Plastic is ubiquitous. It’s in everything from water bottles to blow-up mattresses to toothbrushes, and tragically much of it ends up floating in the garbage gyres in the world’s oceans. Plastic is made from polluting petroleum, a nonrenewable resource, and the toxins from it can leach out and take residence in you, sometimes with severe health consequences. It doesn’t have to be this way.
• Bottled Water- Drinking out of a BPA-free glass or stainless steel water bottle not only tastes better, but saves you from contributing to the mounting plastic in our oceans.
• Takeout- Just say “no” to plastic leftover containers and keep a stock of reusable stainless steel or glass containers on hand for “doggie bags.”
• Groceries- Shop at a co-op or bulk food store, buy fresh from farmers’ markets, and bring your own reusable containers and bags. Even so-called BPA-free cans and paper milk cartons may contain petroleum-based plastic linings.
• Health and Beauty Products- Many beauty supplies are made in small individual plastic packaging. Opt for DIY or sustainably packaged bulk products.
• Virgin Plastic Toys- Don’t buy them. Whether it is a child’s fire engine or a gaming consul, consider that plastics sent to landfill may never degrade.
• Cleaning- Trade your synthetic sponges and virgin-tree paper towels for cloths made of compostable cotton and natural cellulose. Turn those old T-shirts into cleaning rags.
• DIY- The next time you’re thinking about buying a plastic bottle of any kind think about whether it’s cheaper, better for the environment, and more fun for you to make it yourself in a reusable container.