Are you trying to commit to your 2020 goals this year? And have those goals sent you on the hunt for tips for using less plastic?
If so good for you! Because it’s becoming more and more important that we all try our best to reduce waste. To reduce the amount of excess plastic waste that we are all guilty of creating.
As much as I care about the environment and cutting back on my personal excess waste. I want to find ways to avoid plastic without causing myself extra stress. And I think that I’m not alone in this.
Life is stressful and as important as it is to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle it can also be a very daunting task. The world is filled with plastic options and it can feel overwhelming to try to avoid all of them.
Which is why I have decided to compile a simple list of easy tips for using less plastic. Low stress ways of being just a bit more conscientious of what we buy and what we throw away.
Because I don’t think that it has to be complicated or stressful. It just takes a little extra thought a little extra care and a little more awareness in our day to day life.
So, if you are like me and are trying to waste less plastic without stressing out too much about it. Then keep reading because here is a list of tips for using less plastic in your life.
Tips for Using Less Plastic
Though there are so many different kinds of waste that are harmful to the environment. I think that we are all aware particularly of how harmful plastic waste is.
It doesn’t break down and can very well out live us causing all kinds of harm in its lifetime.
It gets into our water and soil and invades the natural environment of so many animals. Killing many in terrible ways as they mistake it for food or get entangled in it.
Trying to be mindful of what we are buying and throwing away might seem like extra work. But it doesn’t have to be that way and the little extra work that it does take is completely worth it in the end.
Disclaimer: The affiliate links included in this post result in me receiving a small commission. These links are of no extra cost to you, they just help to keep this website up and running successfully. I only advertise products that I have personally used or believe in the quality of.
Cook More from Home
One very simple way to avoid creating more waste than necessary is to cook more from home. To cook more foods and meals from scratch.
Instead of buying that plastic package of gnocchi try making your own at home! Instead of buying plastic bottles of relish and condiments find a good recipe on Pinterest.
There are so many things that can easily be made at home from scratch.
Cooking at home also eliminates the waste created from takeout food. Just think of all of the plastic and styrofoam food containers and utensils that you can avoid throwing away. Just by cooking more meals at home!
Not only is it better for the environment but it’s better for your health as well!
It gives you a good excuse to buy a cookbook like this Plant Based Diet for Beginners CookBook. To give yourself more ideas and inspiration.
Buy in Bulk
This option isn’t going to be the same for everyone of course. But when you can you should try to buy in bulk.
Especially when it comes to long lasting foods that would otherwise come in plastic bags. Such as dried pasta, beans and rice.
If you have a local health food store or bulk store you can even bring your own containers. No waste needed. Plus, I think that your wallet will thank you for this as well as bulk is often cheaper.
Purchase Boxed Food
You will often notice when grocery shopping that different brands package their foods differently.
One of the tips for using less plastic is to try to find food that is in cardboard boxes instead of plastic bags. There is often a little plastic window in these packages, but it still decreases at least a portion of plastic that you would otherwise be buying.
Use Reusable Shopping Bags
If you have never taken the leap and bought reusable shopping bags, then this is the year to do it.
There is no reason to waste so much extra plastic especially when it is in the form of flimsy plastic bags. That none of us even like very much.
There are so many beautiful and heavy-duty shopping bags that you can use again and again. Avoiding all of that unnecessary waste.
These reusable cotton grocery bags are much more durable and will last for years of grocery trips!
Wash with Bar Soap
One huge item that creates plastic waste is soaps. Hand soaps, shampoo bottles and face wash. They all come in thick plastic bottles or tubes and create so much plastic waste.
This is such an easy place to start when reducing your plastic waste. There are so many wonderful options of bar soaps out there. Bar soaps for your hair and face and hands. All so much more eco-friendly.
And more often than not they are made with much better ingredients then the bottled soap has. As bar soaps don’t need preservatives or binders.
You can also go a step further by purchasing bar soaps from local businesses!
Use Beeswax Wraps
One of my top tips for using less plastic is to buy some beeswax wraps.
Beeswax wraps have gained a lot of popularity in the last few years and with good reason!
They are such nifty little items that take the place of cling wrap which is oh so wasteful and unnecessary. And let’s be honest, we all hate the stuff anyway!
Beeswax wraps are fabric that has a thin coating of beeswax on it. Making it just a bit sticky and flexible so that it can be wrapped over the top of food and containers to keep things fresh and away from the air.
Reuse the Plastic that You Have
Now try as we might there is always going to be that one product or food item that only comes in plastic. Whether that be a bottle or plastic container. It just can’t be helped sometimes!
If you can’t avoid that plastic packaging entirely then try to put it to good use before throwing it away.
Use it as a food container or to store stuff in. Make your own little bird feeder or planter out of plastic bottles and cups.
The One Good Thing blog has a wonderful article on Creative Ways to Reuse Plastic Bottles. That should give you plenty of DIY inspiration!
There are many great ideas out there that can help you to reuse and put the plastic that you can’t avoid to good use.
Buy Glass or Metal Straws
Plastic straws are easily one of the most wasteful items that we throw away. They are used just once then tossed into the trash to go who knows where.
Not only can they be completely avoided just by requesting not to get a plastic straw they can also be replaced. Replaced with options that you can use over and over again. No waste required!
You can choose to either go completely straw less or buy a glass or metal straw to keep in your home or to take with you.
A pack like these stainless steel straws will completely take away the need for plastic straws. Whether your at home or out and about.
Say No to Plastic Bottles
Plastic bottles create such a huge amount of waste and there really isn’t a good reason for it.
Buy a water filter to replace the purified water bottles that you would normally buy. And keep a jug in the fridge to have cold water on hand.
Try to buy drinks that are in glass bottles instead of plastic. Glass bottles are pretty and can be reused again and again.
If you travel a lot purchase a good quality bottle that can be refilled wherever you go. There are so many tips for using less plastic bottles. It doesn’t have to be stressful it just takes a little extra though and it makes such a big difference!
Support Handmade Skincare Brands
One huge area of plastic waste is cosmetics and skincare goods. All of those pretty packages, bottles and tubes might be alluring but they are very wasteful.
One very easy way to avoid this problem entirely is to make your own skincare but that isn’t your only option.
You could use this as an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. To reduce your plastic waste while supporting a small or local skincare business.
You will find that many handmade skincare brands will try to package their products sustainably. Such as in reusable glass containers or in paper or cardboard packaging.
Using less plastic and being more mindful of what we are throwing away each week doesn’t have to be a daunting task.
It can be as simple as choosing one option over the other, buying cardboard over plastic and doing without the odd or end thing that we don’t really need.
It’s all about doing what you can when you can without trying to achieve perfectionism.
If we all strive to do a little, then all of that effort will add up to make a large difference. Without too much added stress to our already stressful lives. Or without feeling shamed or shaming others for not doing more.
Because every bit of effort counts. Ever bit of plastic that you didn’t throw away that week counts.
For more ideas on how to reduce waste you could check out this book on 101 Ways to Go Zero Waste.
What are some items that you have started to replace with more eco-friendly alternatives?
Have you started to ditch the plastic grocery bags for reusable cotton grocery bags? Their one of my favorite alternatives to plastic!
Or have you started to use stainless steel straws instead of those wasteful plastic ones?