How to Give Up Single-Use Plastics in Your Everyday Life

How to Give Up Single-Use Plastics in Your Everyday Life

How to Give Up Single-Use Plastics in Your Everyday Life

Giving up single-use plastics can seem daunting at first, but with some planning and commitment, it is very achievable. Here are some practical steps you can take to eliminate disposable plastics from your daily routines:

Replace Plastic Food Packaging

  • Carry reusable bags when grocery shopping and say no to plastic bags. Many supermarkets now offer paper or reusable bags.
  • Purchase fruits, vegetables and baked goods loose or in compostable paper bags instead of plastic containers.
  • Opt for foods packaged in glass, metal or cardboard over plastic packaging.
  • Transfer purchased foods into reusable containers at home and recycle the packaging.
  • Bring reusable produce bags for loose fruits and veggies instead of using plastic bags in store.
  • Shop at farmer’s markets and bulk food stores where you can avoid packaging.
  • Make condiments like ketchup and mayonnaise yourself to avoid buying disposable plastic bottles.

Use Reusable Dinnerware

  • Use reusable plates, bowls, cups and cutlery at home and work. Keep some stored at the office.
  • Invest in a set of glass or stainless steel food containers and use them to store leftovers and pack lunches.
  • Bring a reusable water bottle and portable coffee mug with you when out and about.
  • Request drinks without a straw when eating out. Keep a reusable straw on hand if needed.
  • Bring your own reusable container for takeout orders instead of using Styrofoam.

Choose Sustainable Personal Care Items

  • Swap disposable razors for safety or straight razors. Many plastic razor heads are not recyclable.
  • Cut down on plastic waste from feminine hygiene products with reusable menstrual cups or absorbent underwear.
  • Use bar soaps and shampoo instead of body wash and shampoo in plastic bottles.
  • Opt for bamboo toothbrushes over plastic ones.
  • Look for shaving cream, sunscreen and cosmetics in glass or metal containers.

Rethink Your Cleaning Routine

  • Replace paper towels and disposable wipes with reusable cloths and rags.
  • Use dishcloths instead of plastic-laden scrubber sponges. Compost them when worn out.
  • Look for cleaning and laundry products that come in glass bottles or cardboard packaging.
  • Purchase unpackaged laundry powder and bar soap instead of liquid detergents in plastic.
  • Use a reusable mop instead of disposable Sweeper cloths.

Shop Secondhand and Repurpose

  • Check out thrift stores when needing new kitchenware, furniture or clothes.
  • Repurpose used items – turn old clothes into cleaning rags, reuse glass jars for food storage.
  • Buy toys, books and other household items used instead of new.
  • Host a clothing swap party with friends to refresh wardrobes.

Support Businesses That Limit Waste

  • Seek out grocers, restaurants and cafes that use sustainable practices and less packaging.
  • Bring reusable containers to zero-waste shops that sell food and toiletries in bulk.
  • Choose a milkman service for glass bottle delivery. Some companies even take back used glass for sterilization.
  • Frequent farmer’s markets and butcher shops where you can avoid packaging.

With some concerted effort, it is possible to remove the vast majority of single-use plastics from your home and limit waste. Support businesses that are environmentally conscious, speak up about excess packaging when you see it, and inspire those around you to give up disposable plastics. Our individual actions collectively make a huge difference to reduce plastic pollution.