You know that plastic, which is made from oil or natural gas, is bad for the environment. But did you know that 11% of household waste is plastic? Americans use 100 billion plastic bags each year — and it takes one plastic bag 1,000 years to degrade! You’re probably already aware that toting your reusable grocery bags when shopping helps reduce plastic waste — especially since on average one family uses 60 plastic bags in just four trips to the grocery store! You’ re likely already in the habit of bringing your own reusable water bottles everywhere you go, too. Keep up the good work, because in 2011 Americans bought 9.1 billion gallons of single use plastic water bottles. But our plastic consumption isn’t limited to grocery bags and water bottles, so this Earth Day, pledge to reduce your plastic footprint as a family. Keep reading to discover nine ways to say goodbye to plastic in your daily life, and to enter to win $100 worth of plastic-saving products from LunchSkins!
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1. Buy in Bulk
If your family eats a lot of nuts and granola you may already be buying those items in bulk; but don’t forget that you can find stores that serve up other items in bulk too, including rice, beans and pasta. Buying in bulk eliminates the use of wasteful, superfluous packaging.
2. Start a Compost Pile
If you don’t have one already, creating a compost pile can help reduce your household waste, and in turn, the number of plastic garbage bags you use. Everything from food waste and pizza boxes to Fido’s hairballs and dryer lint can be composted. Bonus: Now you’ve got great fertilizer for your garden.
3. Pack a Waste Free Lunch
Roughly 20 million sandwich bags are dumped into landfills daily. Do your part to reduce that staggering number by packing waste-free lunches for your kids. Buy a waste-free lunch kit for your kiddo that includes everything they need: a lunch box, water bottle, utensils, sandwich containers, snack containers and so on. Or, if your kid already has a bag or box, you just need to buy the containers to pack up his food. You can find cloth baggies from companies like LunchSkins, stainless steel divided dishes from Innobaby and glass containers from Wean Green for example. There’s no reason to stop at waste-free lunches either. Anytime you would reach for a plastic baggie or Ziploc, there is plastic free solution you could opt for instead — whether it’s a reusable cloth baggie or a small glass container.
4. Ditch Plastic Tupperware
Still using plastic Tupperware to package leftovers? There are plenty of great glass options available. We love Wean Green‘s offerings, sized for everything from snack portions to baby food portions, but there are lots of other brands making glass containers that are great for leftovers too. Beyond saving extras at home, you can use glass or stainless steel containers to bring home take out or pack up restaurant leftovers.