Plastic is the worst! Not only is it bad for our health, but it is hurting our beautiful planet. Once plastics are produced, they never go away. They are filling our oceans and experts say that if we keep going in this direction, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by the year 2050. It’s so scary and so preventable. I highly recommend watching “A Plastic Ocean” on Netflix if you want more information on what plastics are doing to us and our precious earth. We all need to cut back on our individual plastic use drastically wherever we can. I’ve really started paying attention to the plastic I use in my every day life. Although it is difficult to cut it out all together, it’s really easy to at least cut way back. Here are 3 easy ways you can decrease your plastic waste:
In America alone, we use over 500 million straws EVERY DAY! Most of these straws end up in the ocean. Straws, among other plastics, kill marine animals and fish and contaminate the water. Since we don’t need straws to survive, they are one of the easiest things to cut back on. If you enjoy using straws, there are some great alternatives. I prefer to drink smoothies with a straw so they don’t end up all over my face; but I was using at least one straw every morning. Cringe! I thought since I was recycling them it was okay, but it turns out straws (like plastic grocery bags) are too lightweight to work with the recycling machines. Decreasing my straw use was much easier than I thought. I have started using reusable stainless steel straws at home and keeping biodegradable paper straws in my purse for when I’m on the go.
Plastic tops are another item here for our convenience but that we can definitely live without. Ideally, bring your own reusable cups, mugs, or containers and have your to-go food and beverages put directly in something you can wash and use over and over again. If you forget, at least decline the top to lessen your waste. I’m surprised how often I find myself saying “I don’t need the top or straw. Thank you.” It’s amazing! I’m still perfectly able to drink without that extra waste. If everyone does this, we can cut plastic use way down!
Plastic bags are everywhere… stuck in trees, floating down the streets, and replacing jellyfish in our oceans. It’s a sad sight to see and it’s SO easy to stop using them. They don’t work nearly as well as their reusable counterparts anyway. Keep some reusable grocery bags in your trunk for grocery shopping and keep some canvas bags folded in your purse for any other shopping. If you forget, at least request paper instead of plastic. Paper bags can be recycled while plastic ones usually cannot. You can find reusable bags at most grocery stores. I love my punny bags from Sprouts Farmers Market. You can also get reusable mesh produce bags from Amazon or Target. Think of all the plastic bags you can save in just one grocery haul! I find canvas bags pretty much everywhere now. Forever 21 has some really cute ones right now and of course, Amazon never fails us if you prefer to have them delivered right to your door.
The more we decline these plastic products, the less they will be made. Plastic garbage is destroying our oceans. If the oceans die, we die. The convenience of plastic won’t feel so convenient then. So lets do whatever we can before it’s too late.