Plastic, the seemingly-harmless material that holds our milk, shapes our baby bottles, carries our groceries and is the substance of our debit cards, is almost unavoidable. As a non-biodegradable, toxic pollutant, it’s also extremely harmful to our environment. It’s not enough simply to recycle and reuse the plastic that we use, although that’s certainly important. Eco-conscious families should aim to live as plastic-free of a lifestyle as possible. To help you toward that end, here we will explore five steps to a plastic-free lifestyle.
1.) Say no to plastic water bottles.
Not only do billions of plastic water bottles wind up in landfills each year, but truck transport of bottled water to grocery stores, particularly water bottled outside the country, has a substantial carbon footprint. It’s better for the environment to drink filtered water from your tap and carry around stainless steel or aluminum reusable water bottles.
2.) Use reusable grocery bags.
Bring your own reusable cloth totes to the grocery store. Plastic grocery bags, although convenient, are seldom recycled and often end up in landfills alongside plastic water bottles. Another plastic-free tip for the grocery store? Don’t use the plastic produce bags provided; just set fruits and veggies directly in your cart.
3.) Make certain foods at home.
Instead of purchasing bread packaged in plastic, invest in a bread-maker and start making home-made bread, which is cheaper overall and tastes oh-so-much better once you get the hang of it. Instead of purchasing yogurt in individual plastic packages, learn to make it yourself and store it in glass containers. Granola is also easy to make at home, where you can avoid buying granola in plastic packages. Cooking from scratch also goes a long way toward reducing the amount of pre-packaged dinner items you buy at the store.
4.) Carry around a pooper scooper instead of using plastic to pick up after pets.
Disposable pet bags are convenient but they also require the use of plastic. Instead of using a plastic baggie, use a scooper and empty it in an outdoor Dumpster.
5.) Store items in Mason jars.
This is a great option to replace plastic Tupperware and other plastic storage options around the house. You can also rinse and re-use glass pasta sauce jars for food storage or opt for Pyrex.
These are just a few means by which you can reduce your family’s plastic usage. How are you reducing the amount of plastic you use around the house?
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