Our overuse of plastic is killing the planet, specifically the ocean. Scientists have predicted that in the near future, there will be more pieces of plastic than fish in our oceans. With people becoming more concerned about items being quick and accessible to them, plastic waste easily adds up to huge proportions. Think about it: plastic bags at the grocery store, plastic takeout containers, plastic straws, and plastic silverware are many items people use weekly, if not daily. Although many stores have started promoting the use of reusable grocery bags, we need to do more in our own lives.
It's not that difficult, and taking small steps has the ability to make a huge difference.
There's no need to jump into being completely zero waste for the rest of your life (although good for you if you decide to do that), but there is no excuse NOT to buy these items to help reduce your negative environmental impact and help save marine life. Help celebrate #PlasticFreeJuly by investing in these items with your next paycheck.
1. Stainless Steel Straws
Personally, I love using straws with anything from water to smoothies. However, the United States alone uses about 500 million plastic straws alone. Opting out of using a straw or investing in a reusable one is a great idea. They even have started to make folding ones to travel easily with you.
2. Traveling Bamboo Utensils
The plastic silverware we use at parties, fast food, and school cafeterias makes a huge environmental impact. With plastic taking hundreds of years to break down, look into buying some bamboo utensils that are more eco-friendly. This one even comes in a cute traveling case to make your life all the easier!
3. Beeswax Sandwich Wraps
Taking a sandwich with you to lunch or work is a great idea...until you stuff it into a plastic Ziploc that you throw away after one use. Look into reusable wraps that are dishwasher safe the next time you pack your lunch!
4. Reusable Containers
Reusable containers are good not only for packing your lunch, but for getting takeout or leftovers at a restaurant. All the styrofoam and plastic used on food can be downsized if we all just brought our own containers with us. Look into your favorite restaurants and ask what kind of deals they have for using your own container (plenty of places have discounts).
5. Reusable Grocery Bags
Many people have started investing in reusable bags for grocery shopping, but these ones are amazing because they fold up into tiny squares and can be attached to your purse or backpack! With this, there's no excuse to not have a bag handy next time you go shopping.
These are just a few ways to get started on your way to living plastic free! I still have a long way to go, but I hope you join me in the journey in trying to live a more mindful and healthy life.
*Note: I understand some people have circumstances that may not allow them the privilege of being able to buy/afford these products. The message here is to be mindful and try your best to make the world a better place.