Man is it inspiring to see how many people are making an effort to do right by the earth and the health of our environment. Just take a look around the stores you shop in. Companies are making it more and more possible to do right by this planet and the creatures that live on it. It is great that human beings are making it important, but how many of them really understand why it is so necessary? How many people know about The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP), a growing mass of nearly 79,000 metric tons of plastic, floating in the ocean? Or that ocean creatures are being found with whole plastic containers and bottles inside their stomachs?
Plastic is literally infecting everything, and that is why we need to do everything we can to cut down our use of it. Unsure of how to begin? Don’t worry, there are a handful of easy ways you can reduce plastic from your everyday life and they are all things that you can start today.
The Changes You Can Make
Adjusting to new ways of life can be intimidating. People are creatures of habit and they tend to shy away from change. However, forming new habits for the greater good can be incredibly rewarding. Here are five ways that you can do just that by eliminating your plastic use.
1. Get A Reusable Water Bottle
Take your pick of a wide selection of colors, shapes, and sizes of water bottles. Just one person using a reusable water bottle has the potential of saving nearly 170 bottles of plastic from being produced each year. Think of the difference it could make if everyone adopted this practice. Whether it is pink and sparkly or plain and simple, having your own water bottle will save you money while at the same time reducing waste that harms the planet.
2. Bring Your Own Bags to the Grocery Store
Think about how many times you purchase an item, that item is put in a bag, and then you throw the bag away. The majority of people do not even think about the bag, only the item that comes in it. Most reusable bags only cost 99 cents and go a long way to reduce plastic waste.
3. Shop Locally or in Bulk
Most of the packaging used for the products you buy at stores is made of plastic. Have you ever ventured to the bulk section at your local store? Some stores don’t have a lot to offer in these areas, but if you shop in the right places, you can find everything you need and package it with your own containers. Neighborhood co-ops, health-minded grocery stores, and farmers markets are really good about this, plus they carry products that tend to support your community in other ways as well!
4. Avoid Straws
Even the most popular of chains are trying to find ways to incorporate reusable straws rather than plastic ones. Companies that sell coffees and teas are the leading contributors to plastic waste, and for what? You don’t have to stop getting your treasured morning iced coffee from the cafe on the corner, just bring your own straw (and your own cup while you’re at it)!
5. Pack Your Lunch
All it takes is purchasing a couple of reusable containers and some good groceries and voila, you have no need for plastic for your midday meal. Bring your own silverware, stick it in the container once you have eaten, give it a wash once you get home, and you are ready to refill it for tomorrow. It’s so easy! Not only that, it saves you money and keeps you in control of the ingredients in your food.
Take The First Step
There is so much plastic out there, but do not let that intimidate you. Each effort you make to eliminate plastic in your life goes a long way, and it helps to show the people around you just how possible it is. Swaggr is just getting started on providing people with a way to eliminate plastic in their lives. Join the movement! Check out our story for more information on our efforts to make it easier for people to live plastic-free lives.