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How to Reduce Plastic Around the House

microplastics plastic pollution plastic-free zerowaste

Hey there, eco-warriors! Let's talk about something near and dear to our hearts: reducing plastic waste right in our own homes.

With plastic pollution becoming a global crisis, it's more important than ever to take action and ditch plastic!

how to reduce plastic around the house

Did you know that each year, a staggering 11 million metric tons of plastic find their way into our oceans? It's a mind-boggling statistic that paints a grim picture of our planet's health. But fear not! There's plenty we can do to turn the tide.

Let's kick things off with some tips straight from the trenches of a Reddit Megathread:

  1. Decline the use of straws at restaurants and drive-throughs, if needed use sustainable alternatives made from bamboo or metal

  2. Bring a glass jar and buy popcorn from bulk bins rather than brands with plastic packaging

  3. Use a small compost bin to store food waste, to reduce garbage use

  4. Buy reusable silicone zip-top sandwich bags also available from major supermarkets

  5. Use bamboo toothbrushes that are sustainable and biodegradable

  6. Shop more in bulk, grains, nuts, legumes, baking ingredients, cereals and many more are great options that can help you cut down on excess packaging

  7. Choose products with no packaging or compostable packaging and be sure the good themselves can be actually recycled or composted like at GaiaGuy.com

  8. Use reusable produce bags made from a biodegradable material like cotton, cornstarch, hemp, jute or bamboo. More Zero Waste Tips!

  9. Support local, regional and nationwide legislations to ban plastic bag use**.**

  10. Recycle plastic bags or bring them to recycling drop-off locations. Check plasticfilmrecycling.org

  11. Save food in glass storage containers, try to use sustainable wrap alternatives such as beeswax or cotton

  12. Use Done Good to find sustainable alternatives and exclusive discounts on sustainable products

  13. Use reusable coffee pods and ground coffee, as single-use Coffee takes 150-500 years just to break down

  14. If possible decline the use of receipts as they sometimes have a thin plastic layer. If you own a store opt to use more sustainable alternatives

  15. Enjoy ice cream in a cone, not a plastic cup

  16. Buy used and refurbished plastic items

  17. When ordering a takeaway tell the restaurant that you don't want plastic cutlery

  18. When ordering pizza tell them you don't need the little plastic table or "pizza saver"

  19. Use reusable shopping bags, store them in easy to see and reach places so you don't forget about them!

  20. Use vinegar from (glass containers) and water for cleaning

  21. Use baking soda that comes in a cardboard box for scrubbing. So many cleaning products that come in plastic bottles can be replaced with DIY cleaning recipes. 

  22. If you have a sweeper-mop that uses disposable cleaning pads, use reusable pads made from cloth instead

  23. Try to avoid any personal care products with "polyethene" listed as an ingredient

  24. Ditch bottled water, use a stainless steel, glass or bamboo water bottle

  25. Switch to plastic-free chewing gum, most gums get their texture from plastics, rubbers and waxes

  26. Bring reusable food storage container to restaurants for leftovers

  27. Use the CORKwatch to determine if a wine uses plastic or natural cork

  28. DON’T litter, it's not worth it. Volunteer at local nature clean-up events

  29. Food wrappers and containers account for 31.14% of plastic pollution by unit count. Try and build up your limit of plastic use gradually over time

  30. Bring your own cup or tumbler to coffee shops, some places will even give you a discount for doing so!

  31. Use cotton swabs with paper rods instead of plastic

  32. When you need to buy plastic, choose (bonus points for already recycled) clear plastic bottles (for cosmetics, foods, toys etc) these are more likely to be recycled

  33. Don't release balloons or plastic confetti into the air. Biodegradable confetti is a better option!

  34. Plastic flip flops are forever, choose rubber, cork, jute or recycled footwear instead Good On You have an amazing directory to checkout!

  35. Try bar shampoos and soaps without packaging, like the ones you can buy at Lush

  36. Buy bread from bakeries that package in paper

  37. Properly secure your garbage bags to prevent fly-away plastics while being transported by garbage trucks

  38. Cut down on junk mail - these are often full of plastics. Check DMCAChoice to get started

  39. Buy clothes made from synthetic material like polyester, acrylic, Lycra, spandex or nylon used when possible. Cotton, linen and hemp are better material options - again use Good On You’s directory - Buy second hand and embrace thrift shops.

  40. Up to 20 billion pads, tampons and applicators are dumped into North American landfills annually. Try a menstrual cup instead

  41. Shop at your local farmers market and bring your own bags and containers. They often use way less plastic packaging

  42. Avoid buying new CDs and DVDs, stream or buy used

  43. Crayola recycles all markers. Setup a ColorCycle program through a local school

  44. Staples recycles electronics, ink and batteries. In Canada, Staples has partnered with TerraCycle to recycle writing utensils, too

  45. Use a razor with replaceable blades instead of disposables

  46. Using packing peanuts made from starch instead of Styrofoam

  47. Cutting up plastic six rings still harms marine life, since they can ingest the smaller pieces. Avoid them and support companies that are developing alternatives

  48. Cigarette butts (made from cellulose acetate a typical plastic) are the largest source of single-use plastic pollution. Kick the habit!

  49. The most toxic plastics are #3 (PVC). #6 (polystyrene) and #7 (other, including BPA) Avoid these!

  50. Before buying or using plastics, imagine it in a landfill or in the ocean forever. Taking a moment to reflect on the consequences can compel you to find a non-plastic solution.

But wait, there's more! Facebook has been buzzing with some fantastic ideas on how to minimize plastic use around the house:

  1. 1. Avoid plastic-heavy items like meat with excessive packaging.
  2. Utilize reusable produce bags or opt for brown paper mushroom bags.
  1. Patronize bakeries offering unpackaged bread or go for sourdough in brown paper.
  2. Say no to plastic bags and opt for paper or cardboard trays, or even forgo bags altogether.
  3. Choose aluminum cans over plastic bottles for drinks.
  4. Carry a reusable water bottle wherever you go.
  5. Shop at refill stations for pantry and cleaning supplies to minimize packaging.
  6. Seek online retailers using cardboard boxes instead of plastic satchels.
  7. When buying plastic, prioritize those made from 100% recycled materials.

But it doesn't stop there! Here are a few additional tips to help you reduce plastic waste at home:

  • Compost Food Scraps: Start a compost bin to reduce the amount of organic waste that ends up in landfills, often wrapped in plastic bags
  • Shop Smart: Look for bulk options and refill stations for pantry staples and household goods to minimize packaging waste.
  • Kick the Plastic Habit: Challenge yourself to identify and eliminate unnecessary plastic items from your daily routine. We got you covered if you are looking for some plastic-free products.

Together, these small changes can add up to a big impact on our planet. So let's roll up our sleeves and get to work creating a more sustainable future for generations to come!

Until next time, keep fighting the good fight! Oh and leave your tips below!

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