We are all a part of the industrial world, surrounded by plastic everywhere. This plastic is here to stay; and the more we consume it, the more it pollutes our world. Nobody is perfect, but trying to reduce our consumption is always better than doing nothing at all. For that reason, I am proud to introduce the following list:
How to reduce your plastic consumption – 10 tips
- Bring your own bag to the store!
I know what you think. Sometimes you just forget to bring your bag and you think, “I can use these plastic bags later for the garbage.” Well, DO YOU? Most of us have WAY more plastic bags than we need.
Buy a cool, strong, reusable plastic bag of your own. Keep it in your day-bag or bicycle basket so you never forget it.
These are my beautiful, stylish shopping bags. You must admit, they’re way sexier than those ugly plastic ones.
- Try to avoid take-out.
Saves money and waste.
If you really want to buy food outside, it’s better to just sit at the restaurant and eat. The plastic packaging will stay around for hundreds of years after your meal. It’s not worth it.
If you’re looking for awesome reusable food containers, I did recommend some in this post.
- Have your own spoon, fork, or chopsticks.
You can easily buy these online for a very affordable price. When you are served food at a picnic or are eating your own lunchbox, use your own utensils. They don’t weigh down your bag either.
- “May I have a mug cup, please?”
I LOVE coffee. There’s no way I would turn down a nice cup of coffee. But remember: when you order coffee at a café, they might serve it to you in a take-away cup. Most places have an option for a mug cup; and the only thing you need to do is ask. The Earth will thank you.
In case you want your coffee to-go, there are cafés that offer coffee in your own reusable cup. For example, you can ask for one at Tully’s Café and even get a discount for having your own cup (or my-cup)!
- Say NO to the straw!
Ask to be served without a straw. If a straw is somehow a critical part of your enjoyment, you can buy these reusable ones and take them with you. Even if you think they look silly, just remember how silly it is that we live in 2018 and still produce so much garbage that accumulates on our home planet.
- Trust the tap.
Our tap water is usually drinkable. If not, try to use a bottle with a built-in filter, then you can fill and take it with you wherever you go. You can also install a filter to your tap. Take a look at my beautiful, stainless steel bottle. Isn’t it perfect? Much better than ugly plastic bottles. That’s a very easy way to reduce plastic consumption
- Hosting without plastic.
If it wasn’t obvious already, don’t buy plastic when you’re hosting an event. I know you think about all the dishes you have to wash, but compostable dishes now exist! Some of them are made from leaves and sustainably sourced wood. These alternatives are much better than those of the past. By serving food on them, you might just inspire some of your guests to do the same!
- Shop at small stores or farmers’ markets.
There is a good chance they will be plastic-free, and you can bring your own cool, reusable bag from Tip 1 .
- Buy larger packs.
In Japan, where houses are so small, it’s a very challenging thing to do; but I figured that no matter what, I can make extra space with a little creativity. Buying larger dish-soap, detergent, packs of food, or whatever else comes to mind reduces plastic consumption and usually saves money too!
So why won't you try?
Obviously, following these 10 tips will not put an end to plastic consumption completely.
But I really believe that if we are a little more aware of our actions, we can make a difference.
Change will never happen if everyone thinks they can’t make change.
“It’s only one more plastic bag,” say 1,000,000,000 people every year (only in the US)
“It’s only one more plastic cup,” say 2,700,000 people every day (only in Australia)
“It’s only one more plastic bottle” say 1,000,000 people every minute (worldwide)
Your consumption makes these statistics too.
Let’s be the change. We can all reduce plastic consumption
We can make a difference.