Do you ever stop and look at the many ways that you’re using plastics in your every day life? Plastic is everywhere: in your toothbrush, any sort of packaged food, in cleaning products, and even in personal care products! In what is becoming a plastic-based world it’s no wonder our Earth is suffering, especially the oceans.
Would you believe me if I told you that every single minute of the day, the oceans get another garbage truck’s worth of plastic dumped into them? And that in just a few decades, by 2050, the plastic in the ocean will outweigh the fish!? Between the chemicals that plastic leeches into our environment and animals digesting and getting caught in pieces of plastic, over one million marine animals die every year as a direct result of plastic pollution.
Now hopefully you’re asking yourself, “WHAT DO WE DO!?” as I was after reading this awful news. The one thing we can do, as consumers, is to start consuming far less plastic! This means taking a look at what you’re using in your everyday life and figuring out a better method for doing so that doesn’t involve using plastic. And if plastic necessary to use, then try to find a plastic that is biodegradable. Plastics that are derived from plants are referred to as biobased plastics and for the most part they are meant to be biodegradable and not create the plastic pollution we’re used to.
I also came across an interesting graphic that shared 50 different ways to reduce the amount of plastic used, and also suggests the best way to replace the plastic product you had currently been using. I’ll share a few of my favorite methods below.
Let’s start with my favorite, and one you may not even think of. Eat your ice cream in a cone instead of a dish! (see I told you these were simple changes to make) It’s such an obvious choice, but not until you really start to pick apart when and how often you’re using plastic products in your life. And hey, if you don’t want to finish the cone you CAN throw it out the window and an animal will happily finish your treat for you — a plastic dish? Not so much. Going forward, take note of what your food is being served in and if it can be switched out for something edible or non-plastic? Things like refusing plastic cutlery when ordering delivery, or even asking them to not put one of those plastic “tables” on your pizza can help to cut back on plastic waste.
Another easy tip to use less plastic is to bring your own coffee mug to the coffee shop, some places may even give a discount on this too which will help you save green while being green. When going out to dinner, pack your own reusable food containers to take the leftovers home in. Bring your own bags and containers when food shopping at the grocery store, or even the farmers market. Did you know that plastic bags make up over 11% of all plastic pollution!?
Another tip from this list that I loved and had never even thought of before was to use leaves found outside to make….wait for it…confetti! As in all natural confetti, which is far better for the environment than shooting little pieces of paper and plastic into the air to spread all over! You can find instructions to make your own here.
There are SO many ways we can cut down on our plastic usage. All you have to do is start, no matter how small! Try to incorporate one or two of these methods into our life every week and you’ll be surprise at how much plastic you don’t use (and ultimately keep out of the oceans!). What unique methods do you use to save on plastic?