There many reasons why we need to reduce our plastic waste. For instance, did you know that just one plastic bottle takes 450 years to degrade? Or, that out of the 300 million tons of plastic that the world produces each year, only 9% of it is successfully recycled? Statistics predict that by the year 2050, plastic is set to outnumber all of the fish in the ocean. That’s insanely heart breaking. Across the world plastic makes up 85% of beach litter.
We know it may seem all but possible to escape plastic in our daily lives, but there’s still place for hope. That’s why our international student Nicole Encinas would like to share with us 10 simple ways to reduce our plastic waste!
1. Say no to straws!
Straws are so small yet take thousands of years to be broken down. Due to their size they are easily not recycled and instead end up in landfills, rivers as well as the ocean. When ordering a smoothie, cocktail, or any beverage at all, kindly tell them to not give you a straw. If you desperately need straws then consider purchasing reusable straws. The marine life will thank you.
2. Reuse! Reuse! Reuse!
I could not stress this enough. It’s something so easy to live up to. Instead of constantly buying plastic water bottles, purchase a reusable bottle and/or water filter & problem solved! When grocery shopping, be sure to take reusable bags including reusable produce bags. Avoid plastic utensils, invest in reusable utensils instead. Ordering take out? Hand them a reusable container to prevent unnecessary waste.
3. Give up gum
This ones a tough one, I know. Once you find out that gum is made out of synthetic rubber, in other words plastic. You sort of get turned off by it and don’t want it going into your body. So why not just give it up?
4. Purchase groceries in bulk
By doing so, you’ll save money and a lot of unnecessary packaging. I was really happy when I found these two stores in Valencia that allow you to purchase in bulk: Ecorganic and Herbolario Navarro. They have tons of great items!
5. Boxes over bottles
Try as hard as you can, whenever you can to purchase boxes over bottles. Cardboard is a lot easier to recycle and to be turned into other products.
6. Freeze your own produce
Simple as that. Use your reusable produce bag to purchase fruit and veggies and then go ahead and freeze them. Not only will you be saving mama earth, you’ll also be avoiding chemicals used in packaging.
7. Just a little light…
Use matches instead of lighters and if you can’t give up using a lighter, purchase a metal one that can be refilled.
8. Time to buy a juicer!
Fresh juice is the best juice, honestly. Avoid all the waste product and invest in a juicer. I promise you, you wont regret it. Once you try juicing just about everything, you’ll never want to purchase bottled juice at a store again.
9. Look into brands that sell your daily products in recyclable containers
LUSH for example uses recycled black pots for their products. When you return 5 of their pots they’ll happily gift you a free face mask. You can even make your own products, whether its cleaning products or facial products. Do some research.
10. Lastly, try to reduce
By that I mean, try to think twice about what you’re about to purchase. Do you really need it? Is there something else I can use? Will I still need it weeks from now? Does it have at least more than 2 uses? Just be a little more cautious with your purchasing. Better yet, be cautious about everything.
Reducing your plastic waste may not be the easiest matter but it’ll definitely be worth it. Just like everything else, it gets easier with time. Next time, think twice about receiving someones flyer or check out a secondhand shop instead of your typical store, ladies you can also look into alternatives for when its that time of the month.
Think about the future of our planet, oceans, and animals. We’re destroying our home without even realizing it. I encourage you to try these 10 simple ways to reduce your plastic waste and help live in a more sustainable environment!