Hello, today we are going to brainstorm on ways that we can reduce plastics in the environment, starting with our own houses. The plastic usage stats are frightening but you’ve got a secret weapon to reduce plastic: your household. Fear no more for with these 17 ways you can reduce the average plastic(100 Kgs per household) to almost nil. Well here goes:
- STOP USING PLASTIC STRAWS.
Plastic straws are the most used form of plastics in the world. Avoid using plastic straws in your homes and even in restaurants. You should try asking for a glass when taking your soda instead of using the straws.
2. USE A REUSABLE PRODUCE BAG
The average household goes for shopping about once a week. How many plastic bags are used to carry this shopping? I cannot count! when shopping try to carry your own reusable produce bags so that you can reduce the amount of plastic in your home.
3. GIVE UP GUM
It is amazing how even the smallest of things can be made using plastic without the public realizing. Which brings me to stop chewing gum, this is also a form of plastic which I am sad to say is not biodegradable. Know how annoying gum is when it sticks to your shoe? Now imagine a would full of gum!
4.BUY BOXES INSTEAD OF BOTTLES
Detergents come in two packages. Here is what I shall call responsible shopping. Instead of picking the detergent in the plastic bottle from the shelf why not pick the one in the box?
5. PURCHASE FOOD IN BULK
Food should be purchased in bulk instead of many tiny plastic packages why not reduce the 10 packets of biscuits why not buy in a carton or in the metal container and you can use this for the whole week?
6. REUSE CONTAINERS TO STORE LEFT OVERS
Sometimes we find ourselves prey/ victims and we end up having to buy single use plastic containers. Now that you have a plastic container why not transform it into a storage container for leftover foods?
7. USE A REUSABLE BOTTLE/ MUG FOR BEVERAGES
16 billion disposable coffee cups are used per year. This statistics are shocking but know what you can do about it? I bet you do. Instead of using these disposable cups why not purchase a nice coffee cup and bring it with you every morning when you stop for coffee before work?
8. BRING YOUR OWN CONTAINER FOR TAKE OUT
Most restaurants if not all use styroform packages for take outs. Instead of packing your takeouts in these containers you have the choice of carrying a container from your home and actually using it at the restaurant. This way you have sent a message to the restaurant and you have reduced plastic in your home.
9. USE MATCHES INSTEAD OF DISPOSABLE LIGHTERS
6 million lighters are purchased daily by consumers. 6 million more pieces of plastics used something that we can avoid by simply using matchboxes. Avoiding lighters in our homes takes us one step closer to a plastic free future.
10. AVOID BUYING FROZEN FOODS
Frozen foods often come packaged in plastic containers/ papers. Instead of buying frozen foods try buying fresh foods that can be carried in reusable bags or containers.
11. DON’T USE PLASTIC WARE IN YOUR HOME
In short don’t use any disposable spoons, cups and plates in your house. These are especially tempting during weddings and parties. You can make a conscious effort to avoid using these plastics hence eventually reducing plastics in your house.
12. USE CLOTH DIAPERS
Cloth diapers commonly known as napkins in my country. Many are times when I have heard mothers say that they cannot use napkins for their babies. And I wondered why so I asked one of them and she said, ‘the washing takes a lot of time’. What will five minutes of the time taken to wash a nappy compare to the thousands of years that a diaper will last on the planet? But that is up to each person to decide.
13. MAKE FRESH JUICE INSTEAD OF BUYING
Another way to avoid those plastic cups and bottles… make your own juice. First of all it’s healthy because it is fresh and I’m pretty sure you won’t be wondering what you just drank. Secondly it’s cheaper than buying juice and the most important of all you reduce the amount of plastics in the environment.
14. PACK YOUR LUNCH IN REUSABLE CONTAINERS
5 lunches, that is the average number of lunches required per week in a house hold for the children, the mother and the father. I have 7 siblings hence if we were all to have lunch packed in plastic containers that would be about 40 plastic containers a week in a year? 1920 containers only from lunch. 1920 containers avoided if i packed my lunch in a box container or a reusable container.
15. USE A RAZOR WITH REPLACEABLE BLADES
Razors/ shavers, I think we have all had the chance to not only interact with but to use them as well. What kind of razor do you use? Can you replace the blades or do you throw out the entire razor when done with it? Just imagine how much less plastic you will need to get rid of when you can use replaceable razor blades?
16. CHOOSE A CONE OVER A CUP
Ice cream cup vs ice cream cone this has been an ongoing debate in many of our brains. ‘Just carry the cup it’s easily portable and it won’t make you dirty,’ we try to convince ourselves. But guess what ? Where is the accountability when our planet is full of ice cream cups that take so many years or do not degrade? Who is responsible for this?
17. COMMUNITY CLEAN-UPS
If you find yourself free on a weekend grab the kids and begin a community cleanup. It might not be your trash but it is your planet. You’ll just e beautifying your neighborhood but you might actually find yourself being a law change maker through weighing the plastic that you pick up. You just might convince the government to ban plastics.
The plastic free journey is not an easy one and it is definitely not for the faint hearted. The good news is that anyone can do it. We all can make a conscious change towards a plastic free future and sustainable living.
The Traveling Mindset.