• Jazmin Kylene

Tips on How to Cut Back on Single Use Plastics

Let’s just cut straight to the point- our Mother Earth is screaming for help.

From dangerously hot summers to record breaking-ly cold winters, our climate has never been in worse condition. Not to mention the projection that there will be more plastic in the sea than fish by 2050.

With a problem that has grown so vastly out of our control, it’s normal to feel helpless. But the truth of the matter is that even the little things we do on the daily can make a huge impact on our world at large, starting with our consumption of single use plastics.

Now before I get started on the tips, here’s a quick lesson on single use plastic and why plastic pollution is a problem in the first place.

Single use plastic is an item that is disposable and only used once, like a straw or water bottle. Because this kind of plastic is not biodegradable, instead of decomposing into something natural like soil, it will break down into tiny particles of itself and release harmful, toxic chemicals- which will find its way into our food, water supply, and eventually, bloodstream.

These chemicals have been found to lead to infertility, cancer, and birth defects just to name a few. Yeah, plastic isn’t just ruining our planet. It’s hurting US, too. And it’s been hurting for quite some time, we’ve just finally as a collective have gotten fed up enough to do something about it.

So here are some tips on how you can join the winning team on the war against plastic, and take the initiative to save your body AND your environment- the two most important homes you’ll ever have.

Ditch Plastic Bags for Reusable Bags

The amount of plastic bags we accumulate from all our weekly grocery store trips is daunting (I know you have that designated bag cabinet in your home— we all do.) Not only is it estimated to take between 15 and 1,000 years for the average plastic bag to “decompose”, but up to 1 million birds, 100,000 turtles and many other sea animals die annually from taking in plastic bags. The good news is the solution to this is so simple- a reusable, cloth bag to take on your shopping runs. Not only are these bags WAY more comfortable to carry, but there’s tons of really cute options. You can order one online (check out this article for ideas) or purchase one at your local food market (they usually don’t cost a cent more than a dollar!)

Tip: Keep your reusable bag in your passenger seat so you never forget to bring it on an errand run!

Ditch Plastic Bottles for a Reusable Water Bottle

The energy we waste using bottled water would be enough to power 190,000 homes. There’s no reason for us to be wasting something so precious, especially on something that’s only doing damage to our planet and bodies. Purchasing a reusable bottle not only will eliminate mind blowing statistics like these, but also save you hundreds of dollars a year. And if you’re down to drop some of the money you’ll be saving for the aesthetic, has some gorgeous healing bottles that come with your choice of crystal in them so you can heal your soul while you’re at it as well. A triple win.

Tip: Keep your water container near your front door and in plain-sight. That way, you’ll see it as you make your way out and remember to fill it up and take it with you, which will help you avoid being stuck and having to buy a Dasani (gross) while you’re out and about.

Refuse your straws

Many cities across the country, from Seattle to Miami, have taken a stand on plastic pollution and have banned plastic straws from restaurants, delis, and vendors, even holding violators subject to fines of $250 and upward. While this initiative is awesome, there are still many cities that have yet to take heed. So if you’re in one of these cities, and are offered a plastic straw while out and about, make the choice to say no.

Tip: If you’re a bit on the OCD side and can’t wrap your head around going mouth to mouth with the glass itself, try bringing your own drink when you go out to eat. Having your own eco friendly drink container is SUPER convenient, and ends up helping you minimize your plastic bottle usage, so it’s a double win.

Take Your Own Food To Go

Plastic cutlery is a huge problem when it comes to damage done by single use plastics, and an easy way to avoid using them is to just bring your own food! You save money in the process (which really seems to be a reoccurring theme here), and you’ll be healthier to your body, since a home cooked meal is always a cleaner option. Using a glass tupperware and steel cutlery from home cuts out the need for a plastic utensil entirely, but if you’re really feening for that Mickey D’s, there’s always the option of having your own clean cutlery with you on the go! To the blind eye it’s a bit of an awkward thing to do, but it’s a definite conversation starter and an awesome, planet saving alternative.

Tip: Add onto your amazon wishlist this convenient (and cute) stainless steel lunch canister. I don’t own one yet but I already know it’s life changing.

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