Tips to Reduce Plastic Usage In and Around the Home

Did you know that we produce nearly 400 million tons of plastic waste every year around the world? That is a scary number and what’s scarier is that one-third of all that plastic ends up in our water resources and soil, eventually finding their way into our bodies through bottled water, salt and other everyday products.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), plastics form a major share of all the solid waste in the country and as of 2015, we produced 34,500 tons of plastic waste, of which only 3,140 tons were recycled.

9 Tips to Reduce Plastic Usage at Home

The statistics provided by environmental agencies around the world show the staggering amount of plastics we use and discard, and it is unnerving to think that these wrongly disposed plastics can remain in the environment for thousands of years. What can we do to reduce this type of pollution?

Here are nine tips to reduce plastic usage in and around the home to help you do your bit for the planet:

  • Use reusable bags for shopping. The plastic bags in supermarkets might be convenient, but they are cumbersome to dispose of effectively. Pick canvas totes or cotton or jute bags to add some flair to your shopping expeditions.
  • Use soaps and detergents that come in cardboard boxes. This way you can reduce the usage of big plastic containers that will take ages to decompose. You could also switch to buying foods like cereals, grains and nuts by the pound instead of those in packages or containers.
  • Use glass or stainless steel bottles for water. It is a good habit to always carry water, but it isn’t advisable to do so in plastic bottles. These bottles could leach unwanted chemicals into the water, especially after being exposed to the sun for a while, and are also a hassle to discard. Also, try to stop using plastic straws both at restaurants and at home.
  • Stay away from styrofoam containers. Opt to carry your own to-go boxes made of glass or steel to avoid bringing home styrofoam containers that can’t be placed in the microwave or disposed of safely.
  • Buy bread from local bakers or farmer’s markets to avoid the plastic packaging. You could pick loaves sold either in paper bags or with no bag at all to reduce wastage.
  • Pick ice cream cones instead of cupsThe next time you’re at your favorite ice cream shop, opt for a cone over a cup so that you’re left with nothing to throw away.
  • Try to use cloth diapers for your baby. The EPA says that almost 7.6 billion pounds of disposable diapers are used in the U.S. alone, leading to a massive increase in plastic waste. Switching to cloth diapers might help you save some money and the planet too.
  • Make your own cleaning and beauty productsThat way you can reduce the use of chemical-laden products in your home and lower the number of plastic containers you have to throw away as your family goes through bottles of shampoos and lotions.
  • Pack your lunches in steel containers or fabric bags. This can reduce the usage of plastic sandwich bags and plastic lunch boxes, which is again better for yours, your family’s and the environment’s well-being.

While it may be difficult to completely wipe out plastics from your house in a day, start taking baby steps to incorporate some of these tips and gradually get to a plastic-free, eco-friendly lifestyle that will benefit you and everyone around you.


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