Imagine a beautiful reef under water. Full of life, animals, and colors. It’s peaceful, quiet, unique – and nowadays, often filled with plastic waste. Animals are trapped in plastic bags, the reefs are damaged and almost grey. These are just two examples of how dangerous plastic is to our nature. It can be said that it is currently the number one enemy. Because it is persistent, just one random plastic wrap thrown into the bush can be dangerous to nature and animals for years. But with a few small steps and actions, you can change a lot. You can prevent plastic waste and save the beauty and health of our world. Here’s how:
1) Take your fabric bag everywhere you go
This may be one of the simplest and most obvious hacks. So many plastic bags land in the bin after a shopping trip. You could prevent that by having your own fabric bag with you. Keep one with you in your purse and take it everywhere you go. And if you were to forget it one day, choose a paper bag at the till instead of a plastic bag.
2) Some things need no second skin
Bananas in plastic bags. Cucumbers with plastic wrap. Peeled oranges in a plastic box. That’s not even necessary! Nature gave fruits and vegetables their own skins. So why do people peel them off and give them an artificial one? It makes no sense! Next time you go grocery shopping, choose vegetables and fruits without plastic packagings.
3) Keep it fresh with wax wrap
Sometimes we only need half an onion. Some other times we can’t finish our plate. Most of us usually wrap these leftovers in plastic film and put it in the fridge. But beware, this is one of the most horrible things to do to nature. There is a nature-friendly alternative: wax wrap. It keeps your food fresh and delicious without harming nature. You can buy wax wrap for example at Buzzcloth and Wax Wrap.
4) Eco-friendly clean
A long shower after the gym or a relaxing bath in winter, doesn’t that sound amazing? But have you noticed that almost every bathroom product comes in plastic packages? From shower gel and bath salts to beauty masks and more. To avoid this, you could use soap bars or solid shower gel pieces. When they’re used up, there is no waste left. Isn’t that a perfect solution?
5) Say no to plastic bottles…
Most of our favorite drinks come in plastic bottles. But there’s always another option. To avoid plastic and still be able to enjoy a cold drink, buy beverages in glass bottles. And if that’s too much trouble for you, then get you a reusable bottle made of steel. You can fill these countless times, they are environmentally friendly, and are lighter than you think! An additional benefit; they keep your beverages cold.
6) … and plastic cups
Who doesn’t like hot coffee or tea in the morning? We definitely do! But the takeaway cups most drinks come in are not really the best. There are other pretty cups that one can reuse many times. Just take them to your favorite coffee shop and ask them to fill it with your drink. This way, you won’t produce unnecessary plastic waste.
7) The small things count
There are obvious things that aren’t eco-friendly, like plastic bags, and then there are not so obvious things. These include microplastics, also called invisible danger, and are tiny pieces of plastic that hide in products. Toothpaste, for instance, uses microplastic to whiten the teeth. Another product is face peel, that uses microplastic to smoothen the skin. The trouble is, right after washing these products down the drain, they find their way into the ocean. So next time you buy a beauty product, look at its ingredients first.
8) Wear the right clothing
Even clothes contain plastic – microplastic to be exact. They are especially found in tights or socks. A variable would be natural fiber clothing. But if you still want to stick to normal clothes, you can use special nets for your washing machine. They collect the tiny plastic pieces and prevent them from getting into the groundwater.
We know that in spite of all these tips, it can sometimes be difficult to avoid plastic. It’s all the more important to dispose of plastic waste properly. Recycle it! If you put your plastic in the residual waste, it will be burned and will produce greenhouse gases. And no one wants that.
10) From old to new
Not everything has to be new and shiny. Sometimes the most beautiful and creative things are a result of waste. The next time you use something that’s wrapped in plastic, think about what you can do with it before you throw it away. Do you need some ideas? For example, a plastic bottle can act as a unique flower pot, and an ice cream container is a perfect substitute for Tupperware.
These are small steps in everyday life but they are so powerful! One less plastic bag can save lives, in the truest sense of the word. Because what looks like an innocent plastic bag to you is a deadly weapon to many marine animals. When will you start your plastic-free life?