From food and shampoo to electronics and appliances, almost everything we buy seems to either be made from or packaged in plastic. How can you avoid it? Consider these 10 easy tips to cut back on plastic and help save the planet:
1. Buy and eat fresh: Choose fresh foods, such as fruits, vegetables and breads, over convenience foods or packaged products to cut down on the amount of plastic you purchase.
2. Banish plastic bottles: Don’t buy another plastic beverage bottle! No matter where you’re going, you can bring your own drink in a reusable glass or stainless steel bottle.
3. BYOB: Bring your own bags to the grocery store, including canvas bags to hold bulky items and mesh bags to hold fruits and veggies.
4. Go for glass: From beverage bottles to food storage containers, make the switch from plastic to glass throughout your home.
5. Choose biodegradable: Look for plastic-free products made from or packaged in 100% biodegradable or compostable materials.
6. Make your own products: From household cleaners, shampoos and body lotions to condiments and energy bars, there are plenty of things you can make yourself and store in glass containers. Making your own products can not only cut your plastic usage, it can be significantly cheaper.
7. Buy in bulk: When you must buy an item packaged in plastic, buy a bigger size rather than several smaller sizes.
8. Give up gum: Many varieties of gum come in a plastic package. But did you know that the gum itself may be made of plastic? Synthetic rubbers are used in many different items, including chewing gums, and are typically made from a plastic polymer.
9. Reuse it or recycle it: Do your best to come up with a way to repurpose any plastic you already have. Recycle anything you can’t reuse, return or repurpose.
10. Buy secondhand: Avoid buying “new” plastic and prevent someone else from throwing it away by buying secondhand any plastic items you need (such as appliances and electronics).