It’s estimated that by 2050, there’ll be more plastic waste than fish in the ocean. Improving the environment for our children starts with our own plastic use as families! Although plastic is a cheap and easy use that can be challenging to eliminate and reduce, the road to becoming a plastic free parent isn’t as hard as it may seem. We’ve got you covered. Here are our 10 easy tricks to reduce plastic waste!
1. Start with the basics: ditch the straw!
Don’t be afraid to say no to the straw when in restaurants or whenever they’re offered to you. If necessary, grab a reusable straw from your local store and bring it along with you.
2. When going grocery shopping, opt for a reusable tote bag.
A cool tip is to actually make your own from old jeans or to knit one — get the kids involved by adding cool designs or ornaments with fabric markers and coloured fabric. Be the master of DIY-envy and save yourself from buying plastic bags in the long run.
3. Scavenge for cardboard at the supermarket.
If your items are too big to pop into your reusable tote, put them in any unused or decent-sized cardboard boxes you find floating around the supermarket.
4. Rethink goodie bags at your kiddos’ birthday parties.
Instead of adding plastic goodies like yo-yos, toys or plastic-wrapped candy, opt for coupons or organic homemade goods.
5. Goodbye gum, hello mints!
Gum is made from a synthetic rubber called polyethylene, which plastic is also made from. Whenever you’re throwing away gum, you’re throwing out plastic.
6. Try to use cloth diapers instead of disposable ones.
If good ol’ nana could do it, you can too. There’ll be less nappy landfill, and you won’t need to worry about stocking up on nappies as you can wash or reuse them … saving you more money. Yay!
7. Purchase some bulk foods and arrange them into reusable containers at home.
If you are a buyer from a local grocer, ask them to take back your plastic containers. If you are a frequent farmers’ market goer, they can refill these containers for you.
Again, bring your own reusable container.
9. Rethink the way you pack lunch!
Replace plastic wrappers for containers or reusable beeswax wraps. If you’re also more about lessening bulk and condensing packaging, you can check out our bento hacks — pop fresh food into one container the smart way.
10. Get the kids involved!
Get them to choose a cool reusable drinking bottle and make them responsible for taking good care of it.
By Jianne Takeda