Plastic is problematic: it pollutes our waterways, harms wildlife and takes a thousand years to decompose. Typically made from petroleum (a non-renewable, unsustainable resource), it emits CO2, which contributes to global warming. While some plastic can be recycled, the process requires substantial energy and production, making a plastic-free lifestyle a far more sustainable choice. The good news is that there are many simple swaps you can do in your daily life to reduce your plastic usage. The main goal is to cut down on single-use plastics as much as possible. If you’re curious about how to reduce plastic use, here are just a few ways to help you get started on your plastic-free journey.
Reusable Water Bottles
There’s no need for plastic water bottles if you have clean, running water. Purchase some reusable water bottles for sipping on throughout the day. You can also buy a water filter to give your drinking water some extra sterilization.
Are you a coffee or a tea person? Snag a reusable cup and either bring it to your go-to coffee shop or fill it up at home instead of relying on disposable plastic cups.
Reusable Grocery Bags
Cities across the U.S. are banning plastic bags. If yours hasn’t done it yet, take matters into your own hands and purchase a reusable grocery bag. Plastic bags are unsustainable and can’t be recycled, and they pollute our environment.
Glass Storage Jars
Saving leftovers is a good way to cut down on food waste, but you should be mindful of the containers you’re using for storage. Glass containers are a more sustainable option than plastic because they are made from mostly natural, renewable resources like sand.
DIYing your own cleaning solutions and toiletries is another way you can reduce your daily plastic usage. Things like toothpaste, face wash and shampoo are usually sold in plastic bottles, but you can make your own instead, no plastic packaging needed. If you aren’t ready to make your own shampoo or conditioner, you can swap out plastic bottles for shampoo or soap bars instead. If you’re up for a DIY beauty project, check out our DIY natural shampoo recipe for happy, healthy hair. We’ve also shared some DIY cleaning solution recipes.
Buy In Bulk
Buying in bulk is another way you can cut down on your plastic consumption. Purchase things in bulk so that you’re using the least amount of plastic for the biggest purchases possible.
Sustainable Clothing Brands
Suprise: If you shop at fast-fashion spots, there’s probably plastic in your clothes, and the production is highly unstainable. Shopping at thrift stores or consignment shops is a better option for eco-conscious consumers. We’ve previously shared some sustainable clothing brands we recommend checking out this year, including Reformation and Amour Vert.
Choose Boxes Over Bags
Common household items like detergent are for sale in both cardboard boxes or plastic bottles and bags. The same goes for food items like pasta. If given the choice, opt for cardboard boxes over plastic containers whenever possible.