If you’re concerned about green issues in your household, you’ve probably heard just how bad plastics can be for your health and for the environment. If you want to live cleaner and greener, here are some ways to cut down on plastic in your home.
1. Be Clear about Your Local Recycling Program
At present, there are seven different categories of recyclable plastic. If plastic is recyclable, you should see the recycle symbol stamped on it, and a number inside the symbol. The number will tell you the type of plastic it is. Not every recycling plant can handle all seven types of waste, so be vigilant about what you are putting out so it does not end up in the landfill. If it can’t be recycled, see if you can use it for other purposes around the home.
2. Say No to Straws
More than half a billion straws are ending up in the trash every day in the US alone. Reusable options you can buy and carry with you include paper, bamboo, stainless steel, and glass.
3. Invest in Your Own Coffee-Making Equipment
Vast mountains of plastic-coated coffee cups and lids end up in landfills every day. Skip the expensive habit and make it yourself at home using a traditional coffee machine and a reusable stainless steel filter. Buy a travel mug to take your hot drinks with you anywhere. Compost the coffee grounds and use them in your garden or potted plants.
4. Invest in a Water Filter and Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Mountains of small plastic water bottles now litter the planet and as the quality of our water gets worse, the number of bottles continues to grow. Consider investing in a Brita pitcher to filter your water, or a filter that attaches to the tap in your kitchen. Carry fresh water everywhere you go in a durable stainless steel water bottle.
5. Say No to Plastic Wrap
One of the main issues with plastic wrap and plastic bottles, in addition to what they do to the environment, is the problem of harmful chemicals from the plastic leaching into your food and drink. This is even more likely if you heat your food in a plastic container.
You can keep food fresh and protect yourself from plastic by wrapping your food in waxed paper first, not plastic wrap. If you then want to preserve it further, put it in a plastic container. Or consider investing in glass food storage container sets with lids.
6. Bring Reusable Containers to Your Takeaway
If you are treating yourself to a takeaway, consider bringing reusable glass containers with lids to carry your food home. Most places will use Styrofoam otherwise, which is not commonly recycled.
7. Buy Cleaning Product Refills
Many cleaning products now offer a small vial of their active cleaning solution which you can then place in your reusable spray bottle and dilute in order to use it safely. This will save on bottles and on gas being used to lug heavy bottles back and forth.
8. Invest in a SodaStream
If your family can’t live without soda, just think how many bottles and cans you could avoid putting in the trash if you were to make it yourself with a SodaStream reusable bottle system.
9. Use a Razor with Replaceable Blades Instead of a Disposable Razor, or use an electric one – either way you will reduce plastic waste.
Follow these simple tips to cut down on plastic use in your home. Your health and the environment will both benefit.