You've seen it all over Facebook- whales digesting plastic blags and turtles with straws in their noses. This has lead to a drastic "plastic ban" movement, strongly encouraging people to stop using plastic without providing any alternatives. While you may want to change your plastic habits, you're probably feeling confused about how to start, or think it's too hard to change. I have 8 tips that making ditching the plastic seamless.
1) Use reusable straws
Starbucks has jumped on the plastic ban movement by announcing the removal of plastic straws from all of their locations. While it's great that Starbucks wants to help save the turtles, eliminating plastic straws will no longer allow people with certain types of disabilities to enjoy their beverages. If you need to use a straw, you can purchase reusable and dishwasher safe straws from Amazon for $10 or less!
2) Replace disposable cups and bottles
If you buy just one cup of coffee in disposable cup every day, you’ll end up creating about 23 lbs of waste in one year. Good thing many coffee shops sell reusable cups and mugs at their stores! BONUS: Some places (like Tropic Smoothie) even offer a discount when you use a reusable cup.
3) Replace Ziploc bags and plastic wrap
The average family goes through about 1,000 Ziploc bags and 24 rolls of plastic wrap each year. Replacing these with SuperBee Wax Wraps will not only reduce the amount of plastic, but it will also save you money! SuperBee Wax Wraps are reusable, last for up to one year, are naturally antibacterial, antifungal, and easy to clean. They're especially convenient for campers and hikers- no waste!
4) Use more silicone
Another easy way to replace plastic wrap is to use reusable silicone lids. My super awesome Pampered Chef Independent Consultant of a mom gifted me with a set of round and rectangle silicone lids. These lids keep your food covered just as plastic wrap would, but are reusable and dishwasher safe! Pampered Chef has many other silicon products, including a popcorn maker, which replaces single-use popcorn bags.
5) Go to the Farmers Market
Vendors at farmers markets tend to use less packaging to wrap their produce, bread, and meats than in stores. Not to mention the food will be fresher and you'll be helping the local economy...
6) Change your toothbrush
Over 4.7 billion plastic toothbrushes are produced each year worldwide. After use, they're thrown away and are unable to decompose. Luckily there are many companies popping up to sell biodegradable toothbrushes! Brush with Bamboo is one of those companies whose toothbrushes have plant-based bristles and a 100% Organic Bamboo handle.
7) Refuse to use single-use plastics
Some restaurants will offer you a choice of using either plastic or washable silverware. This one's simple, don't choose the plastic.
8) Use reusable shopping bags
It's been said before, but I'm saying again- approximately 160,000 plastic bags are used EVERY SECOND all around the world. My advice, get a stash of reusable shopping bags and keep some in the car, the office, and in your house. That way you always have a bag around when you need one. If you're shy on bags, go shopping in downtown Kalamazoo during the holiday season and during Summer Sidewalk Sales- you get a free reusable bag with a minimum purchase.
So... How are you going to use #lessplastic?