If the film, The Graduate, were remade today, no doubt the classic line, “Plastics” would be replaced with “Less plastic.”
That’s because even in these more environmentally responsible times, when more and more people are recycling, plastic waste that ends up in landfills is still a major problem. There’s just too much of the stuff to deal with safely.
But according to Treehugger.com, there are ways you can help limit your plastic exposure both at home and at work. Here are several suggestions:
Choose your plastic containers wisely – Avoid the following types of plastic: polyvinyl chloride, which is toxic and is used in plastic wrap, some squeeze bottles, peanut butter jars, and children’s toys; polystyrene, also toxic and used in Styrofoam, disposable dishes, take-out containers, and plastic cutlery; and polycarbonate, which contains bisphenol A and is found in most metal food can liners, clear plastic sippy cups, sport drink bottles, juice and ketchup containers.
Rely on non-plastic containers – You can carry a reusable water bottle or travel mug with you. Also, you can pack your lunch in glass, stainless steel, cloth sandwich bags, or a wooden Bento box.
Refrain from drinking bottled water – Bottled water is just filtered tap water, yet expensive and a waste of resources to collect, bottle and ship. It also results in unnecessary plastic waste that is rarely recycled.
Skip frozen convenience food – These are some of the worst examples of excessive packaging waste because they come wrapped in plastic, packaged in cardboard, which is often lined with plastic.
Avoid non-stick cookware – These expose you to toxic perfluorochemicals released when non-stick surfaces such as Teflon are heated. You can replace these with cast iron, stainless steel, or copper cookware.
Use natural cloths, not plastic scrubbers – Use a cotton dishcloth or coconut coir brush for dishes, instead of a plastic scrub brush, and cotton face clothes instead of disposable wipes. If you need more scrubbing power, choose copper over plastic.
Opt for plastic-free laundry options – Choose soap flakes, soap strips, or soap nuts instead of conventional laundry detergents that come in plastic scoops or thick plastic jugs. Also, use bar soap instead of liquid hand soap that comes in plastic.
For more tips on striving for a plastic-free life, click here.