3 Ways to Reduce Plastic Use Today
Getting old is rough, and no one knows this better than Mother Nature (or a hungover 30-year-old, but we digress). Society’s overwhelming trash-it-first mentality is aging our planet by the day, and while there’s no fountain of youth to reverse the planet’s signs of aging, making an effort to reduce plastic use is one way we can help.
We may have literal trash islands floating around, but if everyone made a few simple swaps in their day-to-day lives, little by little, we could give Mother Nature her groove back (or, uh, whatever the kids are saying these days)!
Here are three ways you can reduce plastic use today.
Reduce Plastic Use at the Grocery Store
Grocery stores have a ton of single use plastics, but the biggest offender is the grocery bag. According to Plastic Oceans, a group dedicated to helping people reduce plastic use, about 500 billion plastic bags are used each year. That’s about 1 million bags every minute!
Instead of adding to your at-home stash of plastic bags, purchase reusable cotton grocery bags. Not only will you use fewer plastic bags, but you’ll also reduce demand for more to be made. Just make sure to store your cotton bags by the door so you remember to grab them on your way out.
Likewise, skip the produce bags, which have very little functionality beyond preventing your fruits and veggies from touching the cart. (And we really hope you wash them at home anyway, so that flimsy bag wasn’t doing much to protect your produce in the first place..)
When it comes to the actual groceries you buy, shopping locally cuts your food’s carbon footprint greatly. By buying from local farmers and manufacturers, you’re supporting your local economy while also helping to reduce plastic use since the products don't need to be packaged for long, overseas journeys.
Reduce Plastic Use With Sustainable Storage Swaps
Does opening your pantry make you cringe (and not because of the embarrassing bulk amounts of instant noodles you keep in there)? Next time you’re brave enough to look, take inventory of all the plastic you could potentially swap out in favor of cuter, eco-friendlier products. Here are a few to start with.
Beeswax wraps are an all-natural replacement for plastic wrap. Instead of wrapping your fruits, veggies, and sandwiches in single-use plastic, beeswax wrap can be washed and reused over and over. And if your wraps start to look a little worn after a few months, it’s easy to revive them yourself.
The best part about beeswax wraps, though (other than the fact that they reduce plastic use, of course), is that they’re not nearly as difficult to unwrap as the plastic wrap puzzles you had to work through as a kid.
Glass containers are the best long-term sustainable option to reduce plastic use while also keeping the contents more moisture stable without absorbing any smells.
Not only is glass 100% recyclable, but it’s also perfect for storing both hot and cold foods without the need to worry about toxic chemicals leaching into your food.
Bottles on Bottles on Bottles
How many bottles do you think are in your kitchen now? We don’t suggest ditching all the bottles (please don’t start storing your mustard in a cotton bag…), but ditching them when possible is a great way to reduce plastic use.
For example, consider buying bars of soap instead of a bottle of soap. Could you buy a glass jar of pickles instead of the plastic bottle? For bottles you can’t get rid of, prioritize buying bottles that are labeled as recyclable.
Reduce Plastic Use With Reusable Bottles
Habits of Waste estimates that over 480 BILLION water bottles are consumed each year. That’s 40 billion a month. With so much plastic being devoted to a literal ocean of water production, cutting back the demand for more plastic bottles can have a huge impact on our goal to reduce plastic use.
So pick up a reusable water bottle and ditch single-use bottles for good. There are so many reusable options nowadays — aluminum, glass, BPA-free plastic, and even fancy infusable bottles — that it would be harder to avoid using one than to find one you like.
While we know there’s no way that one person can reduce plastic use enough to conquer the planet’s looming plastic problems, every effort helps! Outstanding Foods is proud to be plastic neutral certified. We work alongside RePurpose Global to remove plastic waste from nature to offset our plastic footprint.
You can support our efforts to reduce plastic use by finding Outstanding Foods snacks in stores near you!