One thing many people don’t know about me is how passionate I am about the current state of our environment. It is on my bucket list to devote my future career in marketing to a company that focuses on making the world a more sustainable and clean place.
There are many unsustainable habits I have been guilty of in my own life. One of those habits is the sheer overwhelming volume of plastic I use just in one day. Many of you probably know a good bit about plastic and its harms to the environment.
There are plenty of photos floating around of turtles with plastic grown into them and bottles plaguing the shores of our beaches. According to the book Living in the Environment, “plastics discarded on beaches or dumped into the ocean from ships can disintegrate into very small particles that resemble the prey of a variety of organisms”. In turn, these creatures consume bits of plastic…which moves further into the food web and can eventually end up in you! Nasty.
I passionately believe that every single person’s choices, no matter how small, make a difference. You are mistaken if you think that your decision to reduce your waste makes no lasting impact. If everyone had the mindset that what they do didn’t matter, nothing would ever get done. Not to mention, these simple habits can save you quite a bit of cash in the long run! So here we go.
1. Get yo self a reusable water bottle
This is one of the most simple and cost effective ways to reduce your use of plastic. If you like to rely on plastic water bottles, it is quite simple to switch to a reusable one. Simply fill your bottle the evening before and you have it ready to go the following morning! If you’ve ditched soda at fast food chains, you can save money and skip the drink by simply bringing your water bottle. It’s a win for your pockets and win for the environment!
2. Bring your own bags to grocery stores
My roommate and I found ourselves accumulating a sinister number of plastic bags from stores over the months that we felt too guilty to throw away..but seemingly had no other use for. Instead of continuing this habit and eventually throwing them in the trash anyway, we use the same plastic bags over and over with our grocery trips until they are too worn. What next? Many stores including Walmart have bins outside their doors or right inside them where they will recycle your plastic bags at no cost.
3. Opt out of the plastic sandwich bags
This is a hard one for me if we are being real. With that said, plastic sandwich bags can be avoided entirely by switching to tupperware or paper bags like these adorable shark printed, compostable ones instead.
4. Buy in bulk
A lot of my plastic usage is from single serving packaging for food. So instead of opting for those cheese crackers in 3 different packages, get the giant carton.
If you wish to learn more about plastic’s environmental effects, I will link a couple websites and videos below.
Spoolman, Scott E. “Chapter 7: Solid and Hazardous Waste.” Living in the Environment, by G. Tyler Miller, 17th ed., Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning, 2012, p. 568.