Are you doing enough to reduce plastic at home?
Reducing the use of plastic in the home is becoming more and more important. There is now indisputable evidence of the negative effects both plastic production and disposal can cause to our environment. Therefore, as individuals, we are starting to wake up and understand how we can control our regular plastic waste!
Unfortunately, plastic production has been on the rise for many years, and many are hopeful that governments and commercial bodies can impose clearer controls on the products that we buy. Unfortunately, many commercial enterprises are likely to prioritize profit ahead of going fully eco-friendly. Therefore, a lot of the pressure actually falls to us, as consumers.
Disdain for ‘bad practice’ surrounding plastic waste is growing. More and more corporate bodies and even smaller companies are waking up and going greener by packaging with less plastic. However, billions of tons of plastic waste, much of it from our homes, still ends up in the ocean.
There’s plastic in all kinds of things we consume and use. Famously, it has a very long shelf life – and that’s a bad thing. The wrappers and containers we buy are largely made from plastic, as well as drinks bottles and shopping bags we all bring into the home from time to time. There’s also plastic bin liners, furniture, and toys. All of these products have required chemical processing, too, which release damaging gases into our atmosphere.
We know now, more so than ever, that plastic is effectively killing the world around us. The length of time it takes for plastic to break down is truly staggering.
Therefore, it’s unsurprising so many of us are taking steps to cut down on plastic use at home and trying to live more sustainably in general. But, what are some of the far-reaching benefits? In this guide, I’ll be taking a look at some fantastic ways to reduce plastic use at home.
The Benefits of Reducing Plastic Waste
Some of the biggest benefits of reducing plastic waste are pretty obvious. We know that much irreparable damage has already been done to our planet – but that doesn’t mean that it’s too late for each of us to make a genuine change. We can all become part of a wider solution by turning this global problem around.
Reducing plastic waste means, of course, there is less non-degradable product going straight to landfill. The fact that plastic doesn’t degrade for such as long time means that it’s actively killing fish in the ocean, and stunting habitats the world over.
Sir David Attenborough, in particular, has spoken widely about the damage that plastic is doing to our oceans, and as such, the benefits to reducing waste at home are more obvious than ever – we’re helping to protect defenseless creatures all around us.
Reducing plastic waste means there will be less collected for disposal, and less chemical treatment of waste will be needed. Plastic is set to outweigh fish in the sea by 2050. This is a truly scary thought.
There may even be benefits to us financially by reducing plastic waste, too. If we do have to buy plastic containers, we may be able to reuse them at home for storage, for example. It is all about getting creative in the way that we deal with single-use plastics that are so widely saturating the market.
Less plastic in the landfill means less chance of us choking the environment and causing mass extinction. That’s why it’s so important that plastic waste reduction should begin at home!
10 Ways to Reduce Plastic at Home
Without further ado, let’s take a look at 10 simple ways you can cut down on home plastic waste right now.
Reuse Your Carrier Bags
Obvious, but worth repeating. Many stores and brands have committed to reducing plastic bagging or have even increased the price to prevent people from buying more. Invest in ‘bags for life’ or start shopping at stores that offer paper carrier bags instead!
You might even prefer wicker or fabric shopping bags instead, which are making a bit of a comeback!
Recycle Food Containers
While there are plenty of great recycling schemes at store collection boxes, we can actually start reducing waste at home by reusing the containers we buy. For example, large plastic containers could be refilled with flour or dried fruit, or you could even use them for stationery. In any case, if plastic food containers are serving new purposes at home, they will be a million miles away from the sea!
Buy Goods Loose
You can seriously reduce the amount of plastic you bring into the home by buying food items loose wherever possible. For example, if we buy fruit and vegetables loose without bagging, we are avoiding the need for bringing plastic into the home at all. This also means we’re getting fresher produce, too, on the whole! This is one of the best ways to reduce plastic at home while improving our diets, too.
Upgrade to Bamboo Toothbrushes
Bamboo toothbrushes are fast becoming popular eco-friendly alternatives to the usual plastic handles we’re otherwise used to. I use one myself – and I’m not going back!
They are just as appealing and easy to use as traditional brushes, and what’s more, they carry that genuine ‘feel good factor’ with every brush – as you’re not sending more plastic into the ocean once it’s time to switch out!
Go Back to the Classic Milk Delivery Service
Plastic milk bottles create a terrible amount of waste, and as such, it’s going to be more cost-effective and kinder to the planet to switch to glass. Take a look at a few local delivery services offering glass bottled milk – especially if you like adding a bit of dairy to your coffee on a morning.
Drop the Lighter
If you’re a smoker, it may well be the case that you’ve built up a fair collection of plastic lighters over the years. What happens to them once you throw them away? They go straight to landfill. Matches can easily replace them. Matches are cheaper and kinder to the environment, are easier to store, and simple to dispose of. As they biodegrade, you’re immediately doing the planet a favor.
Rethink Your Razors
Do you use disposable razors? Yet again, they are contributing towards our concerning plastic problem. Disposable razors are often sold in large packets of six or seven, and it’s an immense waste of plastic – the handles are rarely even damaged, it’s the blades that get the most use! Therefore, while plastic razors might be seen as convenient, why not switch to a blade replacement model instead? You only ever have to switch out the metal, and you may even get a better grade of shave!
Banish Plastic Water Bottles
This is a big one. Bottled water is very much the enemy of the plastic waste conserver, as they really serve no purpose whatsoever once they’re done with. You can’t even reuse them, as they will end up biodegrading into your drink!
Therefore, stop buying plastic bottles of water altogether. Choose a metal bottle that you can refill again and again if you need to hydrate at the gym, for example.
Switch Up the Way You Buy Detergent
Is it really worth paying out for a plastic boxes full of detergent capsules, when a family box of powder can do just the same job? Think of the plastic you could save by switching to powder from a plastic shut-box full of tablets or liquid capsules. It all adds up, and ultimately, detergent cleans well no matter the form you buy it in.
Forget About Straws
Are straws even relevant anymore? Plastic straws are getting harder and harder to find, which is a good thing, but they are still in circulation. If you’re still buying into the older plastic standard, consider switching to paper straws instead, or even investing in a washable, metal alternative. It’s an instant reduction on the amount of plastic we’re using at home.
Start Making a Change
Reducing plastic waste at home is easier than you might think. If we adopt all, or even some of the changes listed above, we won’t just make an immediate impact on the world around us, we’ll also likely be setting a great example for our kids. This means that, in time, they might continue to follow the same habits in their everyday life.
We need to consider that while small changes at home might not seem like they make that big a difference, they can all add up – and what’s more, there is a huge impact on the life skills we teach children at home. If we start teaching younger generations the importance of reducing plastic at home now, we can hopefully encourage them to carry these behaviors far into the future.
The situation in the world at large is frightening as far as plastic waste is concerned. However, it doesn’t have to stay that way. Making small, positive differences at home can feel amazing – and the more of us make these small changes, the bigger the wave of impact will be in the long run. Start taking a look around now and think about how you can reduce plastic at home!