Convenience kills. It’s what I saw in an Instagram post a couple of days ago. The photo is an illustration of a dolphin being weighed down by all of the plastic we use for the sake of convenience.
None of us are perfect, and it’s hard to remember to bring along a reusable tote for shopping and whatnot, but it’s important to try and get into the habit of using less plastic. I’m sick of hearing about dead whales having pounds and pounds of plastic in their stomachs, or animals on land suffocating after eating plastic bags by accident that were thrown outside. We all need to be more aware of what we’re throwing away, and where it could end up.
More than 40 percent of plastic that’s created is only used once before being thrown away, according to National Geographic. Less than a fifth of all plastic is recycled globally. Like NatGeo says: “We made plastic. We depend on it. Now we’re drowning in it.”
So, here are seven things that are made out of plastic that we can replace with something more sustainable.
Plastic bottles. An easy one, just buy a reusable water bottle or two and just use those for drinking water. Don’t/can’t drink the tap water? Get a filter.
Plastic shopping bags. There are a ton of reusable shopping bags out there for pretty cheap. It can be hard to get in the habit of bringing them along, but it also keeps those pesky bags from filling up a part of your space because you feel too guilty to get rid of them. If you do have plastic bags, there are places where you can recycle them (some grocery stores do it).
Produce bags. I recently learned about reusable produce bags, which is pretty cool. You can find them on Amazon.
Sandwich/snack bags. I found some reusable sandwich bags on Urban Outfitters, but I’m sure you can find them cheaper on Amazon. Those thin plastic bags can’t be recycled, so using reusable ones will really cut down on your plastic use (and you won’t have to buy them constantly!).
K-Cups. A friend recently told me about a reusable K-Cup, which you can find here. I think it’s so cool, I drink coffee everyday and love using a Keurig but always felt guilty about throwing the cups away. I’ve been using compostable cups recently, but I may need to switch to the reusable one.
Straws. Straws are, for the most part, unnecessary (if you are able-bodied, this is important to recognize!!) If you are able-bodied and don’t need to use a straw, then don’t use it. When you do want/need them, buy some reusable ones.
Toothbrushes. Okay, admittedly, I still use a standard toothbrush because I just get them from my dentist and I don’t want them to go to waste. But there are bamboo toothbrushes out there, since toothbrushes are mostly made out of plastic and can’t be recycled.
Hopefully this inspires you to think/live more sustainably. I, for one, will be looking for reusable K-Cups soon.