How to use less plastic and reduce waste every single day
Plastic-Free July is here, and it’s the perfect time to acknowledge the amount of plastic we use every day, and intentionally focus our energy on how to use less plastic.
While plastic can do some serious damage to the environment, the good news is that we can make a difference with several effortless eco-friendly swaps.
Keep reading for some easy ways to use less plastic in your everyday life — from when you’re getting ready for bed to when you’re headed out the door.
Why Plastic-Free July?
Plastic-Free July is a movement dedicated to helping people reduce plastic pollution and improve the environment. Not only does plastic come from unsustainable fossil fuels, but it doesn’t break down when it’s been used, either. While we should be making strides all year long to reduce our dependence on plastic, July is the perfect time to put the movement at the forefront of our attention.
Want to make an even bigger impact? Spread the word and bring greater awareness to the campaign to eliminate plastic waste!
How to use less plastic in your everyday life
Reducing the amount of plastic you buy, use, and throw away is so easy to do! The biggest hurdle initially is simply bringing a mindful awareness to the plastic items you use and purchase every day. Check out a few of these easy swaps you can make to plastic alternatives.
Reduce plastic toiletries
- Swap out your regular plastic toothbrush with a biodegradable bamboo toothbrush. Check out a list of some of the best bamboo options here.
- Instead of using traditional pads and tampons with plastic wrappers and applicators, try using a reusable menstrual cup instead. It might take a few tries to get used to it, but it’s a great eco-friendly move for anyone who experiences that time of the month.
- Use bar soap and shampoo bars instead of liquid body washes and hair care products that come in single-use plastic bottles. We tested five different shampoo bars to find our favorite — check out our thoughts here!
- Did you know dental floss has plastic in it? Opt for any of these plastic-free options, or even make your own with thread!
View this post on Instagram
Use less plastic in the kitchen
- Use eco-friendly food storage containers, like glass and bamboo jars.
- If you’re making coffee at home, and you like using Keurig’s K-Cups for their convenience but cringe at the waste and environmental impact they create, you can buy reusable K-Cups to get your coffee fix without generating excess trash.
- Minimize your purchases of processed food. Processed food like cereal, chips, and snacks come with more wasteful packaging than whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and grains and legumes that can be bought in bulk. Not only does this swap help you use less plastic, but it also promotes a healthier diet!
- DIY common condiments. Are you a BBQ sauce fanatic or salad dressing lover? Instead of buying condiments in plastic bottles at the grocery, you can actually make many of these yourself! Check out these 14 recipes for vegan salad dressing.
Minimize plastic waste when you’re out and about
- If you’re at a restaurant, bar, or coffee shop, decline a straw if one is offered. Or, if you prefer to use a straw, bring your own reusable one.
- Grab a reusable travel mug for your morning coffee. Even if you are headed to a coffee shop, you can bring your own reusable cup and ask for your drink to be served in it to reduce waste!
- It can take a little while for the practice to feel like second nature, but be sure to bring reusable tote bags and shopping bags every time you go out to run errands. Leave a few in your car, bike basket, and by the front door so you always have easy access to a plastic bag alternative.
- When you’re ordering takeout, turn down the plastic cutlery. Many food delivery apps include an option to turn down utensils, and you can always make a note requesting their omission.
You don’t have to buy new, plastic-alternative everything, but when it’s time to replace items like toothbrushes and the like, always opt for plastic-free options.
Progress is better than perfection
It’s easy to feel discouraged or like you’re not doing enough when you see pictures on Instagram of people fitting an entire year’s worth of garbage into a single Mason jar. But when it comes to sustainability and zero waste living, every little step makes a difference. Imperfect environmentalists are always welcome! Keep doing your best every day.
Looking for more ideas on how to use less plastic and further your zero waste efforts? Read these posts on the blog:
- Our *Best* Sustainability Tips for an Eco-Friendly Summer
- Don’t Throw That Away Yet! 8 Surprising Items That Can Be Reused
- 10 Easy Ways to Introduce Zero-Waste Into Your Life