Plastic pollution is nothing new. It’s been taking place for over decades and we have almost done nothing to prevent it. While it may be too late now, since all our oceans and lands are basically plastic landfills, it is indeed better late than never.
There are two things which need to be done,
- Prevent further accumulation of plastics and polythene
- Waste management
Let’s keep the ‘waste management’ part for the government officials and plastic recycling factories to handle for now. It’s always best to do what you can do about a particular problem, than worry about how little you are doing and thinking about what more you can do rather than just doing what you can.
So what can we do? Oh my! If only you knew all the things we could be doing. You probably do know all the things we could be doing, but in case you don’t now you have no excuse.
- Say NO to Plastics –
This includes any type of plastic, varying all the way from plastic bags to plastic play sets. This is the first and foremost step we must take to prevent more and more plastics being added to the environment.
Ways to say NO to plastics –
- Give up gum.
- Buy boxes, not bottles.
- Reuse glass containers.
- Take your own container.
- Use matches, instead of lighters.
- Skip the frozen food section.
- Use cloth diapers.
- Don’t buy juice, make your own.
- Buy soap instead of shower gel.
- Avoid synthetic clothing.
- Don’t use plastic-ware.
Remember – Straws are also plastic. Do you really need to sip your drink through a plastic straw?
2. Reuse, Reuse and Reuse –
This could possibly not be emphasized enough. REUSE THEM! Reuse all of them if you can. The more the better. Be creative. Creativity never goes out of style. N.E.V.E.R.!!
I challenge you, take out the used plastics in your house, be creative with it, do something not included in the pictures below, snap a picture of it, and upload it in the comment section. I’ll make sure to include them in a new blog called “Reuse, reuse and reuse – Creative ideas by anti-plastic advocates”. Challenge accepted?
3. Use Reusable or Recyclable Plastics –
Sometimes due to affordability issues, and since plastic is very cheap, people may find it difficult to use substitutes to plastic. In that case, make sure you get reusable or recyclable plastic products and make sure to collect and give them to recycling industries once you are done with it. Here’s a chart to help you with what’s recyclable and what’s not.
4. Substitute plastics with less (or no) environmental hazards –
This needs no explanation. Try to substitute as much plastic as possible with non plastic products. Here’s a chart to help you get started. If you have more ideas on how to substitute plastics, please comment below.
|Common Plastics Used:||Alternatives to Plastic:|
|Art supplies||Consider homemade play dough, paint, etc (to store in glass or metal); choose items such as colored pencils and charcoal or pastels that come in cardboard boxes instead of plastic containers|
|Baby bottle||Glass or stainless steel, and silicone nipples|
|Bags, food storage (i.e. Ziplock)||Glass or stainless steel containers|
|Bags, shopping||Canvas or reusable shopping bags (homemade or bought)|
|Beverage container, store-bought||Drink water instead; Homemade beverages stored in glass carafes; buy milk in glass containers or from a local farm|
|Brush, scrub or bottle||Tampico fiber or Horsehair brushes|
|Brush, toilet||Pig-hair wooden toilet brush|
|Carpet (much of it is plastic-based)||Natural wool carpet, real wood floors, sealed concrete|
|Computer keyboard||Bamboo keyboard|
|Cooking utensils (spatulas, spoons, etc)||Invest in wood (naturally antibacterial!), stainless steel or silicone when necessary|
|Cups, drinking||Glass or stainless steel for toddlers|
|Dishwashing soap||Skip the store-bought and make your own homemade dishwashing detergent to store in a glass jar or stainless steel container.|
|Dustpan||Sweep out the door or use a stainless steel dustpan|
|Food storage||Glass and/or stainless steel containers|
|Hard hat||V-Gard GREEN Helmet (non-petroleum “plastic”, made from sugarcane)|
|Ice cube tray||Stainless steel is best; also silicone, or natural rubber (if you’re using an automatic ice cube maker, you’re out of luck)|
|Lighters||Look for a metal lighter, such as a Zippo|
|Lint roller||Wooden and natural rubber lint brush|
|Lunchbox||Fabric lunch bags or stainless steel|
|Media cases (CDs, DVDs, etc)||Purchase digital through iTunes or Amazon, or watch online through Amazon Instant Video or Netflix|
|Microwave cover||Ditch the microwave, or just clean up the few splatters to save yourself from the plastic off-gassing|
|Office supplies||Check out paper tape (skip the dispenser); Many pens come with metal shells; you can often find all-metal scissors at craft stores (check the sewing department); choose moldable or square erasers (as well as single pens) from bins instead of in plastic packaging; look for metal thumb tacks, etc.|
|Popsicle mold||Stainless steel and silicone molds|
|Razors, disposable||All-metal razors and blades (non-disposable)|
|Rugs (much is synthetic polyester or recycled plastic)||Natural wool, help, jute, or cotton; choose a silicone non-slip pad underneath|
|Seasoning containers||Choose seasonings that come in glass with a metal lid, recycle the plastic topper inside, and consider growing and drying your own in the future|
|Shower curtain||Choose cloth, bamboo, or hemp instead|
|Skin care containers||Use coconut oil, essential oils, homemade sunscreen, and other homemade skin care options.|
|Straws||Glass or stainless steel; be sure your order includes a free straw brush for easy cleaning|
|Toothbrush||Plastic-free wooden toothbrushes|
|Toothpaste||Make your own homemade toothpaste and store in a glass or stainless steel jar.|
|Toys, misc||Replace with wooden, cotton, hemp, porcelain, metal, and other natural materials (tip: search “Waldorf” or “natural toy ______” to find specific alternatives|
|Trash bags||First be sure to precycle, compost, and recycle. With the small amount left, try going without a bag, using paper bags, or compostable bags (such as BioBags).|
|Utensils (especially when eating out)||Choose bamboo carry-out utensils and keep them in your vehicle|
|Water bottle, drinking size||Stainless steel, or glass with silicone or padded case to prevent breaking (these usually only come with plastic lids; if you find a quality bottle without any plastic at all please let us know!)|
|Water bottle, 5 gallon||5 gallon glass carboy|
|Water filter, refrigerator||Instead of the fridge filter, use a stainless and charcoal filter, such as Berkey filters|
|Yoga mat||Bamboo, hemp, jute, or natural rubber mat|
5. Share the message as much as you can –
Re-blog. Re-blog. Re-blog. Or write your own blog. Share this with your friends and family. Start small, spread the word. Make slogans or use the slogans below, print them out and hang them around your house, school and workplace. Remind yourself and remind everyone around you what they should be doing to save the world.
Want another challenge? Come up with some new slogans and share them in the comment section below. Want to take it a step further? Print them, snap a picture and share it below. Want it to take it an extra step further? Follow the slogans and fit them into your lifestyle. Good luck!
Want that extra push to get you started? Go sign a petition.
Watch these videos and get inspired to start saving the world from plastics.
So get up and get to work. Let’s save the world. Just a message from a concerned person. Go Green – Plastic Is Obscene.
Disclaimer – The pictures and videos used in this post weren’t created by me. I just did the job of putting them all together.
Topic Credits – My best friend. She inspired me to write this. 🙂