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I loved “Tenet” because it helped drive home the need to take environmental concerns seriously.
While I don’t believe that people from the future are really coming after us, we all have a responsibility to ensure we take steps to protect the environment for future generations.
One way we can greatly impact our environment and achieve sustainability is by switching to a plastic-free life, or at least, using less plastic.
Do a mental check: how many plastic bags do you have lying around your house? How many plastic water bottles? If there are too many to count, you’ve discovered the first step to ridding yourself of plastics and living a plastic-free life.
1. Take Baby Steps.
That’s it. Gather all those plastic bottles you’ve been meaning to recycle and take them to the local recycling center. Most recycling centers have some form of reward system, so you might get lucky and earn a few bucks. Even if you don’t, decluttering your apartment will benefit you and set you on your way to living plastic-free.
So, look around you and recycle. Whatever can’t be reused should be recycled. Hygienically, reusing plastic water bottles isn’t the best option.
Many people think it’s more hygienic to use liquid soap, but…
2. Patronize Brands that Use Reusable and Recyclable Packaging.
This approach kills two birds with one stone. You cut down on your use of plastics and are essentially supporting businesses that are pro sustainability. Buy your bread and other pastries from brands that use paper bags. Buy your pads and other sanitary items from brands that use cotton for their products and don’t use plastic at all. Buy your toilet paper from brands that don’t use plastic packaging.
The goal here is to buy from brands that are eco-friendly and can help you sustain your plastic-free efforts. Plastic might be easier for many of these brands, but there are a lot of other alternatives that work too. Let’s give a hand to brands that are trying at least.
3. Visit the Grocery Store with your Backpack or Reusable Bags.
One way to ensure the plastic bags don’t follow you back from the mall is to go with your reusable bags. This is great because you’ll no longer own that giant plastic bag housing other plastic bags that aren’t useful to you. A good alternative is a beeswax wrap bag. It’s reusable and is useful for carrying stuff.
You could also pile the stuff directly into your backpack. Before long, you’ll notice a significant amount of reduction in your use of plastic and eventually might find that you have no plastic bags from the store at all.
4. Make your Own Fruit Juices.
Most of your favorite juice brands are not being completely honest. You’re not drinking freshly squeezed orange juice at all. Your best bet would probably be buying your own oranges and making yours. That way, you’re sure you’re really having orange juice and not something that tastes like orange juice.
Of course, by doing this you’d be able to get rid of your plastic-bottled orange juices. So, you save money, improve your health, and also get to save the world. What a bargain!
5. Bar Soap Over Liquid Soap.
This is one simple, yet effective way you can cut down on your plastic use. Use bar soaps instead of liquid soaps. Many people think it’s more hygienic to use liquid soap but the fact is that the bar soap keeps getting rinsed out while germs can quickly accumulate on plastic bottles. So, use bar soaps instead. If you really love liquid soaps, patronize brands that sell plastic-free ones.
6. Use Reusable Food Utensils at the Office.
Obviously, I’m taking it for granted that you have reusable foodware in your home. But chances are that you might not have them in your office. Having your personal, reusable foodware in the office will prevent you from using all the plastic takeout packs and cutleries.
So, take your stainless steel coffee bottle, non-plastic water bottle, and your spoon, fork, and knife to the office so you can use them whenever you need to have lunch without breaking your no-plastics commitment.