5 was to reduce the plastic in your kitchen. These are things you can do today that will have a real environmental and economic impact to you.
One huge reason I’m becoming an advocate for cutting back plastic is realizing just how much water plastic consumes. Take this NPR article for example:
The results, released this month, show that for North American companies, it takes 1.39 liters to make one liter of water.
That’s less than the global averages of a liter of soda, which requires 2.02 liters of water. A liter of beer, meanwhile, needs 4 liters of water, wine demands 4.74 liters.NPR. ORG
Here is what you can do:
- Reusable straws. I personally love silicon straws. They are soft, large (perfect for smoothies), and easy to clean. Some prefer metal straws which are beautiful, but they hurt my teeth. Sensitive teeth have me reliant on straws, but I can be better with silicone straws!
- Reusable K cup. K-cups create so much waste. However, to some -especially sleep deprived parents- the convenience of the brewing beast tops all. You’ll have more control over your coffee flavors, help reduce waste, and the coffee grounds you have left you can use for your garden.
- Soap dispenser refills. Keep your dispenser full, and cut back on buying new soap bottles. I use my original soap bottle rinsed out between refills. I usually buy the Softsoap Aloe formula. At Target, you can get 50 OZ for $3.99, which breaks down to $0.07 cents per ounce. Compare this to your standard bottle (7 oz, @$0.99) at $0.13 cents per ounce. A 50 ounce bottle will last my family of 3 for almost a year. Not only do I save on plastic, I cut back on trips to the store!
- Reusable, mesh produce bags. Ok, imagine you’re at a grocery store, and you are buying bananas, onions, and garlic. Each gets its own plastic baggie. When you get home, that bag goes in the trash, or you leave your produce in it and they go bad. This is wasteful to the environment and your wallet (if you are throwing away food that goes bad). Switch it up. Get these mesh bags. They list the tare on the tag, so you can always account for that weight at checkout. They allow your produce to breath with helps some items stay good. This pack has so many that I keep some in my car in case I forget them on a grocery run. You get 9 bags for $18, just under $2 each.
- The ol’ reliable reusable water bottle. Don’t pay for drinking water. I got my set of Contigo bottles on clearance at Target. I prefer them because they have a straw which helps protect my sensitive teeth from cold drinks. If you reduce drinking your calories (soda, and alcohol), that will already save your waist and the planet.
Comment below, and share what steps you’ve taken to reduce plastic. Did anything surprise you?