Green Sanctuary Green Tip – Reducing Plastic Waste


But…we all can be part of the solution.

Soda bottles, sandwich bags, straws – – they fill the world’s pantries, oceans and landfills. And unlike organic materials, they don’t decompose. There are more than 6.3 billion tons of plastic waste out there, endangering wildlife, waterways and our own health. And, no, recycling is not the only solution – – just 14 percent of plastic is collected for reuse! Don’t think you must do everything at once. It’s OK to start small, so here are some everyday hacks to reduce plastic.

1. Instead of a grocery bag, switch to reusable grocery bags of many styles, colors, fabrics, etc. They are durable, lightweight and can usually hold 3 times more than a traditional plastic grocery bag. Plus, they can typically fold flat so you can carry them with you on the go. Keep them in your car so they will never be far away.

2. Instead of plastic wrap, use Bee’s Wrap, which is made by infusing cotton with beeswax, jojoba oil and tree resin. The result – a reusable food wrap in beautiful prints and come in several sizes. You use the warmth of your hands to soften the wrap and create a seal. Then, when it’s cool, the wrap will hold it’s shape.

3. Instead of synthetic sponges, use an UnSponge, which are a cotton alternative to kitchen sink sponges and are good for four to six months, depending on use. Wash and tumble dry, and when you’re done, recycle them at a fabric bank or compost them in small pieces.

4. Instead of plastic water bottles, grab a reusable stainless steel or glass water bottle. Some companies, such as Soma glass water bottles, make a donation to Charity: Water, a nonprofit that supports safe drinking water projects globally.

5. Instead of your plastic toothbrush, try bamboo. Some companies harvest organically grown bamboo, which grows more than three feet per day, so this bamboo toothbrush, with a 100% biodegradable handle, is a super-sustainable purchase.

6. Instead of plastic utensils at work or on the go, use a bamboo utensil set which provides a long-lasting alternative to wasteful plastic cutlery. Or take a metal set from home to keep in your lunch bag or car.

7. Instead of plastic straws, use shatter-resistant glass straws or metal straws. Both are dishwasher safe and come with cleaning brushes.

And finally, we’ve all heard of the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” motto, but let’s add “Refuse” to that. The best thing is to refuse single-use plastics as much as possible. Bring a sustainable alternative!