5 Easy Ways to Use Less Plastic in 2019
For me, the New Year marks a great time to stop and reflect. It’s a time when I check in with myself and reassess my goals, intentions, and plan what I want to accomplish in the short and long term. I love how a new year feels like a fresh start. I always feel rejuvenated and inspired to make positive changes in my everyday life this time of year. One goal I have for this year (something I try to continually implement) is to use less plastic. I’m definitely not perfect with this, but I know that any little step I take helps! I encourage you to try to reduce your plastic use too- there are lots of easy swaps you can make! Whether you love resolutions or prefer setting smaller goals, you can easily implement these 5 swaps to make 2019, and your everyday life, a little more eco-friendly.
Here are 5 easy, eco-friendly swaps you can make to reduce your plastic use:
Bonus points if your water bottle matches the color of the ocean
Swap plastic bags for canvas and silicone. Instead of using a plastic bag at the grocery store, I always opt to bring my own reusable bag. And instead of using ziploc bags that are thrown away after one use, I love using resealable silicone bags. My favorite brand are Stasher bags. They’re reusable, durable, non-toxic, and you can throw them in the dishwasher to clean. They come in snack, half gallon, and gallon sizes (just like normal plastic baggies). They’re a little pricy, but definitely pay off in the long run- for your wallet and the environment.
Ditch single-use plastic straws/utensils & opt for glass and stainless steel. Do you ever think about how many plastic straws you use in a month? Or how many plastic utensils? These are items we often use once then throw away, despite the fact that there are sustainable alternatives out there. Some of my favorite swaps for plastic straws are glass or stainless steel straws- I have these glass ones and love them. They’re easy to clean (dishwasher safe) and you can easily pack them in your backpack, purse, or bag so you always have one on hand. Another easy swap you can make is keeping a set of utensils with you when you’re on the go, that way you can skip the plastic spoons/forks/knives and save the plastic.
Trade plastic bottles for a reusable water bottle. I don’t know where I’d be without my Hydroflask. I bring my water bottle everywhere! If you opt for a vacuum sealed option (like a Hydroflask, Swell, Yeti, etc.) your drink stays colder for way longer than it would in a conventional plastic bottle, and you don’t have to worry about toxins leaching into your water (more to come about this in another post). Plus you’ll save money over time! I always have something to drink whenever I’m out and about because I always bring my water bottle, so I never feel the need to buy a drink.
Swap your Starbucks cup for a reusable cup or mug. If you frequent coffee shops or juice/smoothie bars, bring your own reusable cup! Staff at these establishments will almost always be willing to fill your personal cup if you ask (and they don’t think it’s weird or awkward even though it might feel like that at first).
Hit up the bulk section of the grocery store (or the Farmer’s market) instead of buying pre-packaged food. Foods like nuts, seeds, flours, grains, and spices are often packaged in plastic, but are sold in the bulk bins of many grocery stores. If you bring and fill your own container, you can essentially package your food in your own reusable receptacle (like a mason jar). Shopping at the Farmer’s market is another great way to reduce your plastic use. Instead of buying produce wrapped in plastic or sold in plastic containers, you can buy fresh fruits and veggies and toss them straight in a reusable bag.
Hopefully you found this information helpful and can use these tips to start making strides towards a happier, healthier 2019! Any little step you take to reduce your plastic use makes a difference. You don’t have to completely revamp your lifestyle all at once! Start small, try your best, and make little changes one at a time.
Wishing you a happy and healthy 2019!