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10 Ways to Help You Cut Plastic Out of Your Picture

The plastic is so overly present in our modern culture that every palpable item you use or buy for your home or office will have plastic in it. If you stop and think right now, you can quickly come up with five things that you used today that were either made of plastic or came packaged in plastic. Due to its extreme usefulness and the low cost to produce it, we have developed a sleazy relationship with plastic, which in reality is a complete waste.

In America, around 1,500 plastic bottles are used every second, and it takes 100 years for these bottles to destroy. Only about 9% of plastic bottles succeed to reach recycling facility. The rest of the plastic waste ends up in oceans or landfills. About 270,000 tons of plastic waste is currently thought to be floating on the ocean’s surface. This plastic waste consists of plastic bags, plastic microfibers, beads, bottles and containers. These plastic products are petroleum-based, and around 10 million barrels of oil are used to make them. Finally, when they breakdown, toxic chemicals are emitted that end up in our air and water. This can be incredibly dangerous as it can harm and poison our wildlife.

It is clear that the use of plastic has various environmental and health impacts. It is necessary to limit the use of plastic and adopt other easy alternatives. Here are a few simple ways that can help you remove the plastic from of your daily life.

1. Store green leafy vegetables in towels instead of plastic:

Plastic bags are the main culprit for environmental and health hazards. Instead of using the standard plastic produce bags, utilize clean and damp towels in which vegetables can remain fresh and crispy. Carrots, parsnips, zucchini, green beans, and leeks stay fresh for a longer period when you wrap them in a damp towel and store them in a crisper. Green leafy vegetables should be kept in a dry towel folded like an envelope with two ends tied together.

2. DIY toothpaste:

Toothpaste is usually stored in a plastic tube and contains plastic microbeads for extra whitening. If you make your own toothpaste, you can reduce the use of plastic in your life. Make your own toothpaste by using water, baking soda, coconut oil, and peppermint essential oil. After your toothpaste is ready, store it in a small mason jar.

3. Use coffee grounds to exfoliate:

Face and body washes often contain plastic microbeads. A single tube of face wash contains around 300,000 microbeads which enter rivers and oceans through our drainage system. These plastic microbeads are harmful to marine life. Instead, ditch these conventional exfoliating face and body washes and make your own face wash and scrubs using coffee grounds with coconut oil or avocado.

4. Replace your cleaning supplies with one natural alternative:

White vinegar can be used instead of most cleaning supplies that are present in your home. Vinegar helps to fumigate your bathroom and kitchen surfaces. It also brings a sparkle to your mirrors and silverwares and unclogs your drains. You can add lemon and orange peels to the vinegar bottle that may give you an exceptional scent of citrus. Moreover, if you have white vinegar in bulk, then you can store it in a glass bottle and take the spray tops of your old cleaner bottles. Recycle and create your own hand-held spray cleaner and ditch the other scrubs and fluids.

5. Replace plastic condiment bottles with mason jars:

You may have tons of different plastic condiment bottles stored in your fridge. To reduce your plastic use, try making your own condiments and use a mason jar with exclusive top attachments for storage purpose. Try, tap-tops for salad dressings and pump tops for ketchup or mustard.

6. Swap plastic deodorizers for essential oils:

Most of the artificial perfumed room deodorizers are stuffed in plastic packages. Instead, use essential oils as they serve the same purpose and are free from unwanted plastics and toxins. You just need to add a few drops of your desired scent on the inner part of the cardboard toilet paper roll can create long-term freshness in your washroom.

7. Use a pressure cooker to avoid BPA-lined cans:

Many people may prefer cans over plastic packages or containers. However, cans are coated with Bisphenol-A (BPA) – a form of plastic to prevent it from rusting. Instead of using canned beans, soak dried beans in water over night and the next day you can put them in a pressure cooker for about 10 minutes. This will give you plastic-free legumes! You can store them in a glass jar and keep them in a refrigerator for future use.

8. Choose wooden or cloth toys instead of plastic toys:

Toys play a significant role in your child’s life. Toys are usually made of plastic, wood or cloth. Countless people prefer plastic toys because they are attractively colored, automated and economical. But is it safe?

Plastic toys and sippy cups often contain harmful toxins and chemicals, which can cause multiple hazards. Children enjoy playing with them and have the habit of putting them in the mouth.  Parents cannot always keep a check on them, so it is better to buy wooden toys. These toys are much safer and promote problem-solving and motor skills.

9. Choose cloth diapers instead of disposable ones:

Cloth diapers can be messy, but are free from all types of chemicals. They are very easy to use and can be reused if you take good care of them. They create less waste as compared to disposable diapers. Moreover, about 80,000 pounds of plastic and more than 200,000 trees are required to manufacture disposable diapers for American babies alone. They generate about 4 million tons of landfill waste per year. So, it is preferable to switch to cloth diapers or homemade disposable wipes.

10. Replace plastic straws with glass drinking straw:

Use reusable stainless steel or glass drinking straw to keep plastic out of the landfills. You can purchase these reusable straws and can use them in restaurants. Slowly, restaurants will quit using plastic straws and may just switch to glass drinking straws.

 

References:

  1. The dangers of Plastic

 

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Tasneem

Tasneem

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