It's no secret that plastic has a detrimental effect on our planet and wildlife. There are a staggering 270,000 tons of plastic floating around in our oceans. That is a devastating amount.
Although there have been recent efforts in the UK and other countries to cut the production and use of plastic bags, it is estimated that 12 million barrels of oil are being used every year in the US alone just to produce plastic bags. Plastic bags are full of toxic chemicals that are released when the bag finally does break down.
In the US, 1,500 plastic bottles are used every second! Just let that sink in. Efforts are made to recycle plastic, but in truth, only 9% make it to the recycling facility.
From these few facts alone it is clear to see that we have a huge problem. If you ever sat at home and wished you could help, but you can't because the problem seems to be out of hand, think again! That's a terrible mindset. You are the one who can change something, and you can! It comes from making small changes in your life that will reduce the need of using plastic.
I have put together the following tips to help you reduce the usage of plastic. Some may seem a little out there and some may seem impractical to you but ask yourself this question: Is it really practical to have 270,000 tons of toxic plastic floating around in our oceans?
Using a clean towel or washcloth will keep your produce fresh. For things like lettuce, use a dry towel and wrap it up like an envelope.
Fill up a small mason Jar with water, baking soda and coconut oil (optional).You can find more recipes here.
Many of the exfoliating face and body washes contains microbeads, which once washed away are harmful to the marine life. Mix some ground coffee with coconut oil or avocado and you have a great substitute!
You can empty and recycle all of your bottles of cleaning products as white vinegar does the same job as all of them. It disinfects surfaces, makes mirrors shiny, and can even unclog drains. If you want a fresh citrus smell then just add some lemon and orange peels.
Get creative, make your own condiments and keep them in a mason jar with a pour top. There are hundreds of recipes online for all of your favorite condiments.
Air fresheners also contain hidden toxins. Instead, just add a few drops of whatever scent you like in a jar filled with water and add wooden dowels. You can also add it to the cardboard toilet rolls in your bathroom.
Are you aware that the tins are lined with a form of plastic to keep the can from rusting? Instead, you can soak the dried beans overnight and put them in the pressure cooker for about 10 minutes. Now you have plastic free legumes. Then, store them in glass jars.
Carry on the good work you have done by ditching the plastic bags and by using reusable bags for your produce. It may seem like a small thing, but it will really help!
When mixed with water, soap nuts release a natural detergent. Put a bunch in an eco-friendly bag and put it in your washing machine, one little bag will last up to 10 washes!
Ditch the plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles and exchange them with coconut oil and castile soap. It will leave your hair shiny and your conscience clear!
Hopefully, this has struck a chord in you. If not, then go over and have a look at this: photographer who has captured the darker side of not recycling waste.