Did you know that 90% of all plastic is not recycled? That means there’s an awful lot of unnecessary plastic cluttering up the earth.
It’s so easy to throw a yogurt container or takeout cup in the recycle bin and forget about it, but the reality is that plastic waste doesn’t just magically disappear. Manufacturing new plastic takes lots of resources, and often the contents of our recycle bins end up in landfills despite our best efforts.
A better solution is to avoid single-use plastic in the first place. That might seem impossible, but it’s not. It just takes a little bit of information and planning, and you can do it.
In honor of Earth Day on April 22, here are 5 ways I’m challenging myself to limit plastic usage to reduce my family’s carbon footprint (and paw print).
5 Ways I’m Reducing Plastic Usage for Earth Day
- Plastic sandwich bags: Last time we went to the beach, I found so many of these little bags littering the shore! Sadly, by 2050 the ocean will contain more plastic by weight than fish! Isn’t that horrible to imagine? The good news is reusable storage bags are just as convenient as their single-use counterparts — without the plastic waste. An added benefit: they’re less likely to leak all over your fridge or the inside of lunch boxes!
- Disposable coffee cups: For me, takeout coffee is a special treat — but I feel guilty when I think of the 16 billion disposable coffee cups that get thrown away every year. At first I was nervous about bringing my own cup to the coffee shop, but my barista was great about it and even gave me a 10¢ discount! Sometimes I forget to bring my insulated cup, so I’ll be keeping it in my tote bag from now on so I always have it with me.
- Single-use straws: Americans use 500 million plastic straws EVERY DAY. That’s enough to circle the Earth twice! Straws are such an easy plastic source to eliminate, since they’re usually not necessary in the first place. For drinks like smoothies and milkshakes that call for a straw, why not invest in a reusable bamboo set?
- Plastic bottles of cleaner: Let’s face it, those bulky bottles of window and tile cleaner are not only wasteful, they’re ugly! Glass spray bottles filled with cleaning concentrates reduce your plastic consumption and look beautiful on your countertops, too. As I finish the half-empty bottles under my sink, I’ll swap them out for a reusable glass bottle.
- Product packaging: It might not seem like much, but the plastic wrappers that our products come in can add up to a huge amount of waste. For example, paper towels almost always come wrapped in plastic. One way to avoid this waste is by reaching for microfibers or euro dish cloths instead of single-use paper towels. I purchased a dozen microfibers so I can get through a full week without needing to do laundry.
This blog post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using these links, I may receive a small commission at no additional charge to you. Thank you for supporting my blog and small business!
There’s no doubt we’re facing a plastic crisis, but the good news is that we can all make a difference just by making a few simple swaps. You can find all the products I mentioned above — reusable storage bags, bamboo straws, microfibers, euro dish cloths — at Grove Collaborative.
And here’s the best part: As a new customer, when you use my link you’ll receive your own starter kit with 3 cleaning concentrates + glass spray bottle + cleaning caddy + walnut scrubber sponges with your first purchase of $20 from Grove Collaborative. Existing customers will receive free Grove walnut scrubber sponges!
Here’s how it works:
- Sign up for Grove Collaborative here. You will receive this Earth Day offer for free when you sign up!
- To receive this offer, your order needs to be a minimum of $20. Choose the combination of products and scents you love and receive your first box within a few days.
- You made it! Click Finish & Pay and place your order.
There are so many little things we can do each day to make the world a better place for our families, dogs included, and using Grove Collaborative is a great way to get started!
How can you help reduce plastic usage in your home?
I’d love for you to leave a comment below, or better yet, stop by my private Facebook group for dog moms and join in the conversation there!