I’m happy to live in Hawaii, where plastic bags were recently banned. Although hundreds of American cities have also banned plastic bags, the majority have not. You don’t have to wait for a ban to make the change. Start bringing reusable bags with you on every trip to the store.
2. Take Back the Tap:
Plastic water bottles aren’t just a waste, they may also be harmful to your health. Use a reusable water bottle or a glass jar and fill it at the tap.
3. Ditch the Zip:
Ditch zip-top bags and plastic wrap for packing up leftovers and use reusable glass containers instead. You can safely reheat them in the microwave too.
4. Pack a Waste-Free Lunch:
Go old school…get a retro lunch box and fill it with real food, not a bunch of stuff sealed in plastic.
5. Drift Away from Plastic Packaging:
When shopping, buy fewer items packaged in plastic. If an item you want comes in a glass jar or plastic container, choose glass. Instead of buying the plastic wrapped meat or veggies, get the protein from the butcher wrapped in paper…and pack your veggies loose and plastic free in your own reusable bag.
6. Re-Imagine Take-Out:
Whether you are ordering take out at a Thai Food restaurant or buying your daily cup of coffee, make sure to leave the house with your own glassware or stainless steel take away containers. Don’t be shy, just present the staff with your reusable gear and ask them to please pack it sustainably.
7. Straws are for Suckers:
Do you really need that straw? Bartenders and servers will often give you one by default. When you order, remember to tell them, “No straw, please.” If you really need one, carry your own stainless steel or glass straw.
8. Party Plastic-Free:
Treat guests to reusable partyware instead of disposable plates, cups, and cutlery…or try serving finger foods that don’t need utensils. If you throw a BYOB party, have friends BYOC.
9. Clean Up Your Soap Situation:
Consider using bar soaps and powders that come with less plastic packaging. If you use liquid, buy in bulk and refill soap containers. Search the ingredients of your toothpaste and facial scrubs and stop using anything with microbeads.
10. Get Active in Legislation & Promote Corporate Responsibility:
Join groups like Surfrider, 5Gyres and Upstream and help advocate for extended producer responsibility laws in each and every state. Ask businesses to take responsibility for the products and packaging they are putting out into the world.