Cool Ways To Reduce Single Use Plastic
It is not controversial to claim that plastic is destroying our planet. There’s no way to recycle many forms of plastic which fill our shelves; after use such items are light enough to fly off into the atmosphere, and tragically end up lodged in the gullets of some of the most beautiful species known to humankind, literally clogging the life out of them. There’s no easy solution, but collectively we can limit our use of single use items so that our collective choices will have a significant impact.
There’s no point in using a single use plastic bottle to drink water from, when you could have a hip hydro flask which never needs to end up choking the life out of a beautiful oceanic mammal. They come in many shapes, sizes, and materials, and do a great job of keeping your drink cold. There are no harmful chemical seepages, and the only reason you might need another one is if you end up losing it.
This seemed like such a good idea at the time, but the environmental consequences are dire. Aluminum foil is a better option because it’s recyclable (so long as it’s free of grease or excess residue), or even beeswax cloth wraps if you can find some; actually, there are recipes out there which help you make your own! If bagels are your thing, then there it’s simple enough to use a CD spindle which need never be thrown away. It also looks pretty cool.
In your local grocery store you will have the choice of many products which can be purchased in glass or plastic format – from soda to pasta sauce, peanut butter to instant coffee or real coffee (coffee maker). Glass can be heavier, and maybe a little more expensive; however, it’s 100% recyclable unlike many plastics, so can be endlessly broken down and re-used over the years. It also has the advantage of being ‘upcyclable’ into such things as drinking glasses, flower-pots, pen-holders, and many other useful products.
Cloth diapers were always used until recent decades. By reverting to older ways it might be slightly less convenient, but it is also far better for the eco-system. The concept of trashing a diaper after one use, then leaving it for 500 years while it decomposes, is crazy. How much better to be stocked with a dozen diapers so that you can add them to your weekly cycle of washing. Your baby will thank you when he or she reaches your age!
The Final Straw!
Plastic straws have got to go. You must avoid using them for they wreak havoc in the natural world, ending up ramming the windpipes of an unfortunate giant turtle somewhere in a tropical wonderland. It is estimated that about one million sea birds die every year from plastic straws, which choke them as they mistakenly think it’s food. This has to stop, and you can use other materials in order to fuel your straw habit. Papaya leaf stems, bamboo, paper, and even biodegradable plastic are all ethical alternatives; you’d be wise to go to a restaurant with your own straw, perhaps folded into your wallet or handbag.
Re-usable coffee cups are all the rage these days. You can get them personalized, can invest in a hand-crafted one, and you will often be rewarded for your ethical stance by coffee shops with a conscience, many of which offer discounts if you bring your own. It saves them time and money, too, in terms of purchasing, stocking, and disposing of thousands of disposable coffee cups each and every day. There is no reason why you’ll need to replace this cherished coffee cup, and so it could be a lifetime investment.
Avoid Excessive Food Packaging
Loose fruits and vegetables are not only better tasting, but they are often cheaper, because grocery stores cater to shoppers who think they’re getting a better deal if their products are wrapped and packaged attractively. However, loose items will often be fresher, more earthy, and there is no reason why you can’t just buy them loose and simply place them straight into your (re-usable) shopping bag. After all, you know you’ll sort it all out once you get home, and you’ll of course peel and wash the things before consuming.
These are just a few ways in which you can be cool, for it’s cool to protect the planet and it’s very uncool to trash it. It’s cool to make a difference to the lives of your children and grandchildren, but it’s uncool to rob them by lazily tossing endless straws, diapers, and plastic bottles into the ocean, or letting others do it for you. Just a few minor changes from all of us will make a world of difference.
- 5 Ways to Reduce Your Use of Single-Use Plastics – Yale Sustainbility
- 10 Ways to Reduce Plastic Waste in College – Missouri State University
- 10 Simple Tips to Reduce Single-Use Plastics in Your Life – Giving Compass