Since we have all been stuck at home for the past few months, I have had the opportunity to look closer at what we use and waste. Covid-19 has brought many things to the forefront. When this started, there were many supplies that were unavailable at the store. We got crafty. Which eventually got me to thinking-do we really need all that we buy and have. Of course we don’t! But we are programmed to think this way. So, in an effort to save money, save our health, and save the earth-we are beginning to reduce our use of plastic and reduce waste. A quick google search showed me that I’m not alone! Many like-minded people are joining the “use less” bandwagon. It can seem overwhelming to do it all at once, so here is a simple list to start with.
- Use your own bags. Stop using the plastic bags from the grocery store. It takes one plastic bag 500 plus years to break down in a landfill. And that’s not even the worst of it…they don’t break down completely. They break down into little micro particles of plastic, that end up in our oceans. I’m really sad to say that I didn’t start doing this sooner. Save your pennies-use cotton or other bags you already have lying around the house. *Mo’s Tip-keep them in the front passenger seat to help you remember to take them into the store. I can’t tell you how many times the cashier is watching my cart while I’m running back to the car for my bags!
- Don’t use produce bags. Your veggies and fruit can go right in the cart. Or if you don’t like that idea, Amazon has an amazing assortment of reusable mesh and cotton bags for sale. They aren’t very expensive and it’s a one time purchase!
- Stop buying water in plastic bottles. Just don’t do it. We have a filter in our fridge, so we feel safe drinking that water. We use our Yetis and refillable bottles. The kids use their thermoses. Just make a new habit. There are several ways to filter your water if you need to. Even buying a filter container, like Brita, is better than a million single use plastic bottles.
- Kick the straws. Plastic straws end up in our oceans and on the beaches. It’s difficult to find anywhere to recycle them. We bought stainless steel straws for when we like to use straws at home and when we are out we say no thanks!
- Recycle. This is last on the list because plastic can only be recycled so many times. It also takes tremendous amounts of energy and resources to recycle. Not to mention, the U.S. ships most of it’s recycling overseas where it is not always taken care of in the best conditions. Of course, in the many times that you cannot help but buy plastic, recycling is the best once you are finished with the item. I live in an area that is not waste-free or plastic-free friendly. I do the best I can, which is why I prefer to buy as little in plastic as possible.
So there you have it! 5 ways that you can start today. Let’s make our homes and earth healthy!