Consumerism is at the heart of both developed and developing nations. While such a phenomenon doesn’t often add up to environmental-friendly consequences, it is never too late to start and contribute towards the protection of our biodiversity and biosphere. Even though you might feel that you are only one individual, reaching out can encourage others to build eco-friendly communities.
The excessive consumption of plastic is something that is a matter of concern that is often multi-faceted. The popularity of plastic consumption has not only led to enormous volumes of greenhouse emissions from the hazardous waste collection in landfills but also suffered and killed the many innocent lives that live in vast oceans.
Play your part in recovering Earth from the deadly threat that is posed to make every living species on earth extinct. Adopt these ten easy practices to create a plastic-free community, starting this month of July, in lieu of the special occasion of Plastic Free Month.
How To Avoid Plastic Overdose?
Here are ten easy ways you can effectively use to avoid plastic consumption. Some of these ways will definitely challenge you to change your comfortable lifestyle, but unlike what people say, ignorance is not bliss.
1. Avoid Using Plastic Straws
Did you know that we use, on average, more than 500 million plastic straws every single day? This typically leads to hazardous waste collection in the landfills where such waste is dumped. However, if you start avoiding and denying to play your part in a plastic-free environment, simply say no. Single-use straws are often bagged readily along with your junk food without you having to even ask them for the same.
Therefore, you are the one who needs to put your foot down and go out of your own way to ask them not to put plastic straws. Alternatively, you can carry environmentally-friendly straws that are made of a variety of materials. The most common ones being steel and wood. It is practical and additionally, it also does not take too much space.
2. Always Carry An Eco-Friendly Bag With You
It is always advisable to use reusable eco-friendly carry bags for your everyday grocery shopping and occasional shopping at the malls. Even though a bag made out of bamboo or jute is more expensive than non-biodegradable plastic, you will get your money’s worth since they do not wear out easily and have a much longer lifespan than plastic bags. Just keep these available on the backseat of your car and use them whenever required.
Also, if you forget to carry an eco-friendly bag with you, try to stuff your bought items in your pockets or simply carry the same in your hands as much as you can.
3. Avoid Buying Bottled Water
Not everything that is marketed well is good for our community or planet as a whole. For sake of our comfort and easy access to clean water, we have completely dismantled the importance of living sustainably with our nature. Buy a water bottle that you can reuse and refill instead of buying one-time-use plastic water bottles. Stop storing as well as serving bottled water to your guests when you can use the perfectly safe tap water.
4. Use Glass Containers To Pack Lunch Rather Than Using Plastic Again
It will be very wise of you if you do away with the Ziplock baggie and opt for glass containers to pack your lunch. Glass containers come in various sizes and shapes. Some glass containers also have airtight lids that can keep your food warm, fresh, and clear, just like the times when you used plastic containers for the same.
5. Avoiding Food with Excessive Packaging
Are we all at fault for this one? We buy products without even considering the unnecessary layered plastic packaging of the product. In addition to this, the staff at the counter will further pack this into a carry bag that is again, plastic. Adopt an environment-friendly lifestyle and opt for a lifestyle that is sustainable for both nature and other communities of living beings on our planet.
6. Stop Plastic Consumption In The Form Of Cutleries
Here is another small thing you can avoid in your life. Take-out dinner often involves the use of plastic cutleries which can be easily avoided by giving the service person a heads up. When you order food online to get it delivered to your home, make sure you write in the comments section or make time to call the restaurant to not put plastic cutleries inside your bag.
Odds are that you have your own cutleries at home and it is oxymoronic to not ditch the plastic ones. If you are a working person and buy food from street vendors, just keep a spare couple of silverware in your drawer. Remind yourself to carry it with you during your lunch break and wash it after you reach your office. Start right away and do not let laziness put down such a positive effort.
7. Prefer Cardboard Over Plastic Anyday
Cardboards are made of paper and hence, they can be easily recycled as opposed to plastic recycling. Another added benefit of preceding cardboard over plastic is that it is biodegradable while plastic is non-biodegradable.
One might argue that it is not as if plastic can not be recycled. While plastic recycling is definitely a viable option, you will be surprised to know that, according to National Geographic, almost 91% of the same are not recycled as reported in July 2021. Fact check and be aware!
8. Ditch Your Plastic Toothbrush
Something as small and significant as a toothbrush can collectively lead to plastic waste collection. Make a quick switch to fix the problem by doing your bit by adopting biodegradable toothbrushes made out of bamboo that are easily available online.
Bamboo toothbrushes wear out easily and are costlier than plastic ones but it is definitely worth it because it only takes six months for them to decompose completely. Using new toothbrushes every couple of months is also advised since the roots of the bristles have the potential for microbial growth which can’t be seen with the naked eye.
9. Read The Cover Of Cosmetic Products Before Purchasing
The makeup industry is one of the most flourishing industries and will remain in fashion as long as we exist. Like we say, with great power comes great responsibility. Therefore, makeup companies can not be exempt from making smart and environment-friendly decisions. Earlier, use of microbeads or artificially produced microplastics were aggressively used in the production of cosmetics. They were mostly used in the form of exfoliating materials as well as abrasives.
Even though many countries like the USA, UK, Canada, and South Korea have completely made such use of plastic substances, there are many other countries that are yet to announce and lay down similar laws to stop plastic from further causing mayhem.
You can always start to choose your brands wisely from where you want to buy products for your skincare routine and even makeup products. Switch over to soap brands that do not contribute to the manufacturing of microbeads.
You can also be a part of a shared march towards zero waste solutions planning, by contacting your prescribed brands and companies for cosmetics recycling. Cosmetics recycling includes recycling of the used-up bottles and packing materials.
10. Switch To e-Billing
Even though bills that are often mailed to you seem to be an innocent activity, switching over to e-billing will open up the possibility of reaping a number of ecological benefits. E-billing and its green prospect are probably one of the greenest practices we can think of but we have, nonetheless, danced past it without the due diligence to know more about it.
It can save our dependability on paper and completely curb greenhouse emissions that are a common outcome of the decomposition of paper bills that end up in landfills. If you have a billing service provider, contact them right away and opt for a technologically advanced echo-friendly software service on your smartphone. Don’t just own a smartphone, be smart!
Obviously, there are many other ways to start a green lifestyle. But to start as an eco-friendly being, these easy ways will go a long way to help and encourage many others around you to adopt a plastic-free lifestyle. Something as innocent and harmless as children’s toys are bad news for our environment. Replace them with warm wooden toys and buy single-use banana leaf plates for occasions. These are not only eco-friendly but also add a warm aesthetic to your party. The thumb rule is, if it is plastic, think straight and hard.
To conclude, it is only relevant to recollect our lived experiences of what it is like to be trapped in a plastic environment. Since the pandemic breakout, the phenomenological experience of being wrapped up in plastic masks, shields, and plastic clothing, has taught us many things.
Even though we keep accommodating the unnatural as the new normal, it is only paramount to think about how our plastic waste deposits that find their way to the seas and oceans trap the helpless oceanic lives. If not anything else, our own endurance during the pandemic should remind us that plastic is unnatural both to us and all the other living species on earth.