Top Five Ways to Avoid Plastic

by Tess Donelon

It goes without saying, but the need for reducing our plastic footprint is imperative. Excessive use of plastics--and disregard for proper recycling--has been a major catalyst in the detriment of our natural environment. But nowadays, avoiding plastic is so much easier than you might think.

You don’t have to pick up stray trash or monitor the grocery store checkout line to make a difference. In honor of Plastic-Free July, we have compiled a list of products that can help you reduce your plastic in small but important ways. 


Reusable Bags

From a quick trip to the grocery store to a shopping extravaganza, single-use plastic bags are part of the journey, but they’re quickly tossed after your day is done. Take a huge leap in the right direction by utilizing reusable bags.

Stronger than the average plastic bag and easy to carry on the go, reusable bags will not only eliminate a lot of plastic in your personal life, but can also push companies to change their views on plastic as well. Places like Boston, New York and California have already taken the initiative by banning plastic bags completely, making reusable bags a must-have shopping accessory.

Try: Eco Bags

 

Skip Plastic Straws

Reusable, stainless steel straws are this season’s hottest alternative to plastic straws, billions of which end up in our oceans each year. If you’re a skeptic, don’t worry: they’re sold with mini-brushes so users can properly clean them between uses!

As more consumers are investing in reusable straws, many restaurants have chosen to offer biodegradable straws--made from sustainable materials like bamboo–or stopped offering plastic straws altogether.

 

Water Bottles

Drinking water out of plastic bottles is a major faux paus nowadays – but that doesn’t mean you should limit your water intake. Instead, find the perfect water bottle to fit into your hydration routine. Reusable water bottles come in thousands of different colors, shapes, and styles to fit every eco-friendly fashionista out there.

Try: BKR, S’well, Hydroflask

 

Clothing

What if you could combine your need for sustainable style with a need to recycle the 6.9 billion tons of plastic waste on our planet? The future of fashion is in clothes made from recycled materials, including plastic. Everlane has started an entirely new brand initiative focused on turning trash into something fabulous. Their newest collection. ReNew, has rescued almost three million plastic water bottles from landfills and beaches thus far, and has repurposed them all into synthetic fabrics that are good for the Earth - and your conscience.

 

Alternative Cleansers

Many cleansers contain microbeads in their formulas: tiny plastic spheres that seek to exfoliate and clean your face. Although that may sound harmless, more than eight trillion plastic microbeads pollute U.S. waterways daily. Thankfully, there are many other facial cleansers that exfoliate without microplastics. Be on the lookout for gentle exfoliators if you need a nice facial refresher – and check out this article for recommendations on how to reduce microplastics in your life.

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