Plastic waste is a problem and not a subtle one.
Trillions of pieces of plastic are floating in our oceans today and according to Plastic Pollution Coalition, “by 2050, the oceans will contain more plastic than fish by weight.”
This is a very serious problem. Littering or even throwing out single use plastics majorly contributes to the destruction of our planet because these plastic items wind up in our oceans and the health of our oceans are essential in sustaining life on earth.
The ecosystems and marine plants growing in our oceans provide up to 70% of the oxygen we breathe and due to the toxic chemicals found in our plastic waste, there have been reports of areas in our oceans that now have no marine life at all.
So, we need to make a change and we need to make it now. Luckily, there are many small ways to cut down on our individual plastic waste, which will make a huge difference. We’ve listed the top four easiest ways for you.
Buy a Reusable Stainless-Steel Water Bottle
A super easy way to take matters into your own hands and reduce our planet’s plastic waste is to start carrying your own reusable stainless-steel water bottle.
According to earthday.org, we purchase roughly 50 billion water bottles per year, averaging about 13 bottles a month per person.
So, just by purchasing a reusable stainless-steel water bottle you could save an average of 156 plastic bottles a year.
According to Kathryn Kellogg, plastic reduction master and author of “101 Ways To Go Zero Waste”, a “double-wall vacuum insulated stainless-steel water bottle” is best because it not only eliminates any need for plastic water bottles, paper cups, straws and plastic lids, but it will also keep your “hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold”.
But there’s more! If you buy an OASIS stainless-steel water bottle you can also provide 50+ days of safe water to families in underdeveloped countries.
BYOG – Bring Your Own Grocery Bags
And you thought water bottles were bad? One of the worst plastic products for our planet are plastic grocery bags.
According to earthday.org, it’s estimated that 4 trillion plastic bags are used worldwide annually and only 1% of these bags are returned for proper recycling.
Easy solution? Ditch the plastic and BYOG! Grocery shopping in most cases is a bi-weekly event. And one where we encourage you to bring your own grocery bags.
Rather than buy new plastic bags every grocery trip, leave your reusable bags by your purse on grocery day or store them in your car. You can reuse old shopping bags or buy reusable bags from any local store.
These bags are great, not only because they reduce your plastic waste, but because they’re also much stronger. Reusable bags are made to carry heavy loads without breakage.
Plus, by avoiding plastic bags you will save some money since grocery stores now charge 5-25 cents per plastic bag.
Boycott Plastic Utensils
Whether it’s a family reunion, Thanksgiving dinner or a Christmas party, when you’re planning a big event the temptation to buy plastic utensils is strong. But you and the affect you can have on our planet are stronger!
By using your household cutlery when hosting events, you can significantly cut down on your plastic waste.
Eliminating plastic utensils from your household can also benefit your family’s health. Plastic utensils can contain Phthalates and BPA (Bisphenol A), which are popular industrial chemicals that disrupt your body’s hormone regulation and increase risks of a blood clot, a stroke and certain breast cancers.
Start Using a Compost
When it comes to reducing plastic waste people are encouraged to start by looking at what’s in their garbage, and the bags that are holding their garbage.
Composting positively affects both. It will reduce the amount of plastic garbage bags you use, and the garbage you bring to landfills.
Plant and vegetable matter cannot decay cleanly while placed in landfills. The layers of trash burying the plant and vegetable matter cut off breathable oxygen. This then causes the matter to give off methane gas as it decays.
So, stop feeding our landfill with plastic bags and leftover fruit and vegetables. And start using a compost to reduce your amount of garbage bags and boost your garden or yard’s ecosystem.
There are many other ways to reduce your plastic waste but these are 4 easy ways to get started.
Comment below what else you or your family does to reduce your plastic waste!