Plastic is designed to last forever and yet half of it we use once and throw away. That’s a system that doesn’t work. We need to do something to change it. The good news is plastic is a problem we can solve. We just have to use less plastic in our lives. But before you get overwhelmed, remember, not every action has to be monumental. Sometime small actions can have a bigger impact, because they are easier to start and more likely to be maintained.
In addition to using Plaine Products, we’ve got another 5 easy ways to have less plastic in your life. None of these suggestions require a radical restructuring. Choose one and let us know how it’s going. You might inspire someone else to get started! Keep an eye out for our posts. When we successfully do something good for the planet we’ll use #easywins.
5 Easy Ways to Have Less Plastic in Your Life
- Carry around your reusable water bottle. Most people already have some reusable water bottles laying around the house. If you don’t, getting one is a good first step! However, it’s not enough to own one. The key to using less plastic is to carry it around with you. To the gym, in your car running errands, at work. If you don’t have it on hand those plastic water bottles are all too tempting. While they are convenient, just consider that while you are only using it for a few minutes it’s going to stay around for hundreds of years (best case scenario).
- Put reusable bags in your car and/or in your purse. I owned a number of reusable bags, but never seemed to have them when I needed them. This often resulted in me trying to just carry too many items out of the store in my arms. This turned into a real problem when I got to the car and needed to unlock the door! The easiest solution I’ve found is to keep the larger bags in the car and a few smaller ones in my purse. With practice I finally remember to grab the larger ones when I go into the grocery store. The smaller ones come in handy when I’m shopping for clothes or running other errands. If you reuse plastic bags at home its not the end of the world to get some with your groceries, but you probably don’t need as many as you have!
- Start refusing plastic straws. Every day on this planet 500,000,000 straws are used once and then thrown away (yes! 500 million). The easiest thing to do is to refuse them, politely, when they are dropped off. However, if straws are super important to you, as they are to my son, there are awesome stainless steel and glass straw options out there. This does require remembering to bring them with you, and then remembering to remember that you brought them. We’re about 50/50, but practice makes perfect. Remember, every time you use less plastic it’s a win.
- While shopping choose items without plastic packages. As I’ve become more aware of plastic I’ve started looking for different packaging options. Aluminum, stainless steel, glass and cardboard are the best. That’s a big part of the reason Plaine Products was created, we were looking for a way to use less single use plastic in our bathrooms and there weren’t a lot of options. A good example is sugar. Last time I was at the store I picked up sugar in a cardboard container instead of a plastic container. Cardboard is easy to recycle. Unlike cardboard, glass or aluminum, when plastic is recycled it can’t be turned back into the same product. The result is usually a downgrade, which means the plastic is turned into another, lower, form of plastic. Once there are no more downgrade options the plastic is headed to the landfill, or an ocean, while paper glass, aluminum and stainless steel can each be recycled indefinitely.
- Buy and bring a reusable coffee/tea mug. I was nervous the first time I took a mug to a coffee shop to get a chai to go. However, instead of being mocked, I was cheered. While cheering might not be the response at your favorite stop, you probably won’t be the first and you may set an example for others. Because of their waxy material, disposal coffee cups are tough to recycle and usually end up in landfills, as do the plastic lids.
Share Your Ideas for Less Plastic in Your Life
We created Plaine Products to make it easy for everyone to have less plastic in their life. Tell us your favorite way to reduce plastic so we can share it with others and cheer you on. Tag Plaine Products and use #easywin when you post a picture on social media.
People are more likely to take action if they are encouraged, supported and challenged by their community. Who knows? Your picture or story might be the one that spurs someone else on, so share! Be on the lookout for our posts with #easywins when we are celebrating doing something good for the planet.