry detergent in powder form that comes in cardboard boxes. If you absolutely must purchase plastic bottles for food or hygiene items (sometimes it’s unavoidable), choose only bottles that have the recycle symbol on the bottom.
Invest in Reusable Straws
Straws are small and may seem harmless, but they’re used in huge quantities and contribute to the world’s plastic waste problem. If you love straws and don’t want to give them up, don’t worry! There are reusable options available. Consider purchasing a pack of reusable glass or stainless-steel straws and keeping one or two in your purse or car so you can use it when you go out to restaurants.
Ditch the Plasticware
No one likes to do dishes, but if you regularly use plasticware to eat your meals, it’s time to consider how you’re impacting the environment. It’s best to use reusable silverware, even if it means spending a few extra minutes doing the dishes. When you request take-out from nearby restaurants, specifically request no plasticware with your order.
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Use a Reusable Water Bottle
Reusable water bottles are so much better for you and the environment than their plastic counterparts. Plus, they often come with cute patterns that match your personality. Drinking from plastic water bottles can leave a bad flavor in your mouth, so you’ll love switching to reusable bottles for the taste alone.
Invest in a Water Purifier
If you like to drink bottled water because your tap water is gross, why not invest in a water purifier? You’ll not only save money, but you’ll help save the environment as well. Every year, billions of plastic water bottles make their way to the landfill. You can make a small dent in that number by ditching your bottled water habit and using a purifier instead.
Make Your Own Cleaning Products
Cleaning products are not only bottled in plastic containers, but they’re also full of toxic chemicals that are harmful to the environment and to you. Instead of purchasing commercial cleaners, consider making your own using natural ingredients such as vinegar, antibacterial essential oils, lemon juice, and/or baking soda. There are plenty of recipes for cleaners online. Use glass spray bottles to store and use your environmentally safe cleaning products.
Use Reusable Produce Bags
Did you know a single plastic bag can take up to 1,000 years to fully degrade? Instead of using single-use plastic bags, opt for reusable produce bags. Just make sure you wash them frequently to cut back on germs.
Drink Fresh-Squeezed Juice
Do you love drinking juice? Try squeezing it fresh from oranges or apples. You’ll be using less plastic, and you’ll also maximize the health benefits fresh juice can offer. Fresh-squeezed juice is not processed and it hasn’t been sitting on the shelf for days or weeks, so it’s packed full of nutrients.
Once you make it a habit to avoid plastic whenever possible, the task will become easier (I promise!). You’ll also have greater peace of mind knowing you’re doing your part to protect this beautiful planet we call home.