37 Ways to Shrink Your Use of Plastic

November 21, 2014 - garden totes

Plastic has an positively available though worrying participation in a lives. Everyday equipment such as wrappers, bottles and even nipping resin (yes, it’s done of plastic!) are thrown divided though many thought. In fact, Americans drop 14.4 million tons of cosmetic a year, and customarily 13 percent of it is recycled.

This leads to a damaging problem, as a chemicals in plastics have been famous to have inauspicious effects on a bodies as good as a planet. It’s gotten so bad that in a Pacific Ocean a plastic island has shaped that’s twice a distance of Texas — leaching chemicals, harming sea life and destroying ecosystems. However, we can assistance quell a impact of this environmentally dangerous element by implementing a following practices:

  1. Give adult shopping beverages that come in cosmetic bottles. About 2.4 million tons of this cosmetic — famous as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) — is rejected annually, with 75 percent going true to a landfill. Invest in a stainless- steel bottle or opt for soda or other beverages that come in potion bottles or paper cartons.
  2. Stop regulating disposable cups. From Styrofoam to Solo cups to plastic-lined paper cups, these libation holders have a lifespan of about half an hour. This is since we should make it a robe of bringing your thermos or tumbler any time we strike a coffee emporium or a quick food restaurant.
  3. And given you’re now going to use your possess libation container, we can also embankment those single-use straws, stirrers and lids.
  4. If a coffee emporium uses cosmetic cups or cutlery though doesn’t have a recycling bin, take these equipment home with we and recycle them yourself.
  5. Repurpose a cosmetic that we already have. Cups and yogurt tubs make good planters, and bags can be woven into baskets or mats. The tops of H2O bottles can be sliced off to make awesome seals for bags of food.
  6. Skip a freezer section. While TV dinners competence be convenient, they tend to come wrapped in extreme packaging. 
    Avoid disposable cups and single-use brewing pods. David Wright/Flikr
  7. Choose lax fruits and vegetables instead of bagged produce, such as carrots, apples and lemons. By doing so we equivocate regulating cosmetic and it allows we to buy customarily what we need, so there’s reduction food that could spoil and go to waste. Even better? You competence save money, too.
  8. Fill adult on grains, cereals, nuts and other kitchen staples during a bulk bin. Be certain to move your possess bags or containers from home when purchasing these items.
  9. Shop local. Frequent farmers’ markets for uninformed furnish and eggs, bakeries for bread and butchers for meats given they mostly use reduction wrapping to hang items. 
    Plastic containers can be re-purposed as planters. Miguel Checa/Flikr
  10. Later on, lapse all your plastics — baskets, containers and jars — to a farmers’ marketplace vendors for reuse. (They’re firm to conclude your action.)
  11. You substantially know this already, though it bears repeating: Say no to cosmetic bags. Why is it so critical to take your reusable receptacle (preferably done of canvas, string or hemp, not vinyl or polyester) any time we conduct to a supermarket? It takes 12 million barrels of oil to make a 102 billion cosmetic bags that Americans use annually,according to the United Nations. So keep several reusables in your automobile or handbag, and if we contingency use a cosmetic bag, remember to recycle it after on. It’s easy to do, given many grocery stores have their possess bag-collection bins.
  12. Try flourishing your possess food during home. Salad vegetables and spices are unequivocally easy to grow in a garden, a unresolved basket or on a windowsill. By doing so, we equivocate shopping furnish that comes in cosmetic packaging. 
    Open atmosphere markets revoke waste, generally if we move your possess bag. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
  13. Buy antiseptic that comes in card boxes instead of cosmetic containers. Better yet, cocktail in a few soap nuts (a enchanting dusty berry that works as an all-natural cleaner). Or if we like to DIY, try this homemade three-ingredient laundry detergent.
  14. Clean your home with all-natural mixture that we competence find in your kitchen — baking soda, lemons, vinegar — rather than shopping bottles of toilet cleaner and bleach.
  15. At a dry cleaners, move your possess mantle bag for pickups or ask for your garments to be returned giveaway of cosmetic wrap.
  16. Line your rubbish bins with paper bags or biodegradable rabble bags instead of shopping cosmetic rabble bags. Earn additional eco-points by starting a compost store for your organic waste.
  17. For condiments such as ketchup, mustard and salad dressing, select varieties that come in potion jars instead of fist bottles.
  18. Swap your fake consume for a string washcloth or try doing your dishes with one of a cellulose varieties, that are done of timber fiber. 
    Cork bottle stoppers are biodegradable. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Getty Images
  19. For parties or during work, avoid regulating disposable cups and cosmetic utensils. Use genuine silverware and cups and rinse them after or squeeze compostable ones.
  20. Stick to wines that have cork stoppers instead of fake stoppers, given a healthy element is totally biodegradable.
  21. Place a lid or a image on tip of leftovers instead of reaching for cosmetic wrap. Mason jars or ceramic containers are also a good choice to Tupperware and Ziploc baggies.
  22. Wrap food in aluminum foil or try beeswax-coated food wraps that can be used repeatedly.
  23. Reuse a bags that reason baked products like bread for cleaning adult after your dog.
  24. Swear off single-use coffee pods. We know they are convenient, though if we caring about a planet, an out-of-date coffee appurtenance with a reusable filter works customarily as well. 
    Cloth diapers are distant reduction greedy than disposables. rowdyHarv/Flikr
  25. Wear natural, organic textiles instead of fake ones such as nylon, acrylic or polyester. Did we know that in an normal wash, 1,900 fibers come off a singular fake essay of wardrobe and that this is one of a many common forms of cosmetic wickedness in a oceans?
  26. Try to use soaps, lotions and shampoos that come in plain bars instead of potion form in a bottle.
  27. Avoid cosmetic products with microbeads (which competence be enclosed in a mixture list as polyethylene or polypropylene). These small cosmetic beads are causing big environmental problems in a Great Lakes.
  28. For hair care, skin caring and other beauty products, find varieties that come in potion or steel containers. Believe it or not, though there are even plastic-free options for products such as mascara and deodorant, that seem to customarily come in cosmetic tubes.
  29. Use paper fasten instead of Scotch fasten when mailing vast items.
  30. Buy cloth diapers instead of disposable ones. They competence be messier, though they emanate many reduction rubbish compared with disposables, that don’t spoil and volume to a overwhelming 4 million tons of landfill rubbish per year. 
    Electronics comment for millions of tons of waste. Uriel Sinai/Getty Images
  31. Unload aged wiring in a obliged manner. A vast apportionment of cosmetic rubbish comes from rejected televisions, fax machines, keyboards, dungeon phones and other tech gear. According to a EPA, 37 million tons of electronic rubbish was tossed in 2009 (an volume that’s certainly increasing given then). You don’t need a latest smartphone if a one we have works ideally well. And if your device is behaving a small wonky, try repair it. Take wiring that are no longer functioning to e-waste facilities that can dispose of them.
  32. For difficult-to-recycle plastics (toothbrushes, cigarette butts, food wraps, beauty products, etc.) that are customarily landfill-bound, check out TerraCycle. You’ll be astounded what equipment this innovative association repurposes.
  33. Use matches or deposit in refillable steel lighters such as Zippo instead of disposable ones that aren’t recyclable.
  34. Shave with razors that have replaceable blades, not whole disposable ones. Or cruise regulating a reserve razor that we can simply sharpen. 
    Opt for timber or cloth toys, rather than plastic. ninacoco/Flikr
  35. Be aware of a element used in toys. Plastic varieties competence enclose BPAs, phthalates and other damaging chemicals that could mistreat immature children and pets. For kids, select timber or cloth-based toys, and for pets, buy catnip for cats and squeaky pressed animals or vast ropes for dogs.
  36. Burn candles (soy or beeswax, not paraffin) or incense, instead of shopping atmosphere fresheners in cosmetic holders.
  37. Lastly, learn how to rightly recycle plastic. Get informed with a triangle-shaped recycling pitch on a bottom of many bottles and containers. As we previously reported, many recycling centers will collect Nos. 1, 2 and 5 plastics such as H2O bottles and Tupperware. Plastics that are Nos. 3, 4 and 6, like disposable cups and vinyl showering curtains, are tolerably recyclable. This leaves cosmetic No. 7, that is scarcely unfit to recycle since it’s done of a multiple of all forms of cosmetic (which means we should equivocate regulating it if possible).

    How One Chicago Restaurant Went Totally Trash-Free


Let’s repair this nation together.

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