5 ways to slash your plastic waste

#1 Okay, this is a no-brainer. You should already be doing this, yet I see so many people carry 50 plastic grocery bags every day. So- number 1: use reusable bags. For any situation. There are a few options for this:
(a) Use plastic or paper bags that you used on a previous shopping trip. The only flaw I see in this is the concern that the bags would rip on the third or fourth use…..
(b) Some chain supermarkets have reusable bags for sale in their stores, the thing is, a lot of them are made of plastic material. Go figure. Well, you can sometimes find old, yet functional, bags at thrift stores. Go hunting around, you’ll be surprised at what you find!
(c) Or… (drum roll please)… buy a bag made of a bio-degradable material, such as cotton. Then, after you have gotten your use out of them, they will biodegrade, which is doubly good for the earth! Try purchasing your bag from Reusable Bags.

#2 Buy (and eat) little to no processed and packaged crap. Don’t act so shocked, we all know it’s crap. More commonly known as junk food, but crap, nevertheless. Apart from improving your health, junk food is packaged in so much plastic I feel like I’ll explode. This is not to say that you can’t have the occasional treat, but if you avoid the junk and focus on whole foods for the foundation of your diet, you and Mother Earth will fare better.

#3 Buy and USE a stainless steel water bottle. This will hopefully prevent you from buying those little plastic bottle of water. I know there tempting, so quick and cold, but resist it, you’ll get into the habit of having your trusty stainless steel bottle around. You can buy lots of different sizes, and different tops, too! Buy your bottle from Klean Kanteen, or from a local store, where they are cropping up at a great speed! If you buy from a store or supermarket, just be sure that the one you choose is completely stainless steal (except for the top of course), because some companies are trying to line them with plastic. Kind of defeats the purpose, don’t you think? Anywho, check out Klean Kanteen for information and a huge display of bottles.

#4
Use tins and reusable containers, NOT PLASTIC ZIPLOC BAGS, to store food. Instead, use a bowl with a plate on top. So what if you have to wash it afterward? And besides, if you have a washing machine, you can clean it in there. Although, washing dishes by hand (which my family does) uses less energy. Plastic bags, after they’re used, will ordinarily throw them away or, as my family did for years, wash them to use again. However, when you throw plastic ziploc bags in the trash, they clog up landfills, and when you wash them, they release harmful chemicals. Icky! So, QUITE USIN‘ ‘EM! Use:
(a) A bowl with a lid on top.
(b) If you need to keep something in an airtight container, use a metal tin. I don’t think you’re
supposed to put them in the fridge for fear of rusting, but I would double check that. So
anyway- you can store bread, cookies (mmmm…..), or other such things in a metal tin. You
can commonly buy these cheaply at thrift stores (saving plastic and reusing. Bonus!)

When you need to take a lunch or snacks to a destination:
(a) Use a metal tin
(b) If you must, use a reusable plastic container (though metal is better)
(c) I have seen specially designed stainless steel lunch containers at health food stores, though I
do not have one, I’m sure they’re handy.
(d) Use bio-degradable waxed paper bags for snacks (they are also good for dog poop bags, but that’s another story)
(e) And of course, take water in a stainless steel bottle!

#5
You know those rolls of plastic bags in the grocery stores for carrying fruits, vegetables, and other bulk items? Well, give ’em up. Buy loose fruits and vegetables, and use cloth, old plastic bags, or paper bags for bulk items such as nuts, grains, and flour. It’s that simple! In fact, it is very useful to have a shopping bag filled with reusable bags and sacks for groceries, as well as glass bottles and jars for buying bulk liquids.

More to follow…..
VEGirl

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