Plastic — can you imagine a day without it? It has come to be a component of nearly everything we buy and use, it seems. On the one hand, plastic has made things possible that might not have been possible. On the other hand, there are a few major problems (at least) with its widespread use:
- It lasts longer than we can adequately comprehend.
- It causes harm to countless animals and fish that try to consume it or get entangled in it.
- Much of it contains hormone-disrupting chemicals that negatively affect humans.
With such a ubiquitous material, there are also a ton of interesting, useful, and perhaps even horrifying facts related to it. Someone recently shared a stunning and thorough infographic on plastic with me that I thought Green Living Ideas readers would enjoy. Aside from the facts about plastic’s tremendous volume, the huge plastic garbage patches in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, plastic bag mountains on land, and the problems all of these things create, though, I love that this infographic is proactive and tells us how we can considerably cut our use of plastic. Before sharing the infographic, I’ll just pull those out so that you are sure not to miss them:
- Use reusable bags, not plastic or paper.
- Drop the bottled water.
- Don’t use single-use plastic packaging (buy in bulk when you can).
- Leave the sandwich bags on the shelf and use reusable sandwich boxes instead.
- Go the classy route and use silverware, not plastic-ware.
- Let the ’90s go — go digital… no more CDs, plastic CD cases, and so on.
- Use a refillable dispenser for your soap and cleaning supplies.
- Use a nice “to-go” mug instead of cups made of plastic or styrofoam (don’t even want to go into that issue).
- Try to buy products that don’t contain hard-to-recycle plastics (when you need to buy something, that is).
- Better yet, find products not made of plastic at all (again, when you absolutely have to buy something).
Great tips. Don’t think I could have come up with a better list.
Here’s the full infographic (enjoy):
Zach is the director of CleanTechnica.com and Planetsave.com, sites covering global warming causes and effects, endangered plant and animal news, ways to green your life, solar and wind power news, and much more.