Top 10 Tips for Using Less Plastic

January 18, 2017 at 7:09 pm

Single-use, disposable plastic is one of the biggest environmental problems we face today. Here are 10 easy ways to make a big difference:


Every bit of plastic ever created still exists. It’s toxic, never goes away, and is piling up in our landfills and oceans.  So the less we can use, the better.

Here are 10 easy ways to make a big difference:

1. Cloth Grocery Bags or Baskets

Plastic bags are typically used no more than an hour or two and then sit in landfills for hundreds of years. They are the epitome of consumerism and wastefulness, along with plastic water bottles.


2. Metal Water Bottles

It takes 450 years for a plastic water bottle to breakdown into microscopic pieces. It will never fully biodegrade. They can’t actually be recycled, only down-cycled.  They are easily replaced:


3. Metal Lunch boxes

In stead of packing your kid’s lunch (or yours) with a bunch of plastic baggies, get one of these metal boxes with compartments:

4. Skip Plastic Produce Bags

There’s no need for the plastic produce bags. Just put your produce all together in a big basket or bag. Or if you’re really neurotic, you can buy these:

5. Just Say No to Plastic Cutlery and Straws

Disposable cutlery and straws are among the worst plastic pollution culprits. Like plastic bags and bottles, they’re used just once, for a few  minutes, and then thrown away.

Keep metal or wooden utensils set in your purse or travel pack.

6. Carry Your Own Cup

Americans throw away 25 billion styrofoam coffee cups each year. Even the paper cups are lined with plastic. A growing number of eco-friendly coffee shops now offering discounts for bringing your own cup.

7. Dine In When You Go Out

Do we have to eat everything on the go? If we go out to eat, can’t we just sit down and enjoy it? If not, try finding a restaurant that will let you bring your own reusable to-go container.

8. Glassware for Leftovers

Replace Ziplock bags and plastic Gladware with glassware or mason jars for storing leftover food at home.

9. Cloth or Paper Diapers

Most diapers are made with plastic and are loading up landfills by the ton. Here are a couple of alternatives:

10. Buy Your Shampoo and Soap in Bars

Shampoo bars are healthier for your hair and the planet. And there’s really no reason to buy liquid soap.

RELATED: Time for a Global Ban on Disposable Plastic?