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Ways to Reduce Your “Single Use Plastic”

The U.S. generates more than 30 million tons of plastic waste each year and it’s not even the top producer. Those levels continue to escalate and only seven percent is recycled. It breaks into trillions of little pieces that pollute the ground, water, and kills wildlife. Plastic waste is a severe environmental hazard around the globe.

You don’t have to alter your lifestyle to be environmentally responsible. Just a few small changes can make an enormous difference. The following are some of the easiest ways to make a difference and reduce single-use plastic.

  1. Don’t use plastic straws, even at eateries. Buy a reusable glass or stainless steel straw that you can take with you anywhere you go.
  2. Buy a plastic or insulated steel water bottle instead of purchasing bottled water. It can be refilled almost anywhere and you’ll be saving money.
  3. Instead of disposable razors, invest in one that uses replaceable blades.
  4. Bring a reusable, cloth shopping bag to take home purchases at stores or farmer’s markets and remember to wash them often. Plastic grocery bags take 1,000 years to degrade. Say no to plastic produce bags and containers.
  5. Choose matches over disposable lighters or use a metal lighter that can be refilled.
  6. Forgo plastic silverware at home. You can also request that restaurants not include plastic utensils in take-out orders.
  7. Consider keeping a set of bamboo eating utensils for dining at informal eateries and on the go.
  8. Take lunches and snacks to work, school or outings in reusable plastic containers and bags.
  9. Not all plastic jugs can be recycled. Purchase products such as juice and laundry soap in recyclable packaging whenever possible.
  10. Buy fruits, veggies, pasta and cereal in bulk and repackage at home in reusable containers. It also saves money.
  11. Don’t buy fruits and veggies in individually packaged cups. Buy a large can and preserve leftovers in reusable containers.
  12. Rethink frozen meals and convenience foods.
  13. Learn what’s recyclable and what isn’t. Most cities offer curbside recycling programs.

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