Hello sustainable souls!
We have all been hearing about saving the planet for a while now, but why is it only now that eco-friendly lifestyles are becoming well known and practiced? Did you know that just about half of all plastic manufactured has been made since the year 2000? Why are some countries and cities more active in promoting zero to minimal waste lifestyles and others, like America, are not? For example, shoppers in the US of A use at least one plastic bag every day, that’s ~ 365 a year. In Denmark, shoppers use four plastic bags per year. Crazy right? So how can we make a difference? Here are 5 easy ways to reduce your waste.
Plastic straws have been in the news lately. Maybe you have seen the horrific video of the sea turtle with a plastic straw lodged in its nose. Maybe you have seen the pictures of the countless amount of straws that surface on shores. This is an easy switch that will stop the growing number of straws in the oceans. Let’s not add to the 8 million tons of plastic that winds up in oceans every year! Yes, you read that correctly, 8 Million Tons. Invest in bamboo, metal, and glass straws. My tip is to buy a pack and divide them up. Put them in your school/work bag, in your purse, and in your car. When ordering, go ahead and decline the straw in advance. Whip out your straw. This is also a great way to silently encourage others to realize what they could be doing different. It makes others aware that they are using plastic and there is an alternative.
Here are some of my top picks:
Another a great way to cut back on your plastic consumption is plastic utensils! Sometimes we don’t even think about utensils, but 80-90% of debris that ends up in the ocean is plastic. Purchase a set of bamboo utensils! Not only is it great for on the go, but also it’s just convenient to have your own fork, knife, spoon, and chopsticks! Keep your germs to yourself! Or not, sharing is caring right? I keep my set in my backpack. You could even buy two sets, keep one in your bag and one in the car.
- Reusable k-cups.
With the rise of Keurigs and single brew coffee systems, the materials used to make those disposable cups are less than eco-friendly, to say the least. K-cups are coffee grounds with enough for one cup of coffee lined by a plastic container with a foil top. For every pound of coffee, 50 k-cups go to landfills. Right now k-cups are not recyclable. But no need to donate your machine yet. There are reusable K-cups that give you the convenience of the machine, all you need is ground coffee. Madi has made the switch and says she doesn’t know why she didn’t sooner!
Reusable shopping bags.
According to research, roughly 500 billion to a trillion plastic bags are consumed every year and wind up in landfills, on the streets, caught in trees, and liter our oceans. You can be apart of the change and push for reducing the need for these bags and hopefully the eventual ban of these killers by using reusable shopping bags. These totes are advertised everywhere- even in grocery stores such as Harris teeter, Trader Joe’s, Publix, Fresh Market, Whole Foods.. you get the point. Spend the extra $1-5 to have these bags on hand and do your part. There are only benefits to these bags. They are so much easier to transport. You don’t have to worry about the bag breaking. Like the other switches above, this is also a form of silent activism. By whipping out your bags, other people in the line can see the alternative and may make them question why they don’t have them!
BYOM: Bring Your Own Mug.
Bring your own mug or cup! This simple change can help reduce plastic or paper cups that will inevitably wind up in our landfills. (noticing a trend here?) Not only are you showing off your cute mug/cup/tumbler, but also at certain coffee houses- like StarBucks- you can get a discount! Keep a cup in your car for drive thrus and let them know when your ordering that you have your own cup. Simple and easy! Don’t forget your reusable straws to go with your drinks!
These are just five easy ways to reduce your waste. I highly recommend looking into moving towards a minimal waste lifestyle! I challenge YOU to use as little waste as possible for a week! Put all your trash in a mason jar. Not only will this help you see how much trash you are using, but also how much trash the world is going through. We cannot wait to see you challenge yourself and others! Tag us in posts on Instagram!
Morasha and the Gilded Twenties team
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