Quick and Easy Ways to Cut Down on Plastic

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Each year, 300 million tons of plastic are produced in order to sustain our plastic-dependent world. From water bottles, to coffee cups, to grocery bags, disposable plastic has become a lifestyle staple—and a costly one at that. The overuse of plastic is a threat to our environment and the sustainability of life on earth—but don’t lose hope just yet; there are plenty of things you can do to help cut down on plastic.

The problem: Thin, plastic grocery bags are the most ubiquitous form of plastic pollution, taking up space in landfills and remaining there for years.

What you can do: One thing you can do to cut down on plastic is to bring your own reusable bags to the store when you go shopping. Most grocery stores offer “go green” bag options that allow you to purchase a recycled bag that can be brought back for future shopping trips. Reusable bags save time, money, and hassle, and help to rid our environment of plastic and related pollution.

The problem: Millions of cups of coffee are sold every day in chain coffee shops, and the plastic cups and straws are simply disposed of in a trash bin. But even if they are recycled, they never truly leave our environment.

What you can do: Ditch that tacky plastic cup and straw combo and start carrying your own thermos or reusable coffee cup. Reusable cups are not only better for the environment, they are more convenient because they can be washed and brought back time after time, or stored in your car for when you’re on the go.

The problem: Microbeads are exactly what they sound like—they’re those tiny colored beads floating in your bath products that are marketed for exfoliation purposes. The beads are meant to be washed down the drain with the rest of the water and filtered before reaching the ocean—but they’re not.

The truth is, those little plastic beads are far too small to be filtered out of our water. The microbeads are then flushed out into our oceans, where they remain for decades to come. Not only do the beads pollute our water, but they become ingested by fish and other small marine life, killing the animals that eat them and harming and disrupting the entire ecosystem.

What you can do: Eliminate more plastic waste and water pollution by cutting out those face scrubs or body washes that contain microbeads. Opt for microbead-free body washes and exfoliators instead, and help keep our waters clean, and our fish safe and healthy.

The problem: Plastic water bottles are the biggest offense of our environment, with Americans using approximately 50 billion of them a year. The consumption and manufacturing of plastic water bottles not only harm the environment, but it also requires wasting tons of energy.

What you can do: Most Americans site superior taste as their reason to drink bottled water as opposed to tap water. The truth is, the majority of plastic water bottles simply contain purified municipal water. We suggest buying a water filter and using a reusable water bottle. This option is not only cheaper, but it’s healthier as well. Plastic contains chemicals that can be linked to nausea, depression, dizziness, vomiting, and even death.

With just a few small changes, we can all make a difference to our world and the use of plastic that is slowly killing it. If you’re interested in saving the environment and you’d like more great ideas for cutting down on plastic, check out this helpful article.

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