How to Create Less Plastic Waste in 2022

How to Create Less Plastic Waste in 2022

While recycling your plastic waste can go a long way in reducing energy consumption and preventing pollution, it’s largely a band-aid solution to our growing plastics problem. The reality is that municipal governments can only recycle a few types of plastic. Consequently, only nine percent of all plastic ever gets recycled.

Fortunately, it’s incredibly easy to eliminate plastic from your daily routine. No, seriously! Doing right by the planet could be as simple as swapping your body wash for a body soap bar or using reusable bags at the grocery store.

So, if you want to pave the way for a healthier planet in 2022, check out the guide below for tips to help you go plastic-free. Let’s all do our part to get this year off to a sustainable start!

Grocery Shopping

Take a moment to think about all the groceries you buy for your family on a regular basis. How many of these items come swathed in plastic? Probably a lot.

Plastic is ubiquitous at the grocery store, but it doesn’t have to be! By becoming a more mindful grocery shopper, you can significantly cut down on the amount of plastic waste you bring home from the grocery store.

  • Shop with reusable bags. You’ve probably seen your fellow grocery shoppers carrying reusable tote bags in the grocery store. Using a mishmash of reusable containers, including cloth tote bags and mesh produce bags, is a super-easy way to eliminate single-use plastic bags (which take forever to degrade, by the way).

reusable bags

  • Try to avoid plastic packaging. For instance, skip the plastic bottle of ketchup and look for your favorite condiment in a glass bottle instead (unlike plastic, glass is infinitely recyclable). Also, go entirely plastic-free whenever possible. Instead of buying a bag of salad, choose package-free lettuce and leafy greens — preferably, the organic variety.
  • Buy in bulk. Many popular grocery store chains (Albertsons, Kroger, etc.) now have bulk bins that contain your favorite foods, minus the wasteful plastic packaging. Consider bringing your own container and stocking up on dried goods, including beans, pasta, rice, flour and spices. The best part is that you’ll save money while doing it!
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Kitchen Products

Although we often associate the kitchen with food waste, it can be a pretty big source of plastic waste as well. All of those plastic dish scrubbers, bottles of soap and single-use bags can add up quickly. But look at it this way: there are probably a lot of easy kitchen swaps that can make a big impact on your overall plastic waste.

  • Ditch plastic baggies for reusable silicone bags.Reusable silicone bags are great for daily lunches and on-the-go snacking. For easier cleaning, make sure they’re dishwasher-safe!
  • Swap bottled dish soap for a solid dish soap bar. Did you know that replacing your bottled dish soap with a solid dish soap bar can save up to three plastic bottles from a landfill? Plus, dish soap bars last longer and can be used until every last bit is gone!
  • Opt for bamboo cooking utensils. Bamboo is an excellent material for the kitchen, thanks to its heat-resistant and anti-microbial properties. Plus, it’s biodegradable and grows incredibly fast, making it a highly sustainable choice for kitchenware and other products.

bamboo cooking utensils

Bathroom Products

The bathroom generally isn’t as wasteful as the kitchen, but with its countless plastic bottles, it probably comes in a close second. Fortunately, there are a few simple ways you can make your bathroom plastic-free in 2022.

  • Buy bar soap. This one is a no-brainer. Bar soaps are budget-friendly, long-lasting and entirely package-free. Plus, they come in an array of new plant-based formulas that are kinder on your skin. (Pro tip: If you want to make your bar last even longer, store it in a soap saver bag and hang it up to dry in between uses!)
  • Toss the floss. Regular floss is usually made of plastic and often coated with icky chemicals. Use silk floss or switch to a water flosser instead.
  • Switch to reusable menstrual products. Single-use menstrual products can take a heavy toll on the environment, especially plastic tampon applicators. Consider switching to reusable options, such as a menstrual cup or reusable pads.
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Take-out

Take-out is undoubtedly delicious, but between the cutlery, straws and to-go boxes, there’s a lot of plastic waste involved. Fortunately, there are a few easy ways to take plastic out of the equation.

  • Choose dine-in over take-out. By choosing to dine in, you can avoid the deluge of plastic cutlery, bags and to-go containers that often comes with take-out. As a bonus, dining in serves as a reminder to slow down and be more present while we’re eating.
  • Keep a leftover kit in your car. If you must buy take-out, keep a high-quality reusable container and reusable bamboo cutlery in your car. That way, you can resist the urge to use disposable utensils and to-go containers.

reusable bamboo cutlery in your car

  • Take advantage of “special requests.” When ordering food online, don’t be afraid to leave special instructions like “DO NOT include napkins or plastic cutlery, please.” They may not always heed your wishes, but it doesn’t hurt to ask!

January 1st is often the time when we resolve ourselves to become healthier and happier in the new year. But what if we all made it a personal goal to support a healthier, happier planet in addition to our financial and wellness-related goals? You can probably imagine how much better off the planet would be! To that end, let’s all do our part to reduce our plastic waste in 2022. We hope these tips will help kickstart your plastic-free journey. Good luck and see you in 2022!

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