Why Should I Reduce Plastic?
Plastic hurts our planet, hurts our wildlife, and consequently also hurts us! A plastic bottle takes 450 years to break down. Let that sink in. Your great-great-great-great-(great?)-grandchildren will still be able to find that same plastic bottle that accidentally slipped out of your backpack on your last camping trip.
And while that plastic bottle breaks down, the world keeps producing 400 million metric tons of new plastics every year. That is the equivalent of 2.5 million Boeing 747 in plastic waste. 91% of this huge (huuuuuuuuuuuuuge) chunk of plastic trash will not be recyclable and needs to be burnt on landfills (if we’re lucky), or will someday end up in our beautiful forests, rivers, or oceans.
We live in a world where plastic is everywhere around us. In fact, we’ve found it nearly impossible to live healthy, live on an affordable budget, and reduce plastic waste. This is exactly, why we wanted to write this article. These are 8 very convenient things we’ve incorporated into our everyday life to reduce our plastic waste. And the cherry on top: You can even save money with it.
1. Reusable Water Bottles
Just having a reusable water bottle in your backpack or bag will not only save plastics, but it will also save money. Most places offer water refills and there are even bottles that have built-in filters.
2. Reusable Coffee Mugs
Taking your own coffee mug is just as easy as taking your own water bottle and there are options for everyone. There are even foldable options that fit every handbag. Depending on where you live, some coffee shops offer small discounts when you bring your own cup.
3. Reusable Shopping Bags
While some countries have already introduced bans on plastic bags, they are still ubiquitous. Bringing your own reusable bag made of recycled bottles or organic cotton can not only save plastic. You also won’t have to worry about ripping bags ever again.
4. Reusable Produce Bags
Most produce you get in the grocery store are also available as loose items without the plastic packaging. Most of the times the loose items come without a price markup. Just take your reusable produce bags and your eco-friendly fruits and veggies will be even tastier with that good conscience.
5. Reusable Food Containers
Bring your reusable container if you get take out food. If you wanna save money at the same time, packing your office lunch can be an even better alternative. You don’t only prevent waste from buying take out. You’ll also save loads of money. A convenient way to do that is by precooking meals on Sunday and freezing them in reusable containers. Then just take them out of the fridge to defrost the night before you head to the office.
6. Repurpose Stuff
Whether you regularly choose low-waste options when shopping or not, a very useful and fun thing to do is simply: Think twice before you throw items away. A lot of products or packaging deserve a new life. Some things we’ve done, include:
- Buy whatever you can in mason jars: they make beautiful containers for pretty much anything — from spices to summer cocktails
- Use plastic cups as flowerpots
- Small sealable plastic cups can be used to organize your household (they are great for screws, nails, elastic straps, etc.)
- Use unavoidable plastic bags as trash bags, Poo Bags etc.
- Cut old clothes to size and use them as cleaning cloth
- Use old toothbrushes for cleaning
- and many more :-)
7. Thrift Shopping
Is there really anything bad about thrift shopping? I don’t think so! You get to stroll through collections of cool vintage stuff that you won’t ever find at the next H&M, you save money, you give a new life to a loved item, AND you significantly reduce the waste caused by the fashion industry. I could really spend days looking for the next cool item without getting bored.
8. Buy pre-owned or rent stuff
While we thought that thrift shopping deserves its own category, the same applies to almost everything you plan on buying. Whether you think of buying a new TV, Phone, or inflatable kayak, there are almost always options to buy a refurbished item or even rent from a p2p site.
Let us all try a little something every day and make the world a better, plastic free, place.
We hope you enjoyed this article. If you want to read more like this, make sure to check out our blog and follow us on Instagram. If you are interested in more sustainable eco swops, check out our shop.
Sources: forbes.com, wwf.org, statista.com, education.nationalgeographic.org