What you do for the environment always counts, whether you maintain a garden or participate in a plantation drive or create awareness among friends and family, all the little steps count. But the world is facing a crisis and it’s time to step up your sustainability game to protect the environment! Currently, plastic is a major contributor to the pollution crisis. India is one of the largest global polluters of plastic waste into our Oceans, with an estimated 535Kg of plastic garbage spewed out from the River Ganges each year. In turn, it has taken a significant toll on marine life and the state of the oceans. To put it into perspective, one plastic bag takes 1000 years to degrade! Plastic is used by almost everyone in their daily lives but that needs to change quickly or we’re asking for trouble. This World Environment Day, learn how to live a more sustainable life.
Did You Know
Approximately 100 million plastic bottles are used and discarded every day, with 80% of them simply becoming non-biodegradable litter.
The Alternatives To The Usage Of Plastic
From water bottles and milk jugs to cleaning product containers and shampoo bottles, it’s safe to say that our homes are filled with plastic packaging that ultimately makes our lives more convenient. Try these simple tricks to reduce the amount of plastic in your life.
1. Refuse Plastic Bags And Shop From Sustainable Brands
Keep reusable bags in your car for shopping and if you have a large purse, just put small items in your purse rather than getting a bag. Make sure you use your reusable bags. Find a list of sustainable eco-friendly brands to shop from here.
2. Body Wash In Plastic Bottles
Most soaps and shampoos come in some form of a plastic bottle, but there are a couple of alternatives to reduce your plastic footprint while staying clean. Try switching to bar soaps with recyclable paper wrappers, or consider making your own soaps using essential oils and Castile soap. Your homemade body wash can be stored in a sealable glass jar that can be used over and over. Try this all-natural vegan soap from The Hand Made Store at the Red Dot Shop here. Take hygiene care to the next level and use reusable menstrual cups. Learn about menstrual cups from an expert here.
3. Disposable Coffee Cups And Straws
Even though many disposable coffee cups from our favourite coffee shops seem recyclable, most are not. The paper cup is often a blend of paper and plastic, which is not actually recyclable and therefore ultimately ends up in a landfill. Even if the cup is made of paper, it usually comes with a plastic lid or straw. Try bringing along your coffee cup – it’s nice to drink out of a real mug, and sometimes you can even get a discount for doing so!
4. Plastic Wrap
Plastic wrap can be used to keep foods fresh in your refrigerator, but often ends up in the trash can instead of the recycling bin. Some types of plastic wrap can indeed be recycled, depending on what type of plastic it is made of, so it is important to check the label. A better option is to choose reusable food wraps. These are wax-coated fabrics that can be washed and used for up to a year. Imagine how much plastic you could keep out of the landfill by using these reusable wraps!
5. Plastic Water Bottles
Did you know that it takes about 2 minutes to consume a bottle of water, but the plastic bottle can remain on our planet for millions of years? Reusable water bottles are one of the easiest swaps you can make to help the ocean. You can find them in insulated stainless steel to keep your water icy cold or choose an attractive glass option to spruce up your work desk.
How To Recycle Plastic At Home?
Recycling and repurposing everyday plastic materials are a lot easier than many may realize and save you tons of money. Plus, properly recycling these plastics ultimately benefits the environment by reducing the need for more landfills and conserving energy. Not sure how to recycle plastic? Worry not, there are so many simple and creative ways to recycle, reuse and repurpose plastic items and here’s the ultimate guide on how to do it all!
1. Designate A Recycling Area In Your Home
Create a garbage and recycling centre with separate, designated bins in your home so your family can easily toss recyclable items in a recycling bin instead of the garbage can. Learn the correct methods for how to dispose of plastic.
2. Know Your Recyclable Items
Educate your entire family on how to determine if an item is recyclable. Here are some of the best and most common plastic items you can recycle:
- Plastic bottles
- Juice and milk cartons
- Peanut butter jars
- Salad dressing and cooking oil containers
- Most cleaning product containers
- Bleach and laundry detergent containers
- Shampoo and conditioner bottles
- Yoghurt and butter tubs
How To Reuse Plastic Bottles At Home?
Many people often unknowingly throw away these plastic items that can easily be reused or recycled instead. There are tons of easy and creative ways about how to reuse plastic items in our homes. Here are a few ideas for reusing those plastic items instead of tossing them. Also, read this article here about how to become more eco-conscious.
1. Soda Bottle Sprinkler
If you want to keep your outdoor plants happy but don’t have a sprinkler to water them, all you need to do is poke holes in a 2-litre plastic soft drink bottle, insert the hose in to the bottle and wrap some tape to fix the hose to the opening of the bottle. Turn on the tap and the homemade sprinkler is ready to go.
2. DIY Kitchen Storage Containers
Old plastic bottles can make excellent storage containers. Take back your kitchen space with this really cool and very affordable kitchen storage solution. Making repurposed containers out of your old bottles is fun and super easy, plus you could save yourself some money by crafting something you need instead of having to go out and buy it. Use two plastic bottles of different sizes: a longer one (to be the base) and a smaller one (to be the cover) and fit them together. Use these containers to store food such as rice, beans, noodles and sugar.
3. Flower Vase
Questioning yourself how to recycle plastic? Then try creating a flower vase from a plastic bottle and give your garden a creative look. Remove the top portion of the bottle with a craft knife and wrap the remaining portion of the bottle with paper, using glue to secure it in place. Either use decorative paper or use white paper and decorate it with markers, stickers, gemstones and other craft supplies. Fill the bottle with water and place a bouquet inside.
4. DIY Snack Bowls
Wondering how to recycle plastic bottles? Then transform leftover plastic bottles into unbreakable snack or candy bowls for a party. Cut the bottom of the plastic bottle, use a hot iron to flatten and smooth out the cuts, and voila! A pretty bowl is ready for you. You can get fancier by adding extra decoration to your bowls.
5. Detergent Bottle Watering Can
Don’t pay for plastic watering cans. Make sure to keep your empty laundry detergent containers, drill or punch some holes in the cap and you’ve got yourself a new watering can. The easiest and the most convenient way to water the plants.
6. Pencil Cup
Make a storage system for your mountain of pens, pencils and markers on your desk. Measure the height you wish your container to be and mark it on the bottle. Cut the top of the bottle off at this mark. Decorate the bottle with stickers or craft supplies, if you would like to personalize your pencil cup.
7. Desk Organizer
Cut the lower part of the bottles and use them as desk organizers for your offices or homes. Use your creativity and make them in different sizes and very colourful. You can use it to keep your stationery items like rubbers, pens, paper clips and what not!
8. DIY Plastic Bottle Planter
Cat planters from plastic bottles. Yes, this is a real thing. Spark your DIY spirit with a simple project that turns 2-litres into a useful and appealing indoor planter. Cut the bottom third of a 2-litre bottle. Paint the bottle white or the colour of your choice. Use parts of the rest of the bottle to cut out ears. Draw a face and other features on the bottle. Fill the bottle with seeds and soil.
Your every little effort counts. Reduce. Re-use. Recycle. Take small steps and help to reduce plastic waste. By using these recycling and reusing strategies, you will feel good about doing your part to reduce the creation of landfills, increase the quality of our air, and have fun using creative ways to make some of your products without spending a dime! Learn about 10 things you can do to save Mother nature here.