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Breaking Up with Plastic - It’s Easier Than You Think

Garbage on the beach

Plastics are found in almost everything we use – computers, cars and, of course, packaging. Look around your house and notice how many items are made from plastic. Because plastic is so stable, and often not disposed of properly, more and more plastic refuse is gathering in the oceans and polluting the earth.

It's close to impossible to avoid plastic in our modern everyday life. However, if we all make some small changes, together we can have a big impact on the environment. Here are some ideas from the Green Education Foundation to help get you started:

  1. Stop using plastic straws, even in restaurants. If a straw is a must, purchase a reusable stainless steel or glass straw

  2. Use a reusable produce bag. A single plastic bag can take 1,000 years to degrade. Purchase or make your own reusable produce bag and be sure to wash them often!

  3. Give up gum. Gum is made of a synthetic rubber, aka plastic.

  4. Buy boxes instead of bottles. Often, products like laundry detergent come in cardboard which is more easily recycled than plastic.

  5. Purchase food, like cereal, pasta, and rice from bulk bins and fill a reusable bag or container. You save money and unnecessary packaging.

  6. Reuse containers for storing leftovers or shopping in bulk.

  7. Use a reusable bottle or mug for your beverages, even when ordering from a to-go shop.

  8. Bring your own container for take-out or your restaurant doggy-bag since many restaurants use Styrofoam.

  9. Use matches instead of disposable plastic lighters or invest in a refillable metal lighter.

  10. Avoid buying frozen foods because their packaging is mostly plastic. Even those that appear to be cardboard are coated in a thin layer of plastic. Plus you'll be eating fewer processed foods!

  11. Don't use plastic ware at home and be sure to request restaurants to not pack them in your take-out box.

  12. Ask your local grocer to take your plastic containers (for berries, tomatoes, etc.) back. If you shop at a farmers market they can refill it for you.

  13. The EPA estimates that 7.6 billion pounds of disposable diapers are discarded in the US each year. Use cloth diapers to reduce your baby's carbon footprint and save money.

  14. Make fresh squeezed juice or eat fruit instead of buying juice in plastic bottles. It's healthier and better for the environment.

  15. Make your own cleaning products that will be less toxic and eliminate the need for multiple plastic bottles of cleaner.

  16. Pack your lunch in reusable containers and bags. Also, opt for fresh fruits and veggies and bulk items instead of products that come in single serving cups.

  17. Use a razor with replaceable blades instead of a disposable razor.

There are so many simple ways to reduce your use of plastic. Start with one or two that you can manage. Small changes can make a big difference in reducing the amount of disposable plastic in your life.

Hopefully, one of these inspires you to get started today!


"Believe you can and you're halfway there." - Theodore Roosevelt
"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." - C.S. Lewis

"Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence." - Helen Keller

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