Plastic sucks and it is all around us. The laptop I am using to type this - plastic. The remote sitting next to me - plastic. The charger I just plugged into my car - plastic. Last week I asked on Facebook how many pieces of plastic people had touched so far in the day. The responses were interesting.
I spent the day tracking every piece of plastic I was using, whether it was a piece of furniture I was sitting on, the carpet under my feet or a yogurt container. The results can be shocking but I noticed that I have reduced the plastic in my day to day life since last tracked it in 2011. Want to see Fridays results? Check out the footprint image above!
Tips for Reducing Your Plastic Footprint
1. Focus on elimination. Don't even bring the plastic into your life! Look for food packaged in glass instead of plastic, bring your own containers for takeout, stop buying bottled water and pop. Elimination will have the biggest impact on the environment and go the furthest to opening the door for other types of materials to gain market share over plastic.
2. Reduce the amount of plastic you use. If you have to buy something that has plastic packaging steer clear of those with excessive packaging.
3. Reuse the plastic you have. We eat some food products (like yogurt) that can only be found in plastic containers. Don't just throw them in the blue bin when they are empty because while they will be recycled it doesn't reduce the amount of chemicals being used to create plastic in the first place. Plastic is never recycled back into its same form - a yogurt container doesn't become another yogurt container. The best option is to reuse the plastic. Remember to never heat your food in it!
4. Skip the upgrades. It is easy to fall into the trap of always upgrading to the newest and greatest TV or gaming system. Keeping items until you need to sell/donate them is far better for the environment then replacing them on a more frequent basis.
5. Don't buy "landfill toys". These are the toys that your kids will play with for 20 minutes and then forget about. They are probably also the toys that will fall apart of be damaged after a small amount of play. Don't buy them at all or if you feel like you have to them look for them used.
How many plastic items do you touch in a day?
Related Posts - Check them Out
A Simple Way to Reduce Dependency on Plastic Wrap
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Our Earth Day