According to City to Sea, 12 million tons of plastic are entering our oceans every year. That equates to an entire trash truck full every minute. So how do we stop the flow?
It’s up to every one of us to do our part. Are you ready to start cutting back on the amount of single-use plastic in your life? Here are some easy tips to get you started:
- Do a plastic audit. When it comes to cutting back on the amount of plastic you use, a great place to start is doing a plastic audit and collecting your waste for a week. This exercise helps you really get a feel for what you’re using, and then you can start to cut out the easy-to-replace items.
- Choose to reuse. It’s time to say goodbye to our disposable, single-use culture and choose to reuse. Thankfully, there are plenty of reusable options out there, and it’s easy to reduce your plastic footprint without breaking the bank.
- Join the refill revolution. It’s easy to reuse and refill your water bottle or coffee cup on the go, rather than buying a single-use plastic bottle or cup. Many popular retailers offer beverage subscriptions and refill services—you just bring the cup or bottle.
- Look for and support sustainable grocers. Zero-waste and refill shops are popping up everywhere across the country. Grocers like Mason & Greens in Old Town Alexandria offer an easy way to make a simple change in your lifestyle—think refilling your beer growler, but with laundry detergent, dried goods, dish soap, etc.
- Don’t believe the wipe. Despite what the package says, do not flush wipes down the toilet as they contain plastic and can block our sewers.
- Avoid the inconvenience of convenience. Convenience foods tend to have the most plastic packaging. Swap your packaged snacks for homemade versions.
- Inspire change. There are plenty of ways to inspire change in your workplace. Have a look around and see which single-use plastics could be removed, reduced, or replaced.
- Remove plastic cups from the water fountain and coffee machine, and ask management to provide reusable bottles, glasses, and cups for staff, visitors, and customers instead.
- Share what you’re doing on social media to inspire others. It’s excellent for your company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) and encourages others to take action.
- Participate in local clean-up events with your family, friends, and coworkers.
Small steps can add up to a huge difference, but first, we have to START. What’s your first step?
Author: Shari Fox is Director of Business Development at More Vang / Ecoprint.