From food packaging to glittery holiday decorations, plastic is almost impossible to avoid. However, more and more information is available to us that should cause us to think twice before we take that next sip out of our plastic water bottle.
Plastics are made up of chemicals that can disrupt our endocrine system which can have serious health consequences (even the BPA-Free kinds). Not only that but from production to disposal, plastics are wreaking havoc on our planet. It takes a significant amount of resources to produce the estimated 300 million tons of plastic produced every year and they will never go away, because plastics do not biodegrade. Most of the plastic end ups in our oceans, getting ingested by and hurting marine life.
If you still think this doesn’t affect you, you should also know that 95% of US adults have detectable amounts of BPA in their urine.
So WHY is plastic still everywhere?
Convenience is an easy sell. If we want less plastic produced and sold, we have to lower the demand. And as consumers, we have the power to vote with our dollars.
With any change, long term success begins with baby steps. If you’re new to this, I suggest beginning with eliminating one-time-use products. So here are some easy swaps to get you started reducing your plastic use. I’ve included links to products I love!
5 Easy Swaps to Reduce Plastic Use
- Swap your plastic water bottle or disposable coffee cups for a reusable one. There are great options out there that can keep beverages hot or cold for long periods of times.
- Swap in your ziplock bags for good quality reusable bags or beeswax wraps. This is an easy swap because there are so many great reusable bags out there. I got my first set from The Mighty Nest, they have a few different options that are great for getting started! I also highly recommend Nina’s Flying Needle, a local small business helping people just like you ditch single-use plastics by providing high-quality CPSC safety certified reusable bags.
- Swap plastic grocery bags for reusable shopping bags. Keep your reusable bags by your door or in your car so you won’t forget to grab them on your way to the grocery store. Most grocery stores sell reusable bags.
- Swap your disposable bathroom products like razors and toothbrushes for greener products, like safety blades and bamboo toothbrushes.
- Swap processed foods packaged in plastic and buy snacks in bulk. Not only will the planet thank you, but your body will be grateful for much healthier options.
Involve Kids to Use Less Plastic
Get creative and involve your kids! Have them pick out special prints for their snacks and lunches, Nina’s Flying Needles has adorable fabrics that kids will love. Have them help you remember to bring your reusable bags to go shopping. Let them store their crafts and treasures in old oatmeal containers, mason jars, skincare jars, and tea tins. For more ideas, check out National Geographic’s tips for involving your kids.