I'd love to tell you that my house is Plastic Free, but to be honest, it's nothing like that. When I started on this path of being more environmentally conscious, I realized that EVERYTHING comes with plastic. For me personally it has been very difficult to lower the consumption of plastics , but with small changes I have been achieving it. I know that I have not yet reached the ideal, and I have a long way to go to achieve it, but I feel that these are small steps. I can't expect to stop consuming plastic overnight, so I'm going to share some of the changes I've made to use less of it.
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Small changes to use less plastic
1. Carry my bottle everywhere
It's so funny because I don't leave my house without my bottle. I literally take it to restaurants, to the office, on my travels...everywhere! This has saved me from buying a lot of plastic bottles. In most places, tap water is safe to drink. For example, in restaurants, instead of asking for bottles, I ask them to refill mine or bring me tap water. This new habit has been very good, not only for the environment, but also for my pocket.
2. Store vegetables in cloth bags
Another change that has helped me reduce my consumption of plastic is that when I buy vegetables I don't put them in the plastic bags, but I put them all in the same (cloth) bag or in the car market without bag. oh! and I also try to buy vegetables and fruits that do not come wrapped in plastic (why would I want some bananas wrapped in plastic if their skin is enough to protect them?). Habit number two that I have developed is very simple: I don't pack the fruits in bags, they are already designed to protect themselves from the environment.
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3. Do not use plastic straws
This is more a habit than anything else, one day someone told me: "but now, if they're already done" and this is the mentality that we have to change. If a lot of people start saying they don't want straws, the straw industry is going to reduce its production and there will be fewer straws in the world because nobody buys them anymore. It is important to understand that there are people who, due to different circumstances, need to use a straw, but I firmly believe that we should look for new materials.
4. Buy personal hygiene products that do not have plastic packaging or that are not plastic
These changes that can be more drastic and difficult, for example using the bamboo toothbrush, the bamboo hairbrush, changing the classic toothpaste for a natural one that comes in a glass jar, using shampoo in bar etc These are things that I apply in my life, but I don't expect someone who is starting this path to do so immediately. This requires much deeper changes in habits, but little by little, it can be achieved.
5. Buy organic products
Taking into account the ecological footprint of the production of certain products, such as the impact of fashion, buying from ecological brands which reduce the effects produced and help Recycle. It is an easy change to make. You can get ecological t-shirts or innovate with the different designs of sustainable clothing that allow recycled PET fabrics.You can also buy products that come in ecological packaging and thus reduce even more the use of plastics
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6. Be Prepared
Lastly, this tip is super cool and applies to everything. Recently, when I was traveling, I went out for lunch and they gave me some plastic cutlery. I just thought: "if only I had brought my bamboo cutlery I would have saved these". Likewise, when I bought a coffee and I didn't have my "cup" of coffee with me, or when I went to have an iced coffee and I didn't have my glass straw, or once I went shopping and forgot the cloth bags at home . The amount of plastic that I would have saved if I had only been prepared is very high. With this I am not looking for you to carry all the eco-friendly implements that are in your house every day. They can start with identifying where they use the most plastic each day and find a solution to eliminate it.
I am aware that this is a process. It has been as difficult for me as for many people. But I am sure that little by little, step by step we can change our habits to eliminate plastic from our lives.