Friday, August 13, 2010

Ways to Reduce Plastic Consumption

Because plastic is 100% non-biodegradable, plastic items that are used every day are finding their way into our water ways. Did you ever hear of the Great Pacific Garbage? It is not a pretty sight. Click here to see a video with photos. (Scroll down to the bottom of the page for U-tube video.)

Below are some tips to REDUCE your plastic consumption.

Bring your own cloth bags when shopping.

Don't buy beverage bottles in plastic - look for ones in glass bottles. If you purchase to-go coffee or hot drinks, bring your own reusable cup. When purchasing milk or orange juice at the grocery store, buy the ones in paper containers.

Pack waste-free lunches with Easy Lunch Boxes. These recyclable lunch box containers and cooler bags can be used for work or school lunches. These were tested by a staff member at the Conservancy and are great to use! Packing lunches are faster, and you just wash them and reuse. They make it simple to organize, and quickly pack healthy lunches without wasting time, money, paper or plastic.

Go to the farmer's market and purchase fresh fruits and veggies that are not packed in plastic.

Put empty cardboard boxes in your car to transport heavy items to and from your car without a bag.

Recycle all of your plastic that is allowed by your municipality. Check out the specialty recycling program with the County of Berks.

Any other green ideas to reduce using plastic?
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  1. Rather than adding to your trash by throwing away plastic packaging, use it to hold your trash. The plastic wrapping around large quantity paper towels and toilet paper can be used as liners for a standard size kitchen trash basket. Ditto for dry cleaning bags--just tie a small knot in the bag to close the hanger opening. Pet food and cat litter bags make great trash bags for heavy or sharp items that would poke through a standard bag.

  2. Let's face it, plastic is everywhere. A majority of the items we purchase usually come in standard "plastic". Recycling is an awesome thing. And if plastic is purchased, it can be recycled in you own home, before being recycled out of your home. Soda/water bottles can be turned in to gardening tools. Such as a digger or plant starter for indoors. Simply cut the bottle in half, and ta-da! My daughter also likes to use them to build mini sandcastles, or play with them in the tub. If you use a sandwich bag for dry items, try to make them last longer by reusing them. That means you will extend the life of your usage, and save some green in your wallet by purchasing less often.

  3. Pam- Anytime you have a choice, purchase an item with less plastic packaging. Look to avoid blister packs and buy items that are loose.

  4. In additon to doing the above suggestions,I wash out the zip lock plasctic baggies I use to store items in the refrigerator and freezer. My son made a stand years ago so I can hang them upside down to drain out the water after rinsing. They can be used over and over again.
    Another way I save is to wash out those plastic gallon milk bottles and then pour my dehumidifier water into them. The water is then used to water my inside and outside plants year round.

  5. Drinking water is a great thrist quencher; however, when it comes in plastic it is costly not only to the pocketbook, but also to the environment. when purchasing a refrigerator, make sure it comes with a water purifier/water/ice dispenser.

    Presto! No more water purchased in plastic bottles.

    For on-the-go activities, buy a metal water container.

  6. No more fake plastic ta-tas. What mother nature makes, the world takes!

  7. Reuse the plastic baggies that bread or newspapers come in for anything from snack bags, xmas ornaments packing material, pet waste disposal, etc. You already bought the plastic, be sure to reuse it!

  8. Great article.Reducing plastic consumption helps a lot on our environment.I personally bring basket when going to market. As much as possible, we avoid using plastics at home.