Tweenie’s Greenies

Week 2: Perpetually Yours, Plastic

Okay, so as much as I wanted it to, the title doesn’t rhyme.  I know that but I still like the way it sounds 🙂  The week has flown by and I haven’t addressed 1/2 the issues I could with plastic.  It is really overwhelming to think about how much plastic we really use in our lives.  I like the uses of plastic and it’s difficult to change.  However, there are a couple things that we can do to at least reduce the amount of raw plastic we use and cut back on the amount of plastic we send to the landfill.  The main thing is to reuse and recycle!

Here’s some easy tips:

  • Buy in bulk.  Instead of buying several small items in plastic containers, buy one big one.  It will save on the amount of plastic that was manufactured for that product and also the amount of plastic you recycle.  I am saying recycle because I know that you WILL recycle as much plastic as possible.
  • Avoid buying plastic toys for your children.  Try to buy wooden or cloth toys instead.  You may be avoiding some chemical exposure for your children associated with plastics and also saving on the massive amounts of energy needed to manufacture plastic products. 
  • Buy refills.  Cut down on the amount of plastic packaging by buying refills for certain products.  Such as baby wipes and cleaning products.  If you already have a hard plastic container, why buy a whole new one to replace it?  Many products have refills that come in soft plastic (which is a little better) or cardboard refill packs. 
  • Use fewer plastic bags.  Here’s  a great fact from “The Green Book”:  U.S. Households dispose of nearly one hundred plastic bags annually, millions of which end up littering the environment and harming marine animals.  By reducing plastic bag consumption by just two bags per week, you’ll throw away at least 100 fewer bags per year.  If tied together handle to handle, these plastic bags would make a rope long enough to wrap around the earth more than 126 times.
  • Buy products with as little packaging as possible.  Use less, waste less.
  • If you buy items made of plastic, look for products that are made from postconsumer recycled content.  This is plastic that has been recycled and diverted from the landfill.

Overall, just consume less.  You will decrease the cost of manufacturing, and the amount of plastic sent to landfills and the environment.  Also, recycle.  Know what your city accepts and look at products for the appropriate codes.  It’s simple.  I know that it is close to impossible to eliminate plastic from our lives but we can change the extent of our use.  And ultimately, your home and surroundings will be greener for it.    plastic-bottle.jpg