We are assaulted with plastic and waste every time we leave the house. From Starbucks cups to plastic bags, it’s difficult to get through a single day being zero waste. This is a serious issue; if we don’t fight our over reliance on one-time-use plastics, by 2050 the plastic in the ocean will outweigh the fish. You can significantly reduce your waste by doing some simple planning. Keep these items in your purse or backpack to avoid one-time-use plastics and reduce your overall waste.
1 . Stainless Steal Straw(s)
Over 500 million straws are used daily in the United States alone. Plastic straws are not recyclable and many of them end up in the ocean. The easiest thing you can do to reduce your contribution to waste is stop using plastic straws. Start carrying a stainless steal straw (or 2) in your purse or bag and never rely on plastic straws again. It’s as simple as that! Check out www.strawlessocean.org and join the #stopsucking movement today.
2 . Small Foldable Reusable Bag
How often do you pick something up on the whim? Having a handy bag that packs away into itself is excellent for avoiding a plastic bag. Unfortunately, plastic bags do not biodegrade. Instead, they break down into tiny plastic particles that leech toxic chemicals and contaminate soil and waterways. Animals accidentally ingest the plastic particles, causing harm to the animals and the humans who consume them. The trick is to get into the habit of consistently keeping replacing this bag into your purse. Once you get in the habit (and forget it a couple time), you’ll be making sure it’s packed every time you leave the house.
3 . Reusable Cutlery
Plastic cutlery is another one-time-use plastic that is easy to eliminate from your life. Keep a small pouch in your bag with a set of wooden or stainless steal cutlery – fork, spoon, knife, chop sticks. You can even keep your stainless steal straws in the same bag. Alternatively – keep a bamboo or stainless steal spork on hand. Again, a little preparation goes a long way!
4. Stainless Steal Travel Mug
Stainless steal travel mugs are great for carrying for daily use. They are lightweight and allow you to keep them on you for any coffee pit stop you might take. Corkcicle makes a 16 oz (grande for all you starbucks lovers) tumbler that is lightweight and the opening in the lid is big enough to fit a stainless steal straw through. Hot or cold drinks, this mug has got you covered. Bonus: most coffee shops offer a discount for bringing your own cup.
5 . Reusable Bulk/ Produce Bags
Shop at bulk food stores to avoid unnecessary plastic packaging and save yourself money while you’re at it. Keep a small set of reusable bulk bags in your purse and make a list of items to commit to purchasing from your local bulk store. Save glass jars and start to build yourself a zero waste pantry! These bags also eliminate the need for plastic produce bags. Stow them in your purse so that you’re never left in a pinch.
By keeping these five critical items in your bag you will cut down on a large portion of needless waste that you might not otherwise notice! A little goes a long way and sharing this information will help spread the message even further.
Last modified: September 13, 2017