If you really sit down and think about how often you use and throw away plastic based products on a day to day basis, the reality can be a bit disturbing. Between plastic straws, bottles, boxes, packaging, and many more household plastic products, the amount of plastic waste that is generated on average, by the United States alone annually, is incredibly detrimental to our surrounding ecosystems and the well-being of our planet.
If you want to be more eco-friendly and environmentally conscious in your day to day, here are 5 eco-friendly things you need to know about if you want to reduce your plastic consumption.
A majority of household items are packaged or made up of some kind of plastic material. When we throw these plastic based products away, they are sent to the landfill where they are burned or put into the ground. Plastic takes hundreds of years to biodegrade naturally, so even when plastic is placed into a landfill, it hasn’t really gone anywhere. Plastic is also notoriously difficult to recycle, therefore only 10% of all plastics that are recycled actually undergo the recycling process.
When plastic waste is haphazardly thrown away, it can end up in a multitude of different places. In a landfill, plastic remains in the earth for centuries until it biodegrades. When plastics are burned in waste processing plants, micro plastics are created that eventually drift back down to earth from the atmosphere and enter the soil and bodies of water. Plastic waste has incredibly adverse effects on the environment and local ecosystems.
Reducing Plastic Usage
By reducing the overall amount of plastics that you consume, you will be doing your part in improving the environment for future generations. Reducing plastics can also eventually save you money if you stick with it. For example, instead of buying a pack of plastic water bottles at the store, you should invest in a reusable water bottle and a tap water filter. That translates to less plastic in the environment and more money in your wallet.
Smaller, everyday plastic products, such as straws, are incredibly wasteful and generate a ton of unnecessary waste. Instead of getting a plastic straw every time you go out to get food, just drink out of the cup or have a plastic straw handy. Important, small efforts like this are how you reduce the amount of plastic waste on Earth.
There are many, solid alternatives to plastic. For instance, bamboo based products such as bamboo lanyards are durable, organic, and biodegradable. You should use products like bamboo that can easily decompose when you dispose of them. Using things like glass containers instead of plastic zip bags is also a good step in the right direction. It’s all about finding healthy alternatives to plastic.
Plastic waste is becoming an increasingly prominent epidemic and the adverse effects that our negligent plastic waste methods have produced are beginning to become clear to us, so you should be doing your part to better the environment.