reduce your plastic footprint

7 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Plastic Footprint

If you take a moment to look around your house, office or other places you frequent, you’ll likely find plastic is far more prominent than it used to be. Even though many people are becoming aware of the impact their plastic footprint may have on the environment, we are far from living plastic-free lives.

The fact is, annual plastic production has increased almost 200-fold since mass plastic production began in the early 1950s. This has resulted in around 400 million tonnes of plastic waste per year. What’s even worse is close to 60% of plastic waste ends up in landfills, oceans and the environment around us.

Needless to say, reducing our dependency on plastic is essential. If consumers refuse to buy plastic products, and vie for more biofriendly alternatives, manufacturers will have no choice but to make a change.

reduce your plastic footprint

Fortunately, we’ve got a few simple ways to reduce your plastic footprint:

(Please note: This article may contain affiliate links. We only recommend products we’ve personally used, reviewed or those we’ve fully researched. If you buy something through one of our affiliate links, we may receive a commission at no additional cost to you.)

1. Get a reusable water bottle

Since you’re probably well-aware of the impact plastic bottles have on marine life, getting a reusable water bottle is a no-brainer. Why spend money on plastic water bottles, which are only going to be thrown away (or recycled, if you’re lucky)? The smart decision if you’re looking to reduce your plastic consumption is to opt for reusable bottles.

With a reusable water bottle, you can fill up at home, add more water at a refillable water station, or faucet, and keep going from there on out. Regular cleaning will allow you to use the bottle for years to come. A reusable water bottle can also save you an estimated $1350 per year and prevent more than 150 water bottles from making their way into the environment.

2. Choose a Plastic-free cell phone case

Instead of buying a plastic cover to protect your cell phone, consider getting a plastic-free cell phone case. Pela Case is one company offering a plastic-free, sustainable alternative. In addition to being plastic-free, their cell phone cases are 100% compostable. This means you won’t have to worry about your case ending up in a landfill or in the ocean, you can toss it in your own compost bin.

Right now, Pela Case is offering a buy two, get two free. If you don’t want to take advantage of that offer, you can always enter your email address to get 15% off. Here are some Pela Case best sellers.

3. Get a Plastic-Free Grocery bag

If you haven’t already purchased one (or more), we recommend getting a plastic-free grocery bag for your trips to the grocery store or farmers’ market. This way, you won’t be contributing to the plastic pollution problem every time you buy groceries. You can just say, “Nope, I brought my own.”, when you’re asked if you need bags.

It’s a simple, but eco-friendly, option anyone can choose.

4. Eat at home more OFTEN

Believe it or not, eating at home more often can actually reduce your plastic footprint. You won’t need “to-go” containers and plastic-ware from your favorite, local restaurants. You can use your own dishes, silverware, cups and reusable containers. Leftovers can go in stainless steel, glass or silicone containers and be put in your fridge to eat later.

You won’t need plastic straws either. If you do decide you need a straw, you can always buy stainless steel or glass straws you can use and clean at home.

5. Stay away from plastic Food packaging

Since we’re on the topic of groceries and eating at home, I think it’s important to mention staying away from plastic packaging. These days, it’s not uncommon to see fruits and vegetables wrapped in plastic. Many stores offer pre-cut produce to make your meal prep more “convenient”, however using plastic to store these foods is not eco-friendly. Prepared meals are usually no better. Most come in a plastic container with a plastic sheet of film on top.

We suggest you opt for the packaging nature provides and do your own prep at home. Meal prep doesn’t have to take a lot of time and you’ll have fresher meals, especially when you steer clear of the plastic packaging and prepared meals.

6. Ditch Single-Use Products

Single-use plastic has become so prominent in our society, you almost can’t go anywhere without finding it. Single-use plastic cups, razors, straws, bottles, plates and more. Since it takes between 50-200 years for plastic waste to decompose, one-use plastic products have a long-lasting impact on the environment.┬áThe good thing is, there are always plastic-free alternatives. You just have to look.

The same goes for other single-use products. These types of products produce far more waste than other reusable and sustainable products. which can be used over and over again.

7. Opt for LOw- and zero-waste

The easiest, and most basic, way to reduce your plastic footprint is to opt for low- and zero-waste products. The majority of these products contain no plastic and won’t contribute to the world’s pollution problem.

Some examples of such products are shampoo bars, DISH BLOCK┬« soaps, agave scrub brushes, deodorant bars, bamboo toothbrushes and washing sponge cloths. If you can find ones with sustainable, compostable, reusable or biodegradable packaging, you’re doing even better.

Summary

The key to reducing your plastic footprint is awareness. If you are aware of the plastic products you use, you can search for, and find, plastic-free alternatives. The less waste you generate, the better it is for the planet.

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