Embracing an eco-friendly lifestyle doesn’t always require radical changes or major sacrifices. And when it comes to reducing plastic waste, every small effort counts. From rethinking your shopping habits to opting for reusable alternatives, there are plenty of low-key and easily implementable ways to go green—and even collect some savings along the way!
Sustainability Made Easy: 9 Practical Solutions for Cutting Plastic Waste
A greener tomorrow starts today, with intentional choices that lead to healthier habits. The good news is that we can reduce our plastic footprint without overhauling our life overnight. Adopting any one of these practices will help make a difference for the planet.
1. Try bulk shopping
Half of the plastics ever manufactured have been produced in just the last 20 years. And the massive amount of single-use plastics is taking a terrible toll on the environment. Buying groceries in bulk can help curb those effects. Whenever possible, choose loose fruits and vegetables instead of pre-packaged ones. Those individually-wrapped items are often way more expensive. So why pay more just for more plastic waste?
2. Start an herb or vegetable garden
Fresh is always best! All you need is a little counter-space or a flowerpot outside to grow your own herbs and veggies at home. This is a great way to cut the packaging waste, whether it’s a few sprigs of thyme and basil, or a nice tomato for a sandwich or salad.
3. Find other plastic-free alternatives
Choosing plastic-free personal care products is another easy action item. Start looking for toothbrushes, razors, shampoo bars, and soap bars that come in compostable or recyclable packaging, like paper or cardboard.
4. Opt for green cleaning solutions
More and more companies are starting to sell eco-friendly cleaning products that don’t mess with harsh chemicals. Refillable containers and natural ingredients are definitely the better call. You can even make your own cleaning products at home using vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice. (Then try adding essential oils for a custom scent!)
5. Create your own compost
When you compost food scraps, you’re diverting them from the trash, where they would likely be tossed into plastic garbage bags or packaging. The more you compost, the more you reduce your plastic footprint. You’re not only using fewer plastic garbage bags, you’re also saving money because you won’t need to purchase plastic-packaged garden soil anymore. You’ll be nourishing your plants with natural, plastic-free and nutrient-rich soil that’s coming right from your backyard compost bin. It doesn’t get more “local” than that.
6. Switch to reusable bags
This has become common practice for a lot of families, but it’s still easy to forget! Make it a habit to carry reusable shopping bags whenever you go shopping. Keeping a few reusable shopping bags made of cloth or canvas in your car or by the front door can help ensure you don’t forget them when you’re out running errands.
7. Keep some utensils handy
If you really want to up your game to reduce plastic waste, bring a travel set of reusable cutlery with you for meals on the go or at work. Then you don’t have to rely on the single-use utensils from your favorite take-out place. Consider taking the pledge with EARTHDAY.org to commit to cleaner eating!
8. Invest in reusable water bottles
Make what’s good for your health good for the planet too. Staying hydrated supports our joints and digestion, works to lower blood pressure, and can improve our mood and attention span too. When you’ve got a good reusable water bottle, there’s no reason to throw your money away on single-use bottled water. Refill your own durable bottle throughout the day and ditch the disposable water bottles for good!
9. Share the love for all things plastic free
The steps you take to go plastic-free can be multiplied again and again when you inspire others to do the same. The simple act of carrying around a reusable water bottle or your canvas shopping bag can be great visible and tangible reminders for our friends and neighbors to join us and create a ripple effect of positive change to reduce plastic waste.
You can also spread awareness by sharing your experience, tips, and progress to become plastic-free on social media. Or get involved with local initiatives and organizations that promote sustainable living. The possibilities are endless—and so are the benefits!