How To Reduce Your Dependence on Single-Use Plastics
People choose to start avoiding single-use plastics for various reasons. From bags to straws, these materials can wind up in landfills and pose a threat to ecosystems and the animals who encounter them around the world. Luckily, you can combat both problems without reducing daily conveniences in your life, such as access to clean water on the go.
One of the many steps you can take to maintain a greener lifestyle is reducing your usage of single-use plastics. After all, you might not even realize how often you rely on these plastics until you step back and really assess all the materials you use regularly, from water bottles to utensils. If you’re ready to start taking the right steps, learn how to reduce your dependence on single-use plastics with our tips below.
The first step toward relying less on single-use plastics is having a higher awareness of the products you buy. For instance, if you frequently stop at the gas station or supermarket for bottled water, soda, and other drinks, then consider cutting down on that habit. Suffice it to say that six-packs of plastic soda bottles don’t help the environment. Don’t worry! As we’ll discuss later in this guide, you can still drink what you want without buying excessive single-use plastics in the process.
When browsing the aisles or online shops for eco-friendly materials, keep an eye out for sustainable brands. That way, if you find an item that meets your sustainable needs perfectly, you can explore what else that manufacturer has available to further your endeavor.
Supporting these brands is a great way to make even bigger steps toward reducing single-use plastic waste. The more people rely on sustainable manufacturers, the more sustainable products those manufacturers can create. Assess the single-use plastics in your life and start exploring the alternatives available; the options are broader than you might think. Even metal reusable straws are available for those who like straws but want to live a sustainable lifestyle.
Reusable Containers and Bottles
Now, let’s dive deeper into the many reusable options you can use to start minimizing your plastic usage. Containers and bottles are certainly helpful in our daily lives, but they’re not always made sustainably. For example, many things come in bottles, such as soda and water. Unfortunately, those bottles contain harmful plastic and wind up in the trash after the bottle is empty. If you want to get down on your bottle usage, then buy a reusable option.
Water-to-Go portable water filter bottlescan be reused many times to clean and consume water. A single Water-to-Go 26-ounce filter replaces 400 single use plastic bottles. Over ten years we have helped keep 165 million single use plastic bottles out of landfills and oceans. Reusable portable cups at home means you can take coffee, tea, and other drinks on the go. When you stop using single-use plastic bottles, you’re reducing your reliance on more than the bottle itself. The plastic rings that hold six-packs of soda or other beverages also fall under the single-use category.
However, bottles aren’t the only single-use plastics in the world. Many containers and bags are also single-use plastics that we can cut out of our daily lives. Instead of transporting your snacks in non-sustainable plastic containers, you can bring along reusable containers from your home. In times when you need utensils for meals you’re transporting in reusable containers, skip the plastic. Instead, stick with reusable utensils you can clean afterward at home. Reusable containers and bottles will make a big impact on your daily plastic reliance but know that the solutions extend beyond that.
As mentioned above, portable containers help reduce our need to carry snacks in non-reusable plastic bags that will end up in the trash. However, if you’re going to transfer the snacks from the original bag to your containers, doesn’t that defeat the purpose of the reusable option? Thankfully, you can enjoy a wide array of snacks without using single-use plastics by making those snacks yourself.
Whether you want to make some homemade granola, cookies, muffins, or energy bars, you can pack them in a reusable container and take them with you when outside of the house. That way, you can easily energize yourself at work or on a hike. It doesn’t hurt to explore different recipes because they can be creatively and deliciously fulfilling. Whether you want to tackle complex recipes or simple, quick-to-make snacks, your options are endless.
We can’t forget to mention another way to avoid plastic containers: using ingredients you grow at home. Understandably, not everyone is ready to start gardening fruits and vegetables at home on a regular basis. However, the option is there for those who want to skip the plastic containers that often come home with them from the store.
Buy Bulk Goods
Another way your shopping habits influence your plastic use is in the quantities you buy. One of the best ways you can reduce your dependence on single-use plastics is to buy goods in bulk. Buying in bulk is typically associated with saving money, but it can have more benefits over time. Bulk options allow you to buy large quantities of goods without the individual plastic wrappers that often come with them which helps to minimize reliance on harmful plastic. Additionally, you won’t have to visit the store to restock as frequently if you buy bigger quantities.
For instance, if you like to buy pretzels or peanuts to make homemade trail mix, then buying in bulk keeps you stocked up without expanding your carbon footprint exponentially. Keep this tip in mind when grocery shopping and buying non-consumable products. You can purchase soap, office supplies, and many more goods in bulk too!
Anytime you’re shopping, consider the quantities available and how they can help you reduce single-use plastic waste in the world. Now that you know more about cutting harmful plastics out of your life, you can start making changes with one, a few, or all of the methods above. Whether you’re stocking up on groceries or searching for the perfect reusable water bottle, you can start putting these tips in action today!