Education

How To Avoid Using Plastic

posted by Chris Valentine

These days, most people are not ready to break up with plastic altogether. It’s literally everywhere we go. However, more and more people become aware of the modern plastic pollution problem.

According to the latest statistics, approximately eight million tons of plastic waste escapes into the oceans every year. More than that, plastics kill millions of animals, from birds to fish. Even elephants, camels, and tigers die from consuming plastics.

The main problem is that plastic is not biodegradable. If we don’t stop producing tons of it, in less than 100 years, our planet will drown in plastic. This, in turn, threatens life on Earth.

At first, it seems like an individual can’t do anything to stop plastic pollution. Indeed, if you stop using plastic, it doesn’t mean big corporations will follow you. On the other hand, joining the movement of eco-friendly living and being an example for others will help to make a difference.

That’s what you can do to support the movement and change the world for the better:

Support environmentally friendly companies

Fortunately, there are a lot of eco-friendly companies – Ikea, Inilever, Panasonic, Allergan, Seventh Generation, Patagonia, HotShot Coffee Sleeves. Supporting businesses that offer green products will help them become stronger. Also, it will make plastic-free products more accessible.

Buying zero waste products lead to a positive environmental impact. In addition to it, locally made products are unique ( you won’t find them in big national chains).

Once you stop buying things made of plastic, you will finally understand what quality is all about — eco-friendly products made of glass or wood last longer than those made out of plastic.

Get a reusable bottle

People throw-away billions of plastic bottles each year. It’s important to mention that plastic bottle manufacturing involves the release of pollutants into the air. Also, bottles biodegrade extremely slowly.

To reduce your carbon footprint, you should stop buying water in plastic bottles. The best solution is to get a reusable bottle.

According to multiple studies, drinking from a reusable bottle is better for your health. The thing is that plastic bottles contain chemicals since they are made of PET (poly terephthalate) plastic.

One study from Canada has also shown that bottled water has more bacteria than tap water.

If you start refilling the bottle on your own, you will have a chance to control the quality of water. Besides, it will also help you to save money. Did you know that the average American spends at least $200 on bottled water per year? A good quality bottle will cost much less!

Avoid plastic food packaging

If you want to start a plastic-free life, stop buying food with plastic packaging. Consider shopping at farmers’ markets where you can buy fresh fruit and vegetables.

You can buy pasta, rice, and cereal from bulk bins. Also, consider taking reusable containers to the restaurants so that a cook won’t pack leftovers to the styrofoam.

Avoid buying frozen foods since they are mostly wrapped in plastic. Giving up on these will benefit not only the planet but also your stomach ( eating frozen processed foods has never been healthy).

Carry a reusable shopping bag

You should always have a fabric shopping bag with you. That’s how you can stop buying plastic bags every time you go out for groceries. Hopefully, one day, all supermarkets will ban the sale of plastic bags at all. But before it happens, you should take some measures on your own.

Use eco-friendly substitutes

It will take more than 80 years for one plastic cup to decompose. So, why not to use eco-friendly substitutes? For example, start buying your drinks in glass bottles (once upon a time, your parents used to do that, and it was fine).

Also, consider using beauty bars instead of buying shampoos and shower gels in plastic bottles every month. These products are not only good for the environment, but also for your skin and hair. The conditioner bar usually comes packed with natural ingredients such as coconut oil, lime oil, vitamin 5, and cocoa butter. Needless to say, it’s easier to pack the shampoo bar when you go traveling.

There are many other plastic products that have eco-friendly substitutes. For example, you can get disposable wooden cutlery for picnics, or reusable metal straws, silicone ice cube trays, a bamboo brush, wood hangers, and compostable garbage bags.

As you can see, life without plastic is possible. You just need to make informed choices and start cutting it out of the picture, step by step.

The bottom line

Single-use plastic items are everywhere we go these days. If you want to reduce your carbon footprint and help the next generations, consider leading a plastic-free life. At first, it might be a great challenge since a lot of products we use on a daily basis are made out of plastic. However, you can find a lot of eco-friendly substitutes.

Make sure to support environmentally friendly companies and shop at a farmers market. That’s how you can help them to grow their businesses and encourage other companies to become more eco-conscious.

And remember – life without plastic is possible. Set a good example for others by making eco-friendly decisions.

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