We should avoid plastic for a variety of reasons, including its harmful environmental impact, potential health concerns, depletion of non-renewable resources, energy consumption, and negative economic impact. Plastic pollution is a significant problem that harms wildlife and marine ecosystems, and the production of plastic products requires the use of finite resources and significant amounts of energy. Additionally, some plastic products contain harmful chemicals that can leach into our food and water, posing a risk to human health. Reducing use of plastic can begin at home and it is easy to make substitutions.
Here are some ways to reduce plastic use in your home.
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1. Use reusable bags when shopping
Bring your own reusable bags when you go shopping to avoid the need for single-use plastic bags. Not only can you use reusable bags to carry groceries, you can eliminate the need for plastic produce bags by bringing reusable produce bags.
2. Buy in bulk
Buy bulk food items like rice, beans, and nuts in bulk to avoid buying single-use plastic packaging. Buying in bulk not only saves in packaging and money, but also the money associated doing multiple grocery store runs, versus less trips.
If you have children, you can buy foods in bulk or full size packaging, and repackage in snack sizes without the waste using reusable containers. For example, instead of buying a big box of small snack bags, find a large size and put servings in reusable snack bags.
3. Buy loose produce
Buy loose produce instead of pre-packaged produce to reduce plastic waste.
You can also bring your own reusable produce bags for grocery shopping.
4. Reuse containers
Re-use containers for food storage instead of buying new plastic containers each time.
Switch to glass storage or stainless storage when possible.
5. Use reusable water bottles and straws
Swap out single-use plastic water bottles for reusable bottles to reduce plastic waste. There are lots of great options besides plastic straws. Say no to plastic straws and opt for alternatives such as paper, silicone, or stainless steel straws.
6. Shop second-hand
Shop second-hand when possible to reduce the need for new plastic products. Take advantage of hand me downs as well, by saving your children’s clothing or sharing with other parents.
7. Make your own cleaning products
Make your own cleaning products with natural ingredients to avoid buying plastic containers of store-bought products. You can buy cleaning concentrate or even cleaning solution tablets to make cleaning products with.
8. Switch to alternatives
Look for alternatives to plastic around your home. Things like a PVC shower curtain can be replaced with fabric shower curtain liner. There are lots of food storage options such as glass storage. Instead of plastic wrap, you can use reusable food wraps.