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How To Adopt A Plastic-Free Lifestyle

Apr 22, 2016 03:58 AM EDT
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Managing an earth-friendly lifestyle takes a lifetime commitment, yet once you learn how to embrace a "waste-free life," it becomes one of the greatest accomplishments you can ever achieve.

We live in such a globally competitive, profit-prioritizing world that we often forget to take into consideration the thing that matters the most: making our home, the earth, a liveable place for us and for the next generations to come.

In 2013, the World Bank reported that organic trash makes up about half of global solid waste, and paper and plastic make up the other half. Early this year, an international study revealed that humans have made enough plastic since the Second World War to coat the Earth entirely in cling film.

"The research, published in the journal Anthropocene, shows that no part of the planet is free of the scourge of plastic waste. Everywhere is polluted with the remains of water containers, supermarket bags, polystyrene lumps, compact discs, cigarette filter tips, nylons and other plastics," The Guardian reports.

Considered detrimental to the environment, plastic is harmful to vulnerable wildlife, expensive to eliminate, consumes finite natural resources and takes years to decompose. Yet Ecowatch notes that annually, approximately 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide and more than one million bags are used every minute.

As we celebrate Earth Day on April 22, let us all welcome the idea that we can all survive without waste, starting with plastic which is highly damaging to the environment.

On Earth Day, challenge ideas and motivate people to do big things to save the earth.

To kickstart your plastic-free life, Earth advocate Beth Terry, author of "My Plastic Free Life," and founder of Fake Plastic Fish offers some of the simplest ways on how you can live plastic-free.

  1. Carry reusable shopping bags.
  2. Give up bottled water.
  3. Shop your local farmer's market.
  4. Buy from bulk bins as often as possible.
  5. Cut out sodas, juices, and all other plastic-bottled beverages.
  6. Buy fresh bread that comes in either paper bags or no bags.
  7. Return containers for berries, cherry tomatoes, etc. to the farmer's market to be reused.
  8. Bring your own container for meat and prepared foods
  9. Choose milk in returnable glass bottles.
  10. Buy large wheels of unwrapped cheese.
  11. Let go of frozen convenience foods.
  12. Give up chewing gum.
  13. Carry your own containers for take out food and leftovers.
  14. Carry a stainless steel travel mug or water bottle at all times for coffee and other drinks while out in the world.
  15. Choose reusable cloth sandwich/snack bags.
  16. Avoid non-stick cookware.
  17. Compost food waste.
  18. Clean with vinegar and water.
  19. Baking soda is a fantastic scouring powder.
  20. Use powdered dishwasher detergent in a cardboard box.
  21. Hand wash dishes without plastic.
  22. Use natural cleaning cloths and scrubbers instead of plastic scrubbers and synthetic sponges:
  23. Use natural rubber gloves.
  24. Use bar soap instead of liquid hand soap.
  25. Give up shampoo in plastic bottles.
  26. Try hair salves and pomades in metal tins or glass jars.
  27. Use baking powder as deodorant.
  28. Choose lotions and lip balms in plastic-free containers.
  29. Switch from a plastic razor to a second hand safety razor.
  30. Use handkerchiefs instead of paper tissue.
  31. Look for secondhand electronics, games, and toys first.
  32. Choose refurbished equipment from a certified e-steward.
  33. Choose healthier electronics.

For more useful tips, visit her blog here.

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