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Six Ways To Lose The Plastic

earth-day-2013

Image Source: blog.earthdayfestivalbismarck.com

Most of us want to go greener than we are, but often we get so overwhelmed by the big changes we want to make that we forget about beginning the little changes we can make. The impact of small changes can be big too! Just like pocket change, it all adds up.

Here are six small ways you can lose the plastic right now to begin reducing your environmental impact at home, work, and school.

cartoon-number-one-thumbStop using plastic (and paper) store bags. Buy some canvas shopping bags. Yeh, yeh, you keep meaning to get some, but somehow you have still not gotten around to it, right? They are inexpensive, have a long life, are often made from recycled materials and they are biodegradable. This is such a simple swap why wouldn’t you pick some up today?

cartoon-number-two-thumbStop using plastic produce bags. Really. You don’t need them. In fact, most people throw them away as soon as they get home and put their groceries away. Your lettuce leaves are not going to contaminate your tomatoes. Put a handheld grocery store basket into a cart. Use it to store all of your veggies while you are shopping and then have them put into your canvas bags at the check-out.

cartoon-number-three-thumbStop buying excessively packaged products and don’t forget to write to the companies and tell them why you are no longer buying their products. From toys to electronics — and every day consumables, companies use way too much packaging. Especially plastics which contain known carcinogens.

cartoon-number-four-thumbStop using disposable plastic storage bags (or at lease reduce your use of them) for lunches, snacks, left-overs, etc. Instead invest in multi-size sealable and reusable containers. So what if you have to wash them out? Your food stays fresher and intact longer. How many Zip-locks do you use in a week?

cartoon-number-five-thumbStop using plastic straws. Don’t buy them and use them at home and whenever you are out, simply tell your server you do not want one. Keep a reusable stainless steel straw in your purse or glove box to use if you happen to go through a drive-thru and order a drink. Don’t forget to wash it and put it back in your purse when you get home.

cartoon-number-six-thumbStop buying disposable water bottles. Get yourself a good reusable water bottle that you like both the look and feel of. Our addiction to plastic water bottles alone amounts to about 1.5 million tons of plastic waste each year!

In 2012, 31 million tons of plastic waste was generated. Almost 14 million tons of it was containers and packaging. Only 8 percent of that was recovered and recycled. Recycling and reusing has come a long way however, not far enough. You too have a responsibility in this process. The suggestions above are easy, inexpensive (or free), and really don’t require much more of your time or effort. The best part is you can start today!

reduce-reuse-recycle

Image Source: co.marion.or.us

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5 comments on “Six Ways To Lose The Plastic

  1. Charles Yallowitz
    April 18, 2013

    Great advice. Something about the canvas bags. A few supermarkets around me give you a discount for every canvas bag you use when you check-out. I think it’s .50 cents off per bag.

    Like

  2. VeeKay
    April 19, 2013

    These are all useful and sensible ideas, the only one I struggle with is the plastic bags #1 – I use one a day to store my kitchen waste and leftovers : thankfully most claim to be biodegradable now… otherwise I have to buy plasic bin liners, same problem.

    Like

  3. diannegray
    April 21, 2013

    Wonderful post, Cheri! Where I live (near the Great Barrier Reef) we had dreadful issues with plastic killing marine life. The anglers used to throw their plastic overboard, but now they’re getting educated (and fined) so this should stop the problems. It’s only a small step, but it’s certainly in the right direction 😉

    Like

  4. iamforchange
    April 21, 2013

    http://iamforchange.wordpress.com/awards-page-and-nominations-thank-you-i-am-so-honored-and-grateful/ So many have shared so much with me and I wish to share as well please accept my nominations and if nothing else know I am grateful for your sharing on your pages with us all and the time you share with me on mine.Thank you!! 🙂 Joe

    Like

  5. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Up! | Cheri Speak

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