7 Ways To Reduce Your Plastic Footprint

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Since 1950, there has been about 9 billion tons of plastic produced, and the majority of it won’t naturally degrade for hundreds if not thousands of years. What’s worse is that plastic production is steadily increasing, and half of all plastic on Earth was created in the past 13 years. Now it is more important than ever to do your part in cutting back on using plastic, so here are some steps you can take to reduce your plastic footprint.

1. Buy in Bulk

Buying in bulk sharply reduces the amount of packaging needed for an item. Instead of getting a ton of items that come in small containers, buying the big container gives you a bigger supply right off the bat, and you can even refill smaller bottles you may already have in your home. Not only will you be saving plastic, you’ll be saving trips to the store.

2. Use Reusable Shopping Bags

With California passing a law forcing customers to pay extra for plastic bags, that can add up when you take a trip to the grocery store. Most companies will sell reusable bags that you can buy for just a few dollars, and you can keep it in your car so it’s always there when you need it. These bags are always sturdier and higher quality then normal plastic bags, so you won’t have to use as many bags to hold all your items.

3. Buy a Reusable Water Bottle

Over 35 billion plastic water bottles end up in the trash every year, but buying a quality reusable water bottle can bring that number down significantly. This will cut down on the inevitable clutter of empty water bottles around your home and your car. Insulated water bottles like a Hydroflask can even keep your water cold all day, keeping you hydrated and happy knowing you’re making a positive impact on the environment.

4. Seek Out Alternative Packaging

Plastic is used to package way too many things, including vegetables, fruit, and even drinks. To remedy this, actively seek out alternatives in packaging for your items. This could include milk sold in glass bottles, buying whole fruit and avocados without plastic packaging, or smaller items like grapes that can be sold in compostable plastic bags.

5. Say No to Straws

It’s something we don’t give a second thought to, but straws account for such a large amount of plastic, yet they’re highly unnecessary. If you’re ordering a drink somewhere, you can say no to the straw, and drink normally from a cup. You can even bring your own cup with a special lid so it’s easier to sip your beverage. If you are ordering from fast food restaurant, skip the disposable straw and lid.

6. Rethink Your Food Storage

Plastic wrap, plastic baggies, plastic containers – the list goes on and on. By rethinking how you store your food, you can drastically cut back on plastic usage. Invest in some glass mason jars and some glass containers. This will keep your food away from any harmful plastics, and you’ll reduce your plastic footprint in your fridge.

7. Skip the Disposable Razor

All those disposable plastic razors add up over time, but buying a good quality razor where you can just replace the blades will save you more money, and keep your plastic use down.

Avid writer and reader with a curious mind. I'm always looking to get the most out of life! Follow me on Twitter @whatsaschoon

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