How to Reduce Plastic Now

The plastic we use today will outlive us, our children and our grandchildren. Let's not leave that legacy.

I totally missed the fact that I didn't do a retrospective and roundup for my May project #catgoesplasticfree. For May, I shared tips and facts about why plastic is not good for people, animals and our environment. I've listed some of the popular posts below and recapped ways we all can reduce our plastic use.

 
 

Join The Challenge

First, join the challenge. The best way to encourage a change is to commit to the challenge of going plastic free or reducing your plastic usage. There's an organization called Plastic Free July that hosts a challenge each July for people to go Plastic Free. Register here to get ideas, tips and support during the challenge. It's 31 days and it's guaranteed to be a life changing event. It will change the way you shop, eat and consume.

plastic-free-july-challenge
 

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Reduce your impact by replacing these common wasteful household items.

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Read and Watch

There's a great book out there by Beth Terry that goes through the steps of how to lead a Plastic-Free: How I Kicked The Plastic Habit and How You Can Too. There are also many great documentaries on Netflix and YouTube that show you the impact of plastic on our oceans, our landfills and our overall well being. Plastic is everywhere and unfortunately because it is a synthetic material, we add so many additives to make various kinds of plastic materials that is becoming very dangerous to our well being. We are also continuing to support the production of oil to make plastics.

Here are good documentaries to check out regarding plastic pollution:

  • A Plastic Ocean
  • Addicted To Plastic
  • Bag It: The Movie
  • Plastic China
  • Plasticized
  • Plastic Paradise
  • Plastic Planet
  • Trashed
The myth of the recycling logos.

The myth of the recycling logos.

 
The great irony of organic food and plastic containers.

The great irony of organic food and plastic containers.

Very few plastics can be reclaimed for their original purpose. Sad!

Very few plastics can be reclaimed for their original purpose. Sad!

 

Ditch the Top 4 Plastic Culprits

Consider replacing the Top 4 single-use items with reusable options. You don't have to replace them with brand new items. Perhaps go without straws. Ask for coffee to stay. Find an old water bottle at home. Re-use an old bag or refuse bags completely. Carry it with your hands.

 
 

Make Things

Part of the reason why plastic is so prevalent because it makes our lives convenient. We can easily pick up food in plastic containers. Our coffee is mostly to-go. We live on the run.

Stop.

Slow down.

Consider making a few of your favorite things. Make your favorite snack from scratch using items bought in bulk. Make a lotion out of natural ingredients instead of purchasing one in a plastic container. Make a bag out of a old t-shirt. Make your own coffee at home. Yes, these take time, but remember that each plastic we use today outlives us all.

Make your own lotions. Skip the plastic packaging and use natural ingredients.

Make your own lotions. Skip the plastic packaging and use natural ingredients.

 
Make your lunch and bring it in reusable containers instead of taking out.

Make your lunch and bring it in reusable containers instead of taking out.

Make your own flavored water and skip the powdered drinks and single-use water bottles.

 
 

Watch What You Wear and How You Wash Them

Clothing is also a big plastic polluter as most of our fast fashion is made out of cheap synthetic materials. Each wash means microfibers enter the water system and eventually the fish that we eat. Consider buying clothing made of natural materials. If washing synthetic materials, try the following: use a GuppyFriend bag to catch the microfibers, don't wash as often by air drying clothes immediately after use, when washing, put a bit of vinegar to remove smell (excellent for gym clothes as it gets the stink out, trust me!).

 

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