Waste is a huge issue, and with more than 33.6 million tons of plastic discarded each year, it’s our duty to cut corners where we can do reduce our carbon footprint. Why? Because unfortunately, a ton of this plastic waste winds up in landfills that can take up to 500 years to break down. In the meantime, it can leak pollutants into both our soil and water. Not only that, but it poses a massive risk to marine life.
With that being said, there are steps we can all be taking to cut back on waste that doesn’t require a total lifestyle overall.
Here are ten ways that you can easily reduce your carbon footprint without making giant lifestyle sacrifices.
10 Ways You Can Easy Cut Waste Without Making Major Convenience Sacrifices
#1 Ditch the Plastic Straw
One of the easiest ways you can reduce waste is to ditch the plastic straws. This means saying goodbye to the straw that comes with your Starbucks Frappuccino, but it doesn’t mean you can’t still use a straw.
Invest in an inexpensive glass or stainless steel straw to take with you on the go! This will not only cut back on waste, but you can be sure you’ll always have a straw when you need because the anti-straw movement is starting to make some serious waves, and you can’t get a straw everywhere you dine now.
#2 Say Goodbye to Plastic Bags
While on the topic of plastic straws, let’s talk plastic bags. Say goodbye to those plastic baggies you would usually add your snacks to. Instead, try using reusable glass or BPA-free containers, or even reusable silicone bags to carry all your on the go foods in.
#3 Stick to Reusable Water Bottles
Plastic water bottles are another big source of waste, and you can reduce your carbon footprint by using a reusable water bottle instead. Plus, when you ditch the plastic water bottles and stick to stainless steel or glass reusable options, you can avoid BPA exposure.
#4 Bring Your Own Bags
When you head to the grocery store, bring your own bags. This can cut back on a ton of waste, and if everyone did this, think about all the waste we could all cut back on. Some stores have already started charging for bags, so do yourself and the planet a favor, and just bring your own.
#5 Bring Your Own Produce Bags
While we’re talking about plastic shopping bags, you can also forgo the plastic produce bags by using your own mesh produce bags. You can find these online at places like Amazon, and they can save on lots of plastic waste every time you hit the produce aisle at your grocery store.
#6 Use a Stainless Steel Lunch Box
While not only cute, stainless steel bento-style lunch boxes can really help reduce waste when it comes to taking your lunch on the go. You can pack your lunch and snacks in this box and ditch the brown paper bag and plastic bags you used to use.
#7 Use Glass Containers
Have leftovers? Try storing your food in glass food contains instead of using plastic wrap or plastic bags. Plus, the less BPA you expose yourself to, the better, so it’s a win, win.
#8 Avoid Disposable Utensils
Say goodbye to plastic forks, spoons, knives, and paper plates and cups. These are wasteful and unnecessary. Instead, pack your own utensils in your lunch bag, and always have your reusable water bottle handy to fill up when needed.
#9 Get Your DIY On
Whether you’re a creative at heart or not, doing some DIY projects can really help cut back on waste. Try making homemade moisturizer with coconut oil and a few drops of therapeutic-grade essential oils instead of using a store-bought product that comes in wasteful packaging. Just be sure to store your moisturizer in a glass jar you can reuse!
#10 Reuse When You Can
And, while we’re on the topic of reusing, don’t forget to reuse where you can. Reuse that marinara sauce jar to add some homemade sauce to, or use your mason jars over and over again to store homemade nut milk in. Whenever you can reuse something like a glass jar, do it!
We Can All Make a Difference in Creating a Healthier Planet With Less Waste
We all can take a stand and make the decision to play a role in how much waste happens in our country each year. By taking simple and actionable steps towards lowering how much you waste on a day to day basis, you will not only help support the planet, but you will also be doing some good for your health and your wallet!
With less plastic use comes less BPA exposure, and with investing in reusable items, you will find yourself needing to spend less money on things like plastic food storage bags or plastic straws. All in all, reducing waste is a win, win!
Earth Institute. What Happens to All That Plastic? Accessed December 11, 2019 at https://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2012/01/31/what-happens-to-all-that-plastic/