All across the world, landfills are filling up, our oceans are being contaminated with countless plastics and our environment is paying the ultimate price for humanity’s wasteful lifestyle. 60% of landfills are comprised of plastic waste, according to Reusethisbag.com and out of the 260 million tons of plastic the world produces annually, 10% winds up in the ocean, with 70% of it sinking to the bottom causing severe damage to marine life and contributing greatly to global warming.
In order to slow the advancing progression of climate change, we must join together and do something about it. This can be done through protests, writing to your lawmakers and or implementing some of the following to help reduce waste in your lifestyle to make an impact worldwide. If everyone does the small things, together we can make a difference.
Buy reusable grocery bags.
Small changes really do make great impacts. Consider spending just a couple of dollars on a few reusable bags instead of the regular plastic ones that your groceries are bagged in when grocery shopping. These bags are really cheap and usually sold conveniently near the checkout, usually ranging in price anywhere from 90 cents to a couple of dollars.
Buy reusable produce bags.
Like the reusable grocery bags, these can be purchased at your local grocery stores. Instead of using the single-use produce bags, try opting for these durable multi-use ones. They run for about $4 at most stores.
Shop at second-hand stores.
Not only is this option better for the environment, but it’s better for your wallet too. The fast-paced world of consumerism is one of the leading causes of climate change, as it requires clothing to be mass-produced, transported and ultimately thrown away. Buying used clothing results in less trash in the landfills and oceans.
Avoid single-use plastics.
In this day and age, plastic is pretty much everywhere. There are some things that you can avoid such as single-use plastics, though. This may be purchasing a big plastic bag of chips filled with smaller plastic bags of chips sold at stores. Anything that bags plastic in plastic bags should be avoided in order to reduce unnecessary waste.
Get your own water bottle.
Purchasing your own metal water bottle is a great investment. Its reusable, stylish and reduces the number of plastic water bottles in our oceans and landfills.
Use a bamboo toothbrush.
There is so much plastic in most everyday household items. Plastic bags usually come to mind first, but many hygienic items contain it as well. Swapping your plastic toothbrush to a bamboo one is a great way to cut down on your household’s waste.
Use soy wax wrap.
Instead of using plastic wrap to pack up your lunch or to cover your containers, try swapping it out for soy wax wrap. You get the same effect as plastic wrap without the negative effects on our environment. You can purchase these on Etsy or Amazon. Some stores may have it as well.
Eat less red meat.
Raising cattle requires up to 28 times the land than that needed for pork or poultry which not only results in deforestation, but also 11 times the production of greenhouse gas emissions according to theguardian.com. Some experts even suggest that cutting out beef would have a greater impact than getting rid of cars. This isn’t to say you need to cut beef out entirely, but reducing the amount you consume can make an impact.
Bring your own to-go containers.
Often times you don’t end up finishing your meal at a restaurant and after asking for a to-go box, you are handed a styrofoam box. Styrofoam takes 500 years to decompose, adding to the already piling up landfills. Consider bringing a box from home instead.
Plastic is sometimes an unavoidable part of modern life. If you absolutely have to use plastic, always check the container to see if it’s recyclable. Recycle the plastic if you can.