The average American makes around 4.3 pounds of trash per day – now imagine that multiplied by the amount of people in the U.S. alone. The trash that we put into our environment has a direct effect on not only our planet (the greenhouse gasses that are emitted from trash has devastating effects such as rising temperatures and rising sea levels), but, our health. If you read any articles from our “Detox Series“, then you know what potential harm you are putting your body through when you are exposed to a ton of extra stuff. Here are some easy tips to give back to minimize your carbon footprint as well as reduce your exposure to risky chemicals:
What can I do?
- Buy whole fruits and vegetables instead of the prepackaged/ precut ones. Not only will this save you money but, it will help to reduce your trash.
- Bring reusable cloth bags instead of relying on the plastic grocery store ones. Supplying your own reusable bags is a great way to decrease the amount of plastic you are using and exposed to!
- Bonus- A lot of stores will give you a discount for brining your own bags!
- Use mason jars for the bulk bins. It is just as easy to fill a mason jar with rice and oats as it is to fill a plastic bin however, a reusable mason jar is much better for the environment. Get creative and use fancy tags to label all of your products
- Bonus- Mason jars are clear so it’s easy to see when you are running low on items!
- Cut down on plastic straws. Companies like Starbucks have made this very easy by offering straw-less lids or reusable stainless steel straws. Although it might not seem like much, every little bit helps.
- Tip- buy a pack of reusable straws online or in-store to keep around your house for easy access
- Use a reusable water bottle instead of constantly buying plastic ones. Reusable water bottles are a much cheaper alternative and don’t create plastic waste! Most public places have filtered water fountains which makes filling up your bottle easy. With all of the water bottles on the market it is so easy to find one that best fits your lifestyle and compliments your personality
- Bonus- reusable insulated metal water bottles will keep your drink hot for 12 hours and cold for 24 (can’t say that about plastic can you?)
Written by GUADS guest writer Liz and edited by staff member Kate with contributions from archive.epa.gov