Plastic is by far the major land pollutant known to man. Its ability to degrade slowly is a blessing as well as a curse. It is a blessing because you can store items in plastic containers and bags for a longer period and a curse. After all, it stays on land for a longer period. An average plastic bag takes 20 years to decompose, a plastic cup may take up to 35 years. Most of the plastic waste is dumped into the ocean where it is hazardous to marine life. The cons of using plastic outweigh the pros.
With scientific discoveries happening every day, new and innovative materials are being produced that can easily alternate plastic and are sustainable for the environment at the same time. Here are simple tips that can help you reduce the use of plastic in your daily life.
1. Reusable Bags
The major use of plastic in our daily life is in the form of plastic bags. Whether you are bringing in groceries, or you have to pack your picnic food in one bag, plastic bags are used. Some women store their seasonal clothes in plastic bags to protect them from dust and humidity. These plastic bags are our go-to choice because we can easily dispose of them and they do not cost much. Well, we can get rid of plastic bags easily, but the Earth can’t.
The best alternative to a plastic bag is a wine bag. These reusable bags come in all shapes and sizes. They are eco-friendly and not too expensive. Grocery stores can get these bags for their stores and get them customized.
2. Metal And Wooden Straws
Plastic straws are by far the most widely used plastic material. Every restaurant, juice shop, cold drink corners use plastic straws. We all are guilty of enjoying a glass of thick yummy milkshake with a straw, even at home. According to scientists, a plastic straw can take up to 200 years to decompose!
Plastic straws can be easily replaced with metal and wooden straws. Metal straws have a longer life and can always be recycled. You can melt the metal and give it another shape, without damaging the land’s environment. These reusable straws can be washed in your dishwasher. Wooden straws, particularly those made from bamboo wood are an environment-friendly alternative to plastic straws.
3. Organic Packaging
The packaging industry makes use of plastic on a very large scale. So much so, even fresh fruits are packaged inside plastic wrappings. Nature has made the peel of fruit for the sole purpose of protecting the inside pulp from dust and contamination. Why does a fruit need to be packed inside a plastic wrapping?
You can easily reduce plastic use by buying fresh fruits and vegetables from farmers’ markets. You can wash the fruits and vegetables with water when home.
4. Organic Cutlery And Crockery
Disposable plastic cups and cutlery are particularly popular when it comes to hosting a party for a large number of people. Little do we understand that our laziness for washing dishes can cause havoc for the planet we live on. The plastic bottles we use for filtered water take 450 years to decompose.
Even if you want to avoid washing a large number of plates and spoons, there are cutlery and crockery options available in the market that are made of organic material. Such as vegetable and fruit peels, banana leaves, etc. Make use of glass bottles if you want to keep your water when outside the house.