Nowadays, living without plastic seems like a utopia. I would say that plastic is a very cheap material because everything has been replaced by plastic things:

Plastic bags,

plastic clothes (look at your clothes and you will see that the percentage of acrylic has increased),

plastic cutlery,

plastic wrappers,

chairs,

furniture,

containers…

Do you know that a plastic bottle can take 500 years to degrade (disappear from the planet)? Plastic is becoming a serious problem, not only in our seas and oceans, but also in climate change, and in our daily lives.

When plastic degrades, it breaks down into microplastic. When they end up in the ocean where the fish ingest them, it is more dangerous. Unfortunately, some of that garbage comes back to us in the form of fish (or other foods). Here, I am going to offer you some tips to reduce plastic consumption. Note: don’t throw every plastic thing immediately. You’ll replace it when the time comes.

The best way to zero waste is to progressively change the things you already have for other materials and stop consuming disposable products. You should also keep in mind that living 100% without plastic is practically impossible in our society.

Live Without Plastics

1. Take your own bags when you go shopping

Remember to take your bags with you when you go shopping so you don’t have to buy new bags and reject all the free plastic bags in supermarkets and shops.

Of course, if you go on foot you can also always carry a cloth bag inside your handbag. Cloth bags are very resistant. Many cloth bags even have a pretty design. There are companies that manufacture very light and breathable bags, mesh type. These cloth bags have a very long shelf life and will help you reduce thousands of plastic bags.

take your own bag when shopping

2. Reuse the bags

If you have plastic bags at home, make sure you reuse them over and over again. You can reuse them to go shopping, to carry things, to put the garbage, and so on.

3. Buy wine bottled with a cork

Did you realize that there are wines that come with a plastic stopper instead of a cork? Because plastic is very cheap and that lowers costs, but it also influences the quality of the wine.

Go for traditional wine with cork stoppers. If there is a winery close to your home, carry your own glass bottle and fill it.

4. Drink tap water

Drink tap water instead of buying bottled water in-store. When traveling, it is a good idea to take a large bottle and refill it with tap water. In the airport or a train station, there are water dispensers where you could refill your bottle.

If you are concerned with the water quality in the hotel, you could boil it before refilling your bottle, or get a bottle with a filter (which is usually activated carbon). If there are limescale problems, you can add a softener.

If it is not possible to drink tap water, try to buy the largest bottles possible. In a word, do what you can with the resources you have.

5. Not buying food storage containers

You have many ways to store food, and if you think about it, you can reuse many containers to put your food in, you don’t need to buy more Tupperware.

For example, the glass jar where the chickpeas came from can be used to store the olives that you buy by weight. Other larger containers such as gherkins can be used to store seeds or rice.

6. no glasses

Do not buy any glasses. Instead, turn jam jars into glasses. Jam jars are practical since they are much more resistant to blows and come in different shapes for different food.

7. Bring a reusable cup for your morning coffee

Do you know how many disposable coffee cups are used in the world? They are much more than you imagine.

I recommend you bring your own reusable cup for your coffee in your satchel or tote bag. There are thousands of reusable bamboo cups, glass cups, and stainless steel cups that are lightweight and beautifully designed. A beautiful porcelain mug is also a good choice.

8. Take a tupperware with you

If you think there will be leftover food or you will buy take-out food, take a tupperware with you. In this way, you will avoid unnecessary new packaging.

You can also take the tupperware to the delicatessen, butcher shop, or fishmonger. If the tupperware bothers you because it is bulky, keep in mind that there is folding tupperware. Although tupperware is plastic, it is very resistant and could last a long time.

9. Clean with water and vinegar

No, you don’t need thousands of products to clean the house. Instead, simply clean with water and vinegar.

You just have to mix the following proportion:

  • 1 vinegar
  • 3 water

Put it in a recycled spray bottle and it’s ready to use. Your house will be clean and disinfected.

10. Bamboo Toothbrush

When it’s time to change your brush, look for a bamboo one instead of a plastic one.

11. Menstruation pad

Switch to cloth pads. They are comfortable and come in various sizes and designs, and they DO NOT smell.

Washing them may seem like a chore, but it’s as easy as soaking them in cold water so the blood dissolves more easily. Then, you can put them in the washing machine with the rest of the clothes.

Another very useful product is the menstrual cup made of silicone. Yes, it is medical silicone, but you will use the same one for about 5 years.

12. Ask for your drinks without a straw

It is very easy to take your own stainless steel, bamboo, or aluminum straw with you everywhere.

bamboo straw

13. Clothing

Clothing is often made of animal, plant, recycled plastic, or cotton, which implies a huge environmental impact. Here are a few helpful tips:

  • ask you if you really need it before you buy something new
  • borrow if it is for a specific occasion (for example a dress for a wedding)
  • Buy second-hand clothes
  • Invest in clothes that have ecological certification
  • Swap clothes with your friends
  • Try to give it another use if it is broken, such as making rags or even cloth bags
  • Donate the clothes you no longer use

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many alternatives to living without plastic. Find where you can join, you don’t have to do them all, but if you gradually apply some of them, the planet will become better and better.

The steps to a greener planet are:

  • Reflect on your power as a consumer
  • Reject what you don’t need
  • Reduce your consumption to what is really necessary
  • Repair what you already have.
  • Reuse what already exists and avoid disposable ones
  • Recycle what you couldn’t reuse
  • Return your organic waste to the earth
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