Reducing our reliance on plastic is a serious matter. Thinking about the ways to reduce that dependence calls for some creativity, but also just plain common sense and listening to one’s conscience. Lifestyles today are difficult to change, and everything we do is influenced, ironically, by our own need to survive. So, most of us are always in a rush to make ends meet. And, up until now, and to a large degree, plastic and still more plastic, added to the convenience of us managing just fine.
But as we continue along this road, our carbon footprint increases drastically every year. In doing this, we may think otherwise, for now, it’s making a negative impact on global warming and climate change. Churning more plastic into our waste disposal units every year just adds to more hazardous and dangerous outcomes. And by taking on just a few conscience-salving and common-sense approaches to life, we can act responsibly towards saving not just our lives but the lives of our children’s children.
Plastic pollution free world is not a choice but a commitment to life – a commitment to the next generation
~ Amit Ray
30+ Brilliant Ways Towards Reducing Your Plastic Waste
The rest of this motivational article, in list form, shows just how easy it is to reduce our reliance on plastic, also highlighting how obtuse we may have become as a result.
1. Read my lips, no more straws
It can’t be helped but we have to ask; why would anyone want to use straws anyhow. If you really must, you can purchase your own, reusable stainless steel drinking straw instead.
2. Read my face, no more plastic
Most of our commercially produced beauty and cleansing products include plastic. They are also called micro-plastics because the minute particles are so difficult to detect. Alarmingly, they are also a huge contributor to adding plastic waste to the Earth’s oceans and there’s next to no chance of being able to filter them out.
3. And no more chewing gum either
Before you open another pack, know that not only are you chewing on plastic, its poisonous too.
4. Old-school shaving is back in vogue
Using plastic razors are cheap in more ways than one. It also adds to more human waste being added to the environment.
5. Only use reusable produce or grocery bags
It’s one of the most effective ways to reduce your reliance on the convenience of plastic.
6. Making a move away from bottles
The term is deceptive because most ‘bottles’ today are made from plastic.
7. And turning back to old-school boxes
These are essentially re-usable tools which can also be washed and stored away for further use.
8. The great benefits of using cardboard
They are biodegradable and far easier to recycle, when necessary.
9. When shopping, always buy in bulk
It’s a surefire way to reduce the use of plastic and it also helps the grocery budget.
10. Find new, creative use for glass
Instead of buying plastic containers; buy the old-fashioned glass alternatives instead.
11. What to do with those bottles you still have
You don’t even need to recycle them, you can use them in a number of ways at home.
12. The things you can do with glass jars
That part is easy surely. All you need to do is think about what needs to be done and what needs to be stored away at home.
13. Cups, containers, and such things in the café
Don’t go for the plastic conveniences of take-outs and insist on being served good and proper.
14. Always bring your own cups
No matter where you are in the day, bring your own cup with you. There’s really no need to add still more unnecessary waste.
15. Bringing your own containers, and how to use them
The same goes for larger containers for when you take a leap of faith and decide to bring your own, home-prepared food to work instead.
16. Let others stare while you enjoy your own packed lunch
While others chew on take-out, you will also be doing your physical and mental health a favor.
17. Making sure they’re not plastic, mind you
Just remember though that as a principled anti-plastic activist, make sure you bring your non-plastic utensils with you.
18. And it’s time to ditch plastic in the home
Most unneeded items can, fortunately, be conveniently dropped off at plastic recycling depots.
19. But what to do with those you still have?
Well, my friend, there are many durable uses at home. Just like their glass peers, think about how they can be used flexibly with the added convenience that they are also lightweight storage facilities.
20. So, you don’t have space, you can still return them
We mentioned this earlier. Now even supermarkets have their own mini recycling depots.
21. And did you forget, there’s still recycling to consider
Digging deeper into this initiative, consider the different shapes and sizes of plastics, and start separating the wheat from the chaff.
22. Back to bottles, and let’s talk about matches
Thin-stemmed bottles are wonderful as candle holders while matches are the antidote for not using plastic gas lighters.
23. And before we forget, those who do still need to give up smoking
This is not even an afterthought but the sooner you ditch this killing habit the better. Every time you light up, you burn plastic. Every time you buy a fresh pack, you buy more plastic.
24. Time to freeze on all frozen foods
All frozen foodstuffs are packaged with plastic. Buy the fresh, unpackaged varieties instead.
25. Consider the natural and healthy alternatives instead
Also note that natural, healthier and organic foods are invariably packaged with little or no plastic at all, based on the principled ethos that encompasses organic living.
26. No, we’re not buying juice anymore
Most packaged juices are packed in plastic. Not only that, but they are also loaded with refined sugar which runs counter to your juice drink being a healthy addition to your diet.
27. But we are still making our own
So, all you need to do is simply buy your own fruit and manufacture your own sugar-free fruit juice instead.
28. Even better, we’re eating the fruit instead
It’s said to be far more nourishing and healthier than juice anyway, sealing in all the natural goodness and vitamins, but eating whole fruits also eliminates a lot of waste.
29. And the same goes for vegetables too
Likewise with vegetables, but just remember to source only fresh produce, unpackaged and unsealed with plastic.
30. The ongoing problem with re-usable diapers
Apart from the plastic content, disposable diapers also contain hazardous human waste. In most instances, people use disposable varieties for their convenience and perceived cleanliness. But here, the old school still works best in more ways than one. Try the old-fashioned cloth diapers.
31. Green cleaning is even cleaner than you thought
Most cleaning utensils are packaged in plastic. Not only that, but they also contain harmful chemicals. With residue always left behind, this makes recycling these containers non-viable. However, making your own home cleaning magic has never been easier.
Just look up the recipes on how to utilize baking soda and vinegar to make your own cleaning liquids in which no plastic whatsoever is used in the process.
At this stage, it may still be hard to imagine a world without plastic, given just how many billions of tons are still polluting it, never mind still being mass-produced every day. But, using the metaphor of the great, pioneering astronaut, we need to realize that our small steps can bring us a step closer towards realizing that world.
All it takes is a little motivation. We hope we’ve offered you some today. But, here’s the thing, you need to make a start, preferably as early as today.