7 easy and surprising ways your can remove plastic from your daily life.
As mothers it can often seem that our calendars are so full we can’t possibly take on anything else. So when we hear the plea from environmentalists to go green, it can sound like yet another task we just don’t have time for.
There are, however, small easy changes we can make that will not even inconvenience us while making a huge impact on the heart. Eliminating plastic is one of those things. Imagine a world where everything was reusable. Think about a world where our dumps weren’t full to the brim with discarded water bottles and grocery bags.
The great news is that eliminating most of our plastic is a very real possibility and we all jump on board. The first step begins with you in your own home, and it’s as easy as trading out that vending machine Dasani water bottle for a $15 reusable one from Target.
Read on to learn about these 7 easy and surprising ways you can remove plastic from your daily life.
Invest in reusable grocery bags
Super cheap, you’ll find reusable grocery bags at the checkout of almost every grocery store these days. The canvas bags especially are a lot more sturdy and economical than the plastic ones that we normally use once and discard without a second thought.
Reusable bags are good for the environment, help keep store costs down (which helps reduce product cost, keeps plastic out of landfills, and even better, sets a really good example for our children. It shows them that we care enough about our world to take that extra step to protect her.
Use a glass or metal water bottle
Despite the fact that they are recyclable, most of the plastic bottles used for water, juice and soda end up sitting and taking up space in a landfill. In fact, these bottles make up for most of the plastic seen in our dumps these days!
Metal and water bottles are extremely affordable and are well built so they will last a long time. They are economical as well because you will save quite a bit of money by refilling your reusable water bottle instead of spending one, two or three dollars every time you get thirsty.
Another benefit of saying no to plastic? Not having to worry about the chemicals leaching off of the plastic into your and your children’s water. Yuck!
Save your pickle jars
Pickles and any other food items that come in glass containers are a very valuable and smart item to keep in your kitchen. After you finish the contents, wash and reuse as a storable container for leftovers.
These glass jars are fantastic replacements for disposable (or non-disposable) plastic containers such as Tupperware. You will not only help save the environment, but save yourself money and toxicity from all of the BPA and similar chemicals from the plastic leaching into your food.
Make your own cleaning products
One of the largest accumulations of plastics in our landfills comes from disposed cleaning products. Take a walk down the aisle of your local grocery store and you will see shelves of shiny plastic bottles just begging for you to purchase them.
A better, and safer alternative to these, however, is simply to make your own cleaning products. Some people hear this and think, “Who has the time?”, but luckily, most of them are very easy to throw together.
Some of the most basic ingredients for these cleaning products are baking soda, vinegar, soda ash, salt, citric acid and essential oils. All easily available at a store near you or online. Ready to take a more natural plunge? The internet is full of ideas and recipes (hello Pinterest!).
Make non-packaged purchases
This may take a little getting used to, but honestly, it’s easy to do. Instead of buying prepackaged food, buy or order in bulk to cut down on the plastic. Produce is a great example of this. Bring your own bag and fill it with sweet potatoes instead of buying the ones already sealed in a plastic bag. The same goes for apples, oranges, etc.
Even products like soap and laundry detergent can be found in packaging that is not plastic. Many are sold in cardboard or other larger, easier to recycle packages that will help you in your efforts to go more green.
Use a menstrual cup
One of the easiest ways to cut back on plastic waste during your period? Switch from tampons and pads to using a menstrual cup. The cup is very easy to use (lots of online how tos!) and will not only save this world loads of plastic waste, but it will save your wallet hundreds of dollars each year!
The menstrual cup is becoming more and more popular because of how economical and efficient it is. It really makes a lot of sense. Most women say it can take about 3 months to really get used to using it, but once you get the hang of it, the same women will tell you you’ll be sold!
Rethink school lunch boxes
Sandwich bags, straws, juice boxes, pre-packaged chips and snacks … lunch boxes can hold a wealth of plastic waste. Instead of using disposable packaging to house your child’s lunch, consider switching to reusable containers such as metal lunchable style containers or wrapping sandwiches in wax paper.
Sometimes the biggest changes take place in the smallest ways. By reducing the amount of plastic that goes into lunch boxes and into the school each day, you will dramatically decrease the amount of plastic that ends up in our landfills each year.
Every change you can make, evey plastic you can eliminate from your life and that of your child’s will help make this world a healthier place. Those listed above are so easy that we can begin today to make a better tomorrow.
Sarah is a blogger and online entrepreneur who shares her ideas about how to date better on her blog, Wingman Magazine. Her ultimate goal is to empower men to become the best versions of themselves and help them benefit from social interactions. She is passionate about healthy, conscious living.