Cut Your Use of Plastic, Plastic, Plastic- page 2 | EcoCenter | Smithsonian

Cut Your Use of Plastic, Plastic, Plastic

Recycling isn't enough

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(Continued from page 1)

7. Take your reusable coffee tumbler with you when get coffee to-go. And skip the lid for your soft drink. Those plastic lids add up!  And now you don’t need a plastic straw.

8. You’ve heard it before but it’s critical: The simple most profound solution to reduce plastic consumption is to bring your own bags when you shop at the grocery store, drugstore or mall.  There are so many great cotton, canvas, even hemp bags available now in endless sizes and styles. Have you seen the ultra-light compact Chicobags? Throw two in your car or purse so you’re never without a reusable bag and you’ll always have one handy!

9. Another major source of plastic bag waste are the pesky flimsy plastic produce bags that accumulate in your closet.  Reusable cotton mesh produce sacks are a simple solution to that problem. Check them out at Ecobags.com. Toss them in your reusable shopping bag and head to the market. Each reusable bag you use has the potential to eliminate thousands of plastic bags over its lifetime.

10. And let’s all remember the problem that is the disposable plastic water bottle.  Many alternatives to plastic water bottles are available. Kleen Kanteen and SIIG water bottles are stainless steel safe alternatives to plastic water bottle and are available in many sizes.

11. For water use in the office…Remember the novel concept of a pitcher or a glass of water? You don’t have to drink from a bottle.

12. There are loads of ways to reduce your consumption of plastic when you store leftovers, pack lunches or food to go. Ditch those plastic baggies or foil for containers that come in endless shapes and sizes and you can use them over and over again! Pack them in your reusable lunch sack too.

13. Become an eco-wise consumer whenever you shop. Choose products that contain less packaging. Check every plastic container before you chuck it– it may be recyclable! Purchase products in larger containers—get a huge jug of laundry detergent rather than three smaller ones.  Choose glass bottles over plastic whenever possible.

Just as recycling has become second nature, these simple ways to reduce our consumption of plastic make a world of difference! And don’t be afraid to speak up about these ideas.  The more that retailers and restaurants hear about alternatives, the better the chance that they’ll make changes in the way they do business. That way we’ll multiply our individual actions.

What ideas do YOU have? We’d love to hear them!

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