We all know it: Plastic is a huge problem. It's suffocating our oceans, our wildlife is eating it and dying, and it's overly used and heavily wasted despite the fact that it virtually never deteriorates. Ridding the world of plastic sounds like a lofty and unattainable goal, but you can do your part as an individual to help reduce plastic production and waste. Where there's no demand there's generally no supply, so with that in mind, here are our best tips for ditching plastic from your life and embracing more sustainable materials and practices.
Bring reusable containers with you
If you're going to go plastic-free you're going to need to plan ahead. The next time you're headed out, be prepared. If you might purchase a drink, meal or anything really, on your excursion, bring reusable containers with you so you can ask the vendor to fill up your containers instead of issuing your order in their own plastic ones. This helps you avoid adding to unnecessary plastic waste and signals to the vendor that you're not a fan of their packaging choices.
Pack a reusable bag
You never know when you might need to go shopping, so taking reusable bags with you is a great idea. Find one that packs down to fit or clip onto in your purse or backpack so you'll always have it with you.
Try a glass or metal straw
If you like to sip from a straw, or need to, give reusable straws a go. It's pretty easy to find and purchase durable glass and metal straws online these days. Discarded plastic straws can be very problematic for wildlife so this is a conscious switch on your part!
Tote a reusable bottle or cup
You need to drink when you're out and about, so be prepared and travel with a reusable water bottle or cup. You won't be as tempted to purchase plastic bottles of water if you carry a liter of it in a reusable bottle! If you prefer to drink hot beverages throughout your day, invest in an insulated, reusable coffee tumbler.
Buy a water filter, not filtered water
If you buy filtered or spring water in those huge plastic bottles, consider making the switch to a water filter. You'll reduce unnecessary plastic waste and may even save a fair bit of money over the long term.
Buy in bulk when you can
Instead of buying items like nut butter, loose nuts and seeds, candy, flour, dried fruit, detergent, beauty and body products and more in prepackaged plastic packaging, buy in bulk instead and bring your own containers. You can find an amazing selection of bulk items at health food stores and bulk stores. Be sure to weigh your empty reusable containers before you fill them to ensure their weight is subtracted from the total weight at purchase.
BentalGreenOak hopes that these eco-friendly tips help you live your best, plastic-free life.