Steps to Reduce Your Plastic Pollution
The plastics that are here today are here to stay. They may break down into smaller particles called microplastics, but they won’t be going away anytime soon. Their presence thus poses a threat to all living beings as well as the environment which includes our beloved beaches, coastlines, oceans, lakes and rivers.
It’s important for us to take steps to lessen our plastic footprint. We know it’s not easy – if not just about impossible – to totally forgo plastic products.
So, how can you cut back on plastics? Let’s start with baby steps.
Just say no
Stock up on reusable shopping bags and never tote your groceries or other items home in those flimsy plastic bags. The good news: Many stores are trashing their plastic bags and turning to more environmentally friendly alternatives.
The same goes for those crinkly, single-use plastic bottles. Time to BYOB – bring your own bottle! Make it a reusable stainless steel or glass travel mug that you fill up at home. Coca-Cola and organizations like No Beach Plastics are setting up refill centers for us!
We’ll put it bluntly: plastic drinking straws suck. Sadly, they are everywhere drinks are sold. However, you do not need to drink from a straw or you can use versions made of paper or stainless steel. We’ve read where some eateries are getting creative and offering straws made of macaroni!
Cut out plastic cutlery, too. You don’t have to wear them around your neck like Mr. T, but you can invest in travel sets of spoons, knives and forks.
To market, to market
Most store-bought fruit and veggies come wrapped in plastic. When farmers markets sprout up in the spring, summer and early fall, grab your reusable totes and stock up! You’ll be eating well while helping the local economy and your neighbors – and cutting down on wasteful plastic.
The incredible bulk
We’re green with envy when our friends have easy access to grocery stores that sell loose foods in bulk bins. Check around. Natural food stores and co-ops tend to do this. Be sure to bring along your reusable totes and containers
Bigger is better
Try to avoid single-serving containers. You can greatly reduce your plastic footprint by choosing larger containers and splitting up your haul.
A rotten way to do good
When you compost your food waste you not only create some great soil but you also have less garbage on your hands so you’ll need fewer plastic trash bags.
Check to see if your community has a compost bin or invest in your own backyard compost bin.
A clean break
Shop around for solid or powdered versions of the cleaning and personal care products that you use. Many products – shampoo, conditioner, and even lotion – now come in solid bar form instead of plastic bottles. Baking soda can be a cleaner, deodorizer or deodorant. You might want to get daring and try tooth powder instead of toothpaste.
Okay, so it’s a start. Good luck!
And please let us know how you have shrunk your plastic footprint.
Keeping our coast clear