5 Simple Ways to Reduce Single Use Plastic

Sometimes it’s the small things that can make the biggest difference. In this case, eliminating or reducing single use plastics from your life can make a great impact on the health of our  environment.

We are all aware by now that plastic pollution has become an huge problem. Our oceans are filled with plastic waste that breaks down into tiny little pieces (which are almost impossible to get rid of) and cause enormous ecological issues. Think about this… We are currently dumping the equivalent of one garbage truck of plastic per minute into the ocean every day. PER MINUTE!

We have the power to combat against this travesty. Plastic in the ocean is an “us” problem. Which means people like “us” can help solve it.

Here are some simple tips on how you can reduce the number of plastics you use everyday:

No More Plastic Straws

More than 500 million plastic straws are thrown away in the US per day. Most of the time we don’t even ask for them, but somehow they make their way into our drinks. The easiest way to stop using plastic straws is to just drink straight from the cup. But if you absolutely need a straw (like me), choose a stainless steel straw option instead. And the next time you get served drinks, remember to politely refuse the plastic straw.

Bring Your Own Bags

Plastic bags are used on average for only about 12 minutes, but takes 500 or more years to degrade in a landfill. And even then they don’t fully break down, becoming microplastics that are toxic to our environment. Bringing your own reusable bags with you on your shopping excursions can greatly help reduce plastic waste, and it’s an easy way to play your part. It is a hard habit to get used to since we’re so accustomed to the convenience of plastic bags. So I like to keep a few in my trunk, otherwise I’d forget them quite often.

Stop Using Plastic Utensils

BYOC (Bring Your Own Cutlery). Sounds simple right? Well it is! There are plenty of travel friendly cutlery options out there. I keep a set in my daily travel bag and can barley tell they’re there. Now if you’re having a large group over for a dinner party then the costs of silverware can start to add up. However, there are many compostable cutlery options that don’t hurt the pocket as much. They are fully biodegradable and a great substitute to metal silverware.

Bring Your Own Reusable Mug and Tumbler

This is one of the simplest ways to reduce single use plastics. Whenever you’re out and about, make it a habit of asking the drive-thru employee if you can use your own reusable coffee mug or travel tumbler. I’ve found for the most part that they are very accommodating, and rarely have an issue with you using your own mug or tumbler.

Purchase Reusable Stainless Steel Water Bottles

If you like saving money, having cold water all day, and being part of the plastic waste solution, then this one is a no brainer. I never leave home without my stainless steel insulated water bottle. And if you run out of water throughout the day, most convenience stores and restaurants will let you refill it for free. Not to mention the example you’ll be setting for the customer next to you purchasing a single use plastic water bottle while you’re filling up for free. 

What Now?

There are tons of ways you can help reduce the use of single use plastics, these were just a few to help you get started. One of the greatest ways is to let other people know about the terrible effects single use plastics is having on our planet and what they can do to play their part. Pass this post along to them, and hopefully they’ll pass it along too.

Let’s keep our oceans and beaches clean!