Single-use plastic has become a norm for the world. It's cheap, convenient, and it's everywhere. Plastic production exponentially increases every year, and our seas and landfills are choked with it, destroying ecosystems. Plastic never fully breaks down, it just degrades into smaller and smaller pieces. One piece of plastic that exists today, will last forever. Understandably, plastic is nearly impossible to avoid. But here are some changes you can make in your daily life to eliminate your own plastic waste.
1. BYOB! (Bring Your Own Bag)
It is estimated that 4 trillion plastic bags are used worldwide annually. All that waste can be eliminated by switching to reusable shopping bags.Whether you're taking a trip to the grocery store or favorite restaurant, deny a bag and bring your own! Carry an extra bag everywhere you go so you're always prepared. Our Shandi Crafts x Sea Seven crochet market bag will make a perfect bag for any occasion.
2. Reusable Water Bottles
Americans purchase about 50 billion water bottles per year...yes...BILLION. By switching to a reusable water bottle, you save hundreds of bottles going to landfills, and hundreds of dollars from your bank account. Invest in a water filter that'll last years instead!
3. Food Storage
Instead of plastic ziplocs and plastic wrap, use reusable silicone bags or containers, and beeswax wrap. Our friends at R Planet Co. have great reusable food storage items, check them out and support small business!
*image taken from rplanetshop.com*
4. Bamboo Toothbrushes
Although plastic toothbrushes technically isn't single-use, we do go through lots of them throughout our lifetime...assuming you brush your teeth... Make the simple switch by buying a bamboo toothbrush the next time you need one! Bamboo also has anti-bacterial properties, which is always a bonus.
5. Reusable Utensils
Each year 40,000,000,000 plastic forks, spoons, and knives are used and thrown away each year. That is a lot of zeros! So carry a set of reusable utensils. You don't even have to buy a set, just bring a fork or spoon from your kitchen drawers whenever you go out to grab a bite.
6. Laundry Detergent
We used to go through jugs of laundry detergent month after month. And at every beach clean up I've ever done, I always find one. So to solve that problem in our household, we switched to powder laundry detergent, which comes in a paper box! There's tons of powder detergents and zero waste options everywhere, just test some out and see which ones you like best.
7. Grocery Selection
When I go grocery shopping, I try my best to avoid plastic as much as possible. Fresh produce goes straight into my reusable bags, I opt for the eggs that come in cardboard/paper containers, pasta sauces that are in glass jars, just any option that isn't plastic. This can make a world of a difference if you add up how many plastic items you've saved in the long run!
8. Skincare & Make Up
I definitely have some must-have make up and skincare products that are unfortunately packaged in plastic, but when I can, I buy plastic-free! Find a great skincare brand that uses glass bottles, or sunscreen that comes in compostable packaging. My favorite sunscreen brands are Raw Elements, Da Mask Sunscreen, and Little Hands Hawaii. They're also reef-safe ;)
*image taken from damasksunscreen.com*
Isn't is so sad that the most beautiful birthday parties and celebrations are the most harmful to the environment? All those balloons, confetti, and streamers as decorations for one day, but trash for every day after that. Spice up any celebration with flowers and plants, reusable twinkle lights, and wooden signs.
10. Do your BEST
It's impossible to be perfect, I know I can't 100% cut out all plastic in my life, as much as I wish I could. But if I can avoid being another plastic statistic by making simple switches in my everyday life, and influence others to do so, that would make the world a slightly better place. Just do your best!
Here are some of my favorite shops and brands for sustainable alternatives to single-use plastic;
- R Planet https://rplanetshop.com/
- Zero Waste Store https://zerowastestore.com/
- Protea Zero Waste Store https://proteazerowaste.com/
- Keep It Simple https://www.keepitsimplezerowaste.com/