It's such an exciting time with all these new innovations and progress being made to help reduce plastic waste, which as you know, has harmful effects on both the environment and human health.
Fact: About 300 million tons of plastic is produced globally each year. Only about 10 percent of that is recycled. Of the plastic that is simply trashed, an estimated seven million tons ends up in the sea each year.
Fact: At least 100,000 marine creatures a year die from plastic entanglement and approximately 1 million sea birds. A plastic bag can kill numerous animals because they take so long to disintegrate.
Fact: According to research, several diseases have been linked to plastic such as asthma, cancer, nerve and brain damage and kidney disease. The chemicals used in the production of plastic are toxic and detrimental to the human body.
I've personally made the switch at home with some small changes that will help improve the waste issue significantly.
Here are some of my own personal tips of changes that you can help to reduce plastic waste today:
1) Stop Buying Water in Plastic Bottles Immediately!
The plastic bottles contribute the most to plastic junk, as almost 20 million bottles are dumped into the trash. Buy a water filter instead. We installed a small faucet at our sink at home with the water filter and it cost about $200 to install. You only need to change it every 3 years. You may require a visit from a plumber first.
Water filters are safer and will also save you thousands of dollars a year. And think about all those water bottles you will not be wasting!
Extra tip: Buy an aluminum bottle to fill up with fresh water when you're on the go.
2) Switch From Plastic Straws to Reusable Drinking Straws
If you love drinking your beverages through a straw, you can imagine how many straws get sent to the landfill every year. And as you know, plastic is no good for the environment. Sadly, straws are among the most common types of trash found during beach cleanups all over the world. And a danger to species living in the sea. We use approximately 500 million straws per day in America. Just think about that for a minute.
Switch to reusable drinking straws instead. I purchased a set of stainless steel reusable drinking straws for just under $12 on Amazon. They're BPA free and safer than plastics that contain chemicals and toxins. They even come with a cleaning brush that is also BPA free. But you can just add these to the dishwasher, worry-free.
Other alternatives to plastic straws include paper straws, glass straws, bamboo straws and hollow pasta.
Next, and this is a big one...
3) Switch to Reusable Bags!
We go through a lot of plastic bags every day... like a lot. From plastic grocery bags to zipper bags. I was fed up of "recycling" my zipper bags on a daily basis. I even tried reusing some of those bags again and again when packing certain snacks. But it wasn't enough. And I didn't want to use plastic anymore because of the possible harmful effects on my family's health.
So, I went on Amazon and purchased some non-plastic reusable produce bags. There are many options! I recommend you check it out and see which types of bags work best for you. If you're at the store and forgot to bring your shopping bag, you can ask the cashier for paper bags or cardboard to pack your groceries.
Another good way to reduce the plastic waste in your house is to shop in bulk, thus minimizing the packaging waste.
Regarding food storage: Try to store your food in tiffin-box or glass containers etc. By the way, if you like, email me and I will mail you a free reusable grocery bag.
4) Plastic Toothbrush No More!
And who was the genius who thought it was a great idea to put plastic in your mouth twice a day? Yuck! That can't be good.
Try purchasing bamboo toothbrushes instead. There are so many different brands out there so you can just google and see your options.
I use Neem toothpaste, which is natural and fluoride-free, to brush my teeth but did you know that you can chew on Neem sticks as a way to brush your teeth, ditching the toothbrush altogether? Something I plan to try soon. I will let you know how it goes. :)
Plastic waste is a catastrophic problem for the planet and is detrimental to your health. But the good news is, you can do something about it while also saving tons of money. And it really isn't that hard to do.