7 Easy Ways to Stop Using So Much Plastic at Home
Plastic waste is a huge problem. As consumers, we can make a big difference by reducing our plastic consumption at home. Here are 7 easy ways to stop using so much plastic in your daily life:
1. Stop buying bottled water
- Bottled water generates over 1.5 million tons of plastic waste per year in the U.S. alone.
- Instead of buying bottled water, I started drinking tap water from a reusable bottle or glass. This simple change has drastically reduced my plastic waste.
- Investing in a water filter pitcher or faucet filter improves the taste of tap water too.
2. Use reusable bags
- Plastic grocery bags are used for just a few minutes but can take 100s of years to break down.
- I now bring reusable canvas bags for all my shopping trips. Keeping a stash by the door makes it easy to take them every time I go out.
- Reusable produce bags let me skip plastic fruit and veggie bags at the store too.
3. Pack waste-free lunches
- Many lunch items like yogurts, snack bags and juice boxes contain single-use plastics.
- For work and school lunches, I pack food in reusable containers and bags. I also look for unpackaged snacks like fruit when meal prepping.
- Using a reusable lunch box and water bottle prevents plastic waste too.
4. Say no to straws
- Plastic straws are one of the biggest ocean pollutants.
- When eating out, I simply don’t use a straw anymore. I keep a reusable straw in my bag for when I really need one.
- At home, I’ve switched to glass and stainless steel straws.
5. Use shampoo and soap bars
- Liquid soaps and shampoos are packaged in plastic bottles that pile up in landfills.
- I’ve started using shampoo and hand soap bars with minimal paper packaging instead.
- Bar soaps last longer than bottled liquids too!
6. Choose fresh foods over packaged
- Pre-cut fruits and veggies, frozen meals, and snack packets all generate plastic trash.
- Whenever possible, I buy fresh, unpackaged produce and prepare my own meals. This lets me avoid all the plastic packaging.
- Buying in bulk with my own reusable bags reduces waste too.
7. Make simple bathroom swaps
- Toothbrushes, razors and cleaning products often contain plastic parts that can’t be recycled.
- Switching to bamboo toothbrushes and safety razors with replaceable blades greatly reduces waste.
- For cleaning, I use reusable rags and cloths along with simple cleaners in glass bottles that can be refilled.
Making a few simple swaps to reusable alternatives has significantly lowered my plastic consumption. We can all help reduce plastic pollution through the choices we make every day. What sustainable changes will you start implementing at home? Let me know in the comments if you have any other tips for going plastic-free!