Reusable shopping bags have become a common sight, which is terrific! At bambeco, we like to say that every little step can have big impact. Reducing plastic use, and as a result the amount of plastic we throw away, is one of those things that can be done easily, incrementally, and yet it will have significant, and far-reaching impact on the environment.
Opting for reusable shopping bags and giving up bottled water are two easy steps, and they’re the top two ways to reduce plastic in your life. There are those who are pursuing a totally plastic-free life, while we applaud them, we’re not quite there at this point. And that’s OK. Any chance we have to reduce the amount of plastic we consume and then throw away, it’s a good thing. So, ready for a few more steps toward reducing plastic consumption? So are we!
Five quick tips:
- Give up plastic produce bags in favor of reusable mesh bags.
- Buy your milk in returnable glass bottles.
- Carry your own utensils so you don’t have to use plastic forks (that always break anyway).
- Give up the non-stick cookware (a well-seasoned cast iron skillet is so much better).
- Buy sodas, juices and other beverages in recyclable glass bottles.
Unless you make a very serious effort, avoiding all plastic is almost impossible. Keep an eye out for the worst plastic offender: Polyvinyl Chloride (#3 PVC), Polystyrene (#6 PS) and Plolycarbonate (#7 “other” – the number 7 category is sort of a catchall for any plastics that don’t fit in other categories. It includes biodegradable plastics, so be sure to ask). Ideally, you want to find plastics that are BPA and melamine free as well.
When you do choose plastics, opt for items made with recycled materials and make sure they are also recyclable. You’ll still be going a long way toward reducing the amount of waste headed for the landfill. Store your leftovers in lidded tubs made from recycled plastics and opt for recycled plastic picnic ware instead of disposable plastic plates and cups.
With a little creative thinking, it’s possible to find lots of opportunities to reduce plastics in our lives. What’s your favorite plastic-free tip?