7 Easy Ways to Reduce Your Plastic Use (and Why You Should)
The ocean is Earth’s life support. We rely on our oceans for 97% of our planet’s water, and to regulate our climate and absorb CO2.
Plastic pollution is a widespread problem that’s threatening the health of our ocean and marine life. Today, there are 5.25 trillion micro and macro pieces of plastic in our oceans — and about 8 million pieces are added each day. More than 100,000 marine animals die from this pollution every year.
The actions we take over the next 10 years will determine the health of our oceans for the next 10,000.
There’s no time like the New Year to make a change in your daily habits that can have a lasting impact on the health of the planet. We’ve put together 7 easy ways you can reduce your daily plastic usage in 2022.
By making these small changes today, you can make a huge impact tomorrow!
1. Use Plastic-Free Storage
Packing lunch, saving leftovers — you likely use plastic bags and storage containers nearly every day. Switch things up by using glass or stainless steel containers instead. These can be used to store your grains, nuts, flour, and other foods.
Instead of tossing out that plastic Tupperware, make sure you recycle it properly to avoid adding more waste to landfills. You can check where you can go or how you can recycle them properly.
2. Avoid Plastic Utensils
Single-use plastics like straws, plates, and cutlery may be convenient, but they seriously harm the planet. When ordering take-out, one thing you can do is request that they not be added.
You can also bring your own tableware for leftovers when you go out. Restaurants are becoming familiar with customers bringing in their own reusable straws, water bottles, and cutlery. Doing so can make a big difference in cutting down on Styrofoam or plastic to-go containers.
3. Buy Your Groceries in Bulk
Buying your foods in bulk has a number of benefits. You save money, you waste less food, and you save space in your kitchen, too.
Buying in bulk also contributes to less packaging being used. More and more establishments are now offering the possibility to shop in bulk. You can also bring your own containers to store the food in — just be sure you weigh them before adding in the food items and checking out.
4. Carry a Reusable Bag for Your Groceries
Speaking of grocery shopping, don’t forget your reusable bag. This is plastic-free living 101!
Not only is this one of the easiest ways to reduce plastic use, but depending on where you live, it can even save you a little bit of money at check out.
Cities and states all over the country have been enacting plastic bag fees and bans for years now. Save money and the planet by bringing your own reusable grocery bags every time you shop.
5. Use Cosmetic Products That Don’t Include Microplastics
You might be shocked to find out that micro-plastic exists not only in the jar of your cosmetics but in the cosmetics themselves. Microbeads are a common microplastic used to exfoliate the skin, which can cause abrasions and irritations. They’re also sometimes used as a filler agent in toothpaste.
The market today offers an array of plastic-free products, as well as tools and brushes made from materials like bamboo and natural fabrics. Not only is it better for the environment, but it's healthier for your skin and your overall health.
For an easy first step, make a move to refillable products, ditch your make-up wipes, and buy your shampoo in bulk.
6. Recycle Your Plastic Responsibly
If you look at the triangle on the side or bottom of a plastic container, it’ll have a number ranging from 1 to 7. These numbers indicate what type of plastic it is and whether or not it can actually be recycled.
Because of this sorting system, a lot of plastic doesn’t end up recycled, which winds up in a landfill or adds to the pollution problem. Since many plastic products can’t be broken down, it’s important for you to take an extra step to make sure you’re recycling properly.
7. Shop for Sustainably-Made Clothing and Products
The clothing industry is responsible for 10% of the world’s carbon emissions each year. Due to fast fashion clothing brands and unethically-run businesses, it’s more important than ever to shop for items that are sustainably and ethically made.
Sherpani, our women’s bag partner brand, prioritizes sustainability every step of the way. Since 2010, Sherpani has diverted over 3.2 million water bottles from polluting our lands and oceans.
Every product in Sherpani’s Open Your Eyes Collection is made from recycled plastic that may have otherwise been bound for the ocean, and 25% of each purchase from this collection goes to ocean clean-up projects with Blue Verve.
OllyDog, our other partner brand, offers outdoor enthusiasts (and their pups) high-quality dog accessories that respect the very playground they’re adventuring through.
Using scrap pieces of thread, OllyDog creates unique products while also saving 1 million tons of nylon from entering landfills each year. Every single item sold has been reused and repurposed!
Become a Blue Verve Project Donor
There are plenty of innovative ways to reduce plastic waste this year. But no matter how plastic-free you live your life, it will also take a large-scale effort to protect the earth’s most important commodity.
Becoming a donor of the Blue Verve Project is another awesome way to empower yourself in the mission of freeing our oceans of plastic. In an effort to restore the relationship between humans and nature, Blue Verve launched as a non-profit organization to build a better platform for far-reaching action in 2020. Since then, 4 million plastic bottles have been recycled!
By becoming a one-time or monthly donor, you are contributing to the ongoing mission of stopping plastic at its source, improving waste management, and hosting community clean-ups.
If we don’t fix what’s been done and improve our actions, the future of the ocean hangs in the balance.