Simple ways to use less plastic every day

Keep the earth and your conscious clean.

Harper's Bazaar India

We’ve all seen the headlines and watched documentaries about the environmental crisis caused by single-use plastic. However, the unfortunate truth is that plastic is a part of our daily lives; it’s everywhere—from packaging and gadgets to beauty products. It’s infiltrated every industry which makes it extremely difficult to give it up entirely. And while governing bodies have the power to make big changes, there are things you can do every day to reduce the consumption of plastic. Every small step goes a long way. Read on to know how you can actively use less plastic without making any drastic changes to your routine. 

Avoid using plastic straws

You don’t need us to tell you how toxic plastic straws are for the environment. They are non-biodegradable and a huge source of pollution. While a lot of food establishments have moved to reusable straws, it’s not enough. There are still more than a considerable amount of places that rely on plastic. It’s up to you, the consumer, to make a choice. Keep a few reusable straws at home and carry one around so that even if you’re eating at a place that uses plastic, you’re prepared. 

Switch to bar soaps and boxed detergent  

Shampoo, soap, and detergent packets are major contributors to plastic pollution, especially single-use pump bottles. And even if you tell yourself you will refill them, let’s face it, you don’t end up doing it. Besides, it’s still a plastic bottle. You can do your bit for the environment by switching to soap bars and boxed detergent as bar soaps usually come in paper or cardboard containers, and they are easier to recycle.  

Carry cloth bags for grocery shopping

Single-use plastic bags that we usually get from our local grocery stores can take up to 500 years to fully decompose. And even though there is an ongoing movement to curb the use of these bags, it's still rampantly used. But, the price of your convenience is paid heavily by the environment. Sure, paper bags are a good and widely-used substitute, they tear easily. So, it’s best to carry your cloth bag to any store that you think still uses plastic. 

Use non-plastic containers for food storage 

Your mother’s beloved food storage containers are not exactly eco-friendly. Opt for glass or metal containers instead that you can clean and reuse. Even when ordering takeout, choose eateries that don’t use plastic containers. If you are picking up food, request that they pack it in your containers instead of using plastic. Not only will the environment thank you, but your body will appreciate the effort, too, considering the harmful substances that release from plastic containers. It may seem like a lot of effort but it’s much easier to do. You could also switch from disposable plastic wrap to reusable silicone ones. It’s just a matter of tweaking a few habits and making slightly different choices. 

Choose to reuse   

If you have no choice but to buy or use plastic, make sure you reuse it and don't throw it away after one use. For instance, a plastic water bottle can be filled as many times as you want and a plastic food container can be repurposed to store anything you’d like. This way, you are reducing plastic use instead of buying more.