How to Live a Plastic Free Life

Are you interested in cutting down on plastic use? Most people use numerous plastic items each day without giving it a second thought. There are a few key reasons to consider plastic-free living. Plastic is made from natural gas or petroleum, both of which are nonrenewable resources that pollute the water and air during extraction. During the manufacturing process, plants add toxic chemicals, such as phthalates and bisphenol A, to certain types of plastics. Finally, most plastics cannot be recycled, which means they end up in landfills. The following strategies will get you on your way to living the plastic-free lifestyle that you desire in a matter of days.

rain forest

Carry reusable shopping bags

Reusable shopping bags are one of the simplest ways to start cutting down on plastic use right away. Many retail stores sell large, attractive, reusable bags for just $1 or $2. Look for them in the checkout area. You can take reusable bags along for any sort of shopping, from the farmers market to the mall. Keep a few bags in your car at all times so that you’re never without them. Make a point to avoid plastic bags within grocery stores, too. If you want to store produce in a separate bag, find a cloth alternative.

Drink water and coffee from a stainless steel container

Reusable stainless steel water bottles and stainless steel travel mugs are a good way to enjoy cold and hot beverages on the go without using any plastic. Whenever possible, use stainless steel instead of plastic or aluminum, both of which can leach chemicals into the liquid contents. If you like to order coffee or other hot drinks, such as tea and hot chocolate, from coffee shops, inquire about getting your drinks right in your stainless steel container and skip the plastic or paper cup altogether.

Seek out food and drink items with minimal plastic packaging

There are so many packaged food and drink goods that have unnecessary plastic packaging. You can cut down on your plastic use considerably by making a few adjustments to your shopping routine. For example, look for fresh bread that comes in a paper bag or that you can place in your own cloth bag. If items come in plastic containers, such as berries or cherry tomatoes, return them to grocery stores or farmers market vendors.

Buy milk in returnable glass bottles

Do you have local dairies in your area that sell their milk in returnable glass bottles as opposed to plastic bottles or plastic-coated cardboard? Just a few of the dairies in the United States that sell milk in reusable, returnable glass bottles include Burbach’s Countryside Dairy, Straus Family Creamery, MariGold Dairies, LW Dairy and Oberweis Dairy. You can often find at least one brand of milk that uses glass bottles in major grocery store chains with more options at natural grocery stores, such as Whole Foods.

For even more ways to decrease your plastic use, talk to family members or friends who have also embraced a plastic-free lifestyle and adopt their tactics.