We here at From Under a Palm Tree always strive to be more eco-friendly in our personal and professional lives. We have made it our mission to decrease our footprint by living more sustainable lives, reducing waste, and conserving resources.
In efforts to improve the quality of our Earth, I have signed the Plastic Free July Challenge and committed myself to Reduce Household Plastic Waste. Single-use plastic bags and bottles can take up to 500 years to decompose in landfills, however, most don’t even reach them. A large number of throw-away plastics end up in our oceans, leaving behind chemicals and toxic particles, destroying marine life all over the world.
There’s actually a place called Garbage Island that spans the west coast of North America to Japan. It is here where millions of tons of trash accumulate and the majority of it is plastic.
Committed to making a change and reducing my family’s single-use plastic consumption, I have come up with 9 easy ways to Reduce Household Plastic Waste. For all of us, it starts with baby steps.
9 Ways to Reduce Household Plastic Waste
- Use Mesh Produce Bags– Opt out of the plastic bag- you don’t need it. For leafy veggies like lettuce and fresh herbs try mesh produce bags. You can find them on Amazon.
- Eliminate Plastic Straws– This is a single-use plastic item that I consume a lot of! I bring a 30 oz. stainless cup of iced tea every day to work but use a new straw with every drink. I’ve already committed myself to eliminate plastic straws by purchasing food grade silicone straws. I use Bubba brand and you can also find them on Amazon. Grabbing a drink on the run? Carry one in your car or purse and ask for no straw when getting a drink at the drive-through.
- Eliminate Single-Use Plastic Water & Soda Bottles– Whenever possible, drink from reusable cups. I love my stainless-steel Yeti tumbler. I use it every day.
- Cut Down on Plastic Sandwich Bags– Ditch the Zip Lock bags and try reusable snack bags in your kids’ lunches. Lunchskins makes some very cute fabric bags that are great for sandwiches, chips, crackers, fruit, & veggies. They’re also BPA, Phthalate and Lead-free. Also, try these silicone reusable snacks bags. Another way I cut down sandwich bags is by using a YUMBOX. YUMBOX is a leak-proof, 5 compartment box that fits perfectly in almost any lunch box/lunch bag. YUMBOX is great for adults and kids because its streamline design allows you to pack dry and wet foods all in one tray without the hassle of leaks. They’re available on Amazon in a variety of colors. These are perfect for reducing snack bags, multiple storage containers, and plastic food wraps. They’re also dishwasher safe! Buy one for everyone in your home.
- Eliminate Plastic Grocery/Shopping Bags– plastic take away bags are one of the worst culprits of single-use disposable plastic. Eliminate plastic bag waste by using reusable bags and remembering to bring them. This is another one of my biggest problems. I always forget to bring my bags into the store. My solution: small foldable bags that fit right in my purse. Find them here.
- No Plastic Utensils– When ordering out, opt out of the utensils if possible. Especially when eating at home. You don’t need them.
- Avoid Plastic Laundry Detergent Bottles– These can easily be avoided by simply changing your habits. Next time you purchase laundry detergent, look for the powdered formula which is sold in a cardboard box.
- Eliminate Household Cleaner Bottles– I’m not suggesting we forgo cleaning our toilets to avoid plastic consumption. Lord knows if you have boys in your house, you can’t go 3 days without scrubbing that toilet! Instead, try making your own household cleaner in a reusable spray bottle. This will help reduce the need to repurchase yet another plastic bottle! Try this formula from a previous blog post.
- Forget the Gum– Almost all chewing gum has plastic in it! Check the ingredient list for something called gum base. According to the Vegetarian Resource Group, popular gum brands like Orbit, Eclipse, and Mentos all contain petroleum, lanolin, glycerin, polyethylene, polyvinyl acetate, petroleum wax, stearic acid, and latex masked by the ingredient “gum base”.
Realistically, I know that one person does not make a difference, but when more and more people actively try to change the way they consume plastic, eventually change will happen. For the sake of my son and his future, I am willing to try by taking part in the Plastic Free July Challenge and reducing my family’s single-use plastic consumption. Please, join me!
How do you raise awareness about the problems with single-use disposable plastic? How do you Reduce Plastic Household Waste? Share in the comments below and don’t’ forget to sign the Plastic Free July Challenge.
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