The following is a guest post by Ling Cai, a New York-based wellness enthusiast & blogger. You can find Ling’s blog here.
Did you know that half of all of today’s plastic waste is from 13 years ago? After coming across that mind-blowing fact on The Atlantic, I was determined to do my best to reduce single-use plastic!
Here are 5 simple practices that have helped me be more environmentally-conscious.
#1: Bring your own water bottle
Bringing your own water bottle to school, work, the gym or when you’re traveling is an easy way to significantly reduce the use of single-use plastic. Today, there are so many stylish options on the market, such as @somamater’s sleek glass bottles, @swellbottle’s colorful stainless steel bottles and @kleankanteen’s sustainably harvested bamboo. Alternatively, you could reuse Health Ade bottles!
Try infusing your water with cucumber and mint or strawberry and basil for a refreshing, healthy taste.
#2: Pack your own grocery bags
Bringing your own bags when grocery shopping or heading to the farmer’s market is another wonderful way to use less plastic bags. They’re lightweight, roomy and don’t take up much space in your handbag or backpack. I also find it easier to carry my groceries home because I can sling my canvas bags over my shoulders. Some grocery stores, such as Whole Foods, even give 10 cents off your bill for every bag you bring.
#3: Switch to glass tupperware
Although it makes my lunch bag heavier, I love using Pyrex glass to bring my lunch and snacks to grad school and work. The glass is nonporous meaning it won’t stain or absorb any of your food odors. You can also safely microwave your meals without worrying about harmful chemicals being released into your food.
#4: Use stasher bags instead of ziplock bags
Ziplock bags were a staple in our household for far longer than I’d like to admit! Thankfully, I discovered Stasher Bags which have been a lifesaver. There are no harmful byproducts or chemicals and can be used safely with a sous vide, over heat on your stovetop, microwaved or stashed away in your freezer. Stasher Bags comes in different colors, patterns and sizes so you can find one to suit your needs.
#5: Use Etee instead of cling wrap
Etee’s reusable wraps are a wonderful alternative to Cling Wrap. These non-toxic, biodegradable wraps are organic cotton cloths infused with beeswax, coniferous tree resins and essential oils. Etee wraps naturally preserve food so you don’t have to worry about toxic chemicals getting released into your food. They’re also great for bringing trail mix or baby carrots with you on the go (no spills!). They come in three sizes and depending on how often you use them, can last up to a year! We’d love to hear from you guys. Do you practice any fun, creative ways to reduce the use of plastic? Let us know in the comments below so we can all #breakfreefromplastic together!