Happy Friday my friends!! Are you still using plastic grocery bags, plastic water bottles, plastic straws or even plastic storage containers?
Every year the equivalent of five grocery bags of trash for every foot of coastline worldwide enters the oceans, killing 100,000 marine animals. a 2016 World Economic Forum report says that by 2050, the world’s seas could contain more plastic than fish.
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Average families annually accumulate about 1,500 plastic bags, with 99 percent ending in landfills, as litter or stuffed in the pantry, according to the Center for Biological Diversity. Worldwide, many countries ban or tax bags.
Annually, 50 billion water bottles are sold globally, including 30 billion in the U.S. (We used to be a part of those statistics). 1,500 individual water bottles are thrown away per second! My husband and I switched to using Brita Water Filter Pitchers instead of buying plastic water bottles, and not only is the better for the planet but it has saved us money, because, YES..buying water bottles gets costly…especially if you are drinking lots of water like we do.
Here are some of my favorite tips to kick the plastic habit and switch to earth-friendly alternatives:
- Switch to glass or stainless steel water bottles instead of plastic. I never leave home without my water bottle (or two) because I drink a ton of water and I don’t want to have to buy or use a plastic water bottle. There are many options out there but my favorite is a stainless steel water bottle which is great for hot or cold liquids.
- Use reusable grocery bags. I keep my reusable bags in the back of my SUV and grab 2-4 every time I grocery shop. My one local grocery store even gives me $0.5 off for every bag that I use when I grocery shop. I also use a canvas produce bag instead of those thin plastic produce bags at the store. I’ve gotten most of my reusable bags for free but most stores will sell them for $0.99, so grab 4-5 of them and start using them.
- Pack your lunch and leftovers in stainless steel or glass containers. There are some BPA-free plastic containers out there, but I still highly recommend stainless steel or glass instead, especially if you reheat your lunch in the microwave.
- Use paper snack and sandwich bags. I love the If You Care brand which are unbleached, perfect for sandwiches, cookies, are microwaveable and certified compostable.
- Switch to Unbleached Parchment Paper. I made this switch years ago after learning the regular parchment paper is bleached and chemically treated. Unbleached parchment paper is naturally non-stick too! I also switched to unbleached baking cups for muffins and cupcakes.
- Stainless Steel Coffee Mug or Glass Mason Jar. If you go to Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, or any other local coffee shop I highly recommend taking your own stainless steel coffee mug, which most coffee shops will even give you $0.10 off your order for using your own mug. I also use a glass mason jar traveler for Iced Coffee in the summer…with a glass straw.
- Buy as much of your food in glass containers instead of plastic containers. I reuse my glass peanut butter containers for overnight oats, yogurt parfaits, and other lunch items or take-along food when we travel.
There are some more tips that you can do, but I feel like these are some of the easiest ones to get started with. I’m consistently working on being more earth-friendly. Just like with weight loss and exercise and healthy eating…take it step-by-step…don’t try to change it all at one time.
Do you have some tips that helped you switch from using plastic to more earth-friendly alternatives? I would love to hear them!
Stay Healthy my Friends!
Carrie A Groff