We all know by know how much polluted the earth is, and how plastic, the ones we use on a daily basis, is choking up the environment. Aside from the huge corporations, we, the individual consumers, are to blame for this very big problem that we are facing today. We have seen plenty of our underwater friends being thrown out by the waves of the ocean for us to see what’s inside their bellies; hundreds of plastic bags that we use every day. These plastics come in so many shapes, sizes and colors and because they are floating like food to them, these animals eat them and eventually, they die.
Many of these animals have also literally choked on these trash as they do not know how to take coiled plastics off of their necks. The earth is in a semi-helpless state right now, but are we just going to watch and pretend that nothing wrong is happening to the environment? If you think that there is nothing to be done on our end, think again!
Below are ten ways ,we, as individual consumers, can take care of our planet by reducing plastic pollution.
Reuse plastic bottles
Instead of throwing away your used plastic bottle after one use, set it aside for reuse. Plastic is non-biodegradable. This means that it would take years– we are not just talking about 1-2 years here– we are talking about 40-1,000 years of plastic pollution before a single plastic bottle decomposes. That is more or less 1,000 lifetimes! How can we possible make use of a non-biodegradable item that sure would be very useful? Build a house or a small boat. A plastic house can be very useful to the homeless and a small boat, to the victims of massive floods.
Say NO to straws
Straws may seem to be a very tiny piece of plastic but it brings big problems to our environment. These small pieces of straws can easily be swallowed by sharks and other bigger sea creatures, making it harder for them to avoid plastic. This also goes to small candy wrappers, plastic cutlery, etc. Imagine billions of small plastics ending up in the ocean each day?
Avoid products with microbeads
Microbeads help with exfoliating our skin, which sounds great, right? While marketing makes it look good, the environment says it all. Microbeads are made of small plastic ingredients that can be easily washed down to the oceans though our pipes– directly from where we wash our face. They can be mostly found in face scrubs, toothpastes, and many more. These microbeads then go the the oceans where fishes mistaken them as food. In other words, if we don’t stop using products with plastic, our bellies will be full of them, too!
Bring reusable cloth bags always
It is inevitable to find yourself in the middle of the grocery store without plans of being there at all. The best thing you can contribute to the environment while at the supermarket is by using your own cloth bags to hold your purchases. This way, corporations need not to reproduce more plastic and paper bags for every single use. Others even transfer their purchased items from the cart directly to the trunk!
Bring metal cutlery
Instead of using plastic spoon and forks during parties or simple take outs, get yourself your own cutlery which you can take with you anywhere you go. This helps lessen our plastic problem. You can also get metal chopsticks, tumbler and food containers.
Help in organizing street/ocean cleaning, reuse, reduce and recycle trash and avoid plastic use as much as possible. There are so many things that you can do to contribute to this growing problem. You can even invent a machine to help cleanup the earth or maybe discover a plastic alternative. The possibilities are endless. You just have to get involved.
Support companies that exert effort in reducing plastic waste
More and more companies are trying their best to make things right again by giving us healthier and better options for the environment. This can be in a form of shampoo bars that can be used up for months– without needing a shampoo bottle.
Shop in bulk
Instead of buying stuff in tingi-tingi (smaller packs in individual packages) such as sachets, oil, sugar, and many other household necessities, buy in large quantities. By doing so, less smaller plastics are being produced. You can even go to stores that allow you to bring your own containers so they won’t have to provide you with plastic bags.
Use lampins instead of diapers
Just like the old times, lampins, or that white cloth diaper we used to wear as kids are coming back in style. You can’t imagine how much diapers we throw away mindlessly every single day! Instead of supporting the production of more diapers, switch to the basics! It will save you a lot of money and also, it will help your baby’s skin breathe!
Those videos on Facebook can go a long way! Help spread awareness so people can be informed about the growing problem so they can be part of the solution as well.
While plastic use is so convenient, we can’t deny the fact that they are such pain to the only planet we live in. Instead of settling for what’s temporarily convenient, let’s all change the system one step at a time.