Plastic is not biodegradable, and as a result it accounts for a large percentage of waste contained in garage dumps. As a society, it is essential that we band together to help reduce the amount of plastic waste we contaminate the earth with, and that we focus collectively on sustainability and being friendly to the environment. Reducing plastic waste at home is the first step toward decreasing the amount of plastic found in dumps, and is an excellent and easy way to teach your children about recycling and sustainable, green living. Reducing plastic waste at home is incredibly easy to do, and will save you money in addition to saving the environment. Here are some easy ways you and your family can reduce plastic waste around your home.
Reusable Shopping Bags
Nearly every major retailer offers reusable shopping bags, including mass chain stores like Target and Walmart. Though these bags typically coast a few dollars a piece, they can be reused every time you go shopping. I have several from Sunflower market that are made of canvas and are entirely eco-friendly, and I never go shopping anywhere without them. You can also buy designer reusable shopping bags online that feature fun designs and unique patterns. Taking a reusable shopping bag or two every time you shop will reduce plastic waste as you are not taking home plastic bags that inevitably end up in the trash.
Use a Stainless-Steel Water Bottle
Stainless-steel water bottles are becoming increasingly popular, as they do not contain any of the harmful chemicals and toxins associated with plastic water bottles. They can be purchased from most retailers and are available in a wide selection of cute designs, colors and patterns. I have one I purchased online a few years with panda bears on it, and I use it everyday. You can use your stainless-steel water bottle over and over again by simply refilling it from any water source. This will reduce plastic waste associated with bottled water that comes packaged in plastic, and will save you money over time if you are accustomed to drinking Arrowhead or other major brands of bottled water.
Switch to Glass
When it comes to preserves, salsas and other grocery items that come in jars, switch to brands that use glass jar packaging rather than plastic. The same goes for many popular condiments such as ketchup and salad dressings, as well as dairy milk and juice which come in bottles. Almost all recycling centers are equipped to recycle glass, whereas not many are equipped to recycle plastic. Switching to glass jars will enable you to simply take your used jars and bottles to your local recycling center instead of throwing them in the trash as you would plastic. Recycling centers typically pay for recycled goods as well, so you will earn back a portion of what you spent every time you choose to recycle.
Recycle Paper Grocery Bags
I use over-sized paper grocery sacks to hold trash at my house instead of plastic garbage bags. Plastic garbage bags are not biodegradable, and they account for an extreme amount of plastic waste in dumps around the world. By using paper sacks instead, I reduce the amount of waste going to my local dump as paper sacks are biodegradable. This is a great way to put paper sacks from the grocery store to good use at home.