If you’re on Facebook you’ve probably seen those super sad videos of sea turtles, dolphins, sharks, and other sea creatures swimming in and getting tangled up in plastic.
Whenever I see those videos it definitely leaves me in a solemn mood. I have a huge soft spot for living creatures and our beautiful oceans.
I definitely get that this topic can get political really fast. But when it comes down to it, humans are simply consuming too much plastic and if there is something we can do about it, even if it’s small, we should try.
So, although I have a long way to go and still contribute to way more waste than I’d like to admit, here’s what I’ve done this past year and what I plan to continue to do this next year to try and reduce my use of plastic.
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How I’m Trying To Use Less Plastic
1. I stopped buying plastic straws.
I drink a lot of smoothies. Like basically one every day! My hubby and I definitely prefer our smoothies with a straw, but I felt like I was going through way too many plastic straws to feel good about it. Not to mention, they can be expensive.
I found these reusable straws that are nice and big (perfect for thick smoothies) on Amazon for under $8! And they even come with a cleaner, which is super important because no one wants nasty crap building up in their straws.
2. I use a reusable water bottle and bring it everywhere.
I’ve been doing this one for years, but to be 100% honest with ya, it wasn’t because I was worried about my plastic consumption. I just like to have water with me because it’s important to stay hydrated but it also helps the environment.
My favorite water bottle is my Hydroflask. It’s stainless steel and keeps things cold (or hot) for hours, and I mean hours even baking in the hot sun. They have all sorts of sizes and colors too.
3. I stopped buying plastic bags and just use glass containers or reusable bags.
I recently ran out of sandwich sized bags and I started using glass containers to bring sandwiches and other meals into work. I realized, anything I would normally put in a plastic baggy, I could just put in a reusable container or use these handy Bees Wrap food wraps.
I LOVE these simple glass ones from Amazon. They are safer to use in the microwave than plastic and are oven and freezer safe too.
4. I bring reusable shopping bags to the store.
I purchased some reusable shopping bags on Amazon a few months ago because I was sick of throwing away so many plastic bags each time we made a grocery trip. They also make carrying in groceries WAY easier.
Plastic bags at the store are one of the biggest contributors to plastic waste found in the ocean, so simply using reusable shopping bags can make a huge difference!
5. Chew less gum.
I used to be a HUGE gum chewer. Then my dentist told me chewing too much gum could wear out my jaw faster.
Buying gum can also produce lots of plastic and waste, another great reason to just go with brushing your teeth after meals or some mints instead.
6. Donate to organizations who actively remove plastic and trash from the ocean.
I recently discovered 4Ocean, an organization that actively removes trash and plastic waste from the ocean. I purchased a bracelet from them which allows them to remove up to one pound of waste from the ocean.
I know there is much more I can do to use less plastic, but it’s something I’m working at! I truly believe that even seemingly small changes can have big impacts. Have any tips for me? Leave a comment and let me know!