Travel Guides

15 Easy Ways to Use Less Plastic in Your Everyday Life

October 01, 2018

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I think we can all agree that there is way to much plastic on this planet. I personally have been to way too many beaches and hiked on way too many trails covered in trash. I have made it my mission to find little ways to stop using plastic everyday. Some of these may seem obvious, but I hope they help make you a little more conscious of the plastic that you contribute to this place we call home.

These steps are going to hopefully help you turn away from single use plastics and look for more sustainable options. I also tried to find helpful products that I know are easy to travel with, since I am on the road 99% of the time. Now, let’s get started.

First, the Stats

  • It is now believed that there are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean. Of that mass, 269,000 tons float on the surface, while some four billion plastic microfibers per square kilometer litter the deep sea. - The Ocean Crusaders
  • 91% of plastic waste isn’t recycled. And since most plastics don’t biodegrade in any meaningful sense, all that plastic waste could exist for hundreds or even thousands of years. - Earth Day
  • 500 MILLION plastic straws are used EVERY DAY in America. That’s enough to circle the Earth twice. -The National Parks Service
  • There is more microplastic in the ocean than there are stars in the Milky Way. - The UN

Now that I have your attention, I am hoping the following tips will encourage you to start making small changes in your everyday life!

1. no plastic straws.

Buy a set of these bamboo straws and keep one in your purse or backpack. One of my favorite things from this year has to do with a coffee shop I loved switching to paper straws. Everyday we went to this coffee shop in London and got an iced coffee with no straw. We loved the cafe but they used so many plastic straws. Then one day I went in and the staff was beyond excited to share with me that they had switched to paper straws so that I could use them! Start saying no to plastic straws and maybe you can see these changes in your own community.

2. veggie bags

I know people might look at you funny, but just put them in your cart. You wash them when you get home anyway. It’s an unnecessary use of plastic to bag all those fruits and veggies.

3. reusable shopping bags

This is honestly one of the easiest ways to use less plastic. And most grocery stores will even sell you bags that you can reuse. Or buy this set on Amazon. Whatever works for you but this is an easy one for less plastic use.

4. bamboo toothbrush

Switch over to a bamboo toothbrush! I love mine, I actually got it at travel con! You can buy this entire set on Amazon for $8and have tooth brushes for the whole year! Once again, an easy switch to using less plastic every year.

5. coffee mug & waterbottle

Don’t use those plastic water bottles. There’s no need. Carry with you a reusable bottle and you can even take your own mug to a coffee shop.

You can find my favorite collapsible mug here. You don’t even have to worry about it taking up space because it’s completely collapses. As for a water bottle, Hydroflask is my favorite because who doesn’t want to cold water forever? Find yours here. (I’ve also covered mine in stickers to personalize it, plus I just think it’s cute.)

6. reusable food wrap

This will also help you save money because you won’t always be buying more food wrap. 2 birds, 1 stone. You can find the best reusable food wrap here. They come with a small, medium and large, for all your food wrapping needs.

7. reusable toiletry bag

Perfect for keeping your liquids in a safe place, plus TSA will love you because you can pull that right out for them. Make sure that you buy a toiletry bag that’s the correct size because some countries can be particular about that. (i.e. the UK) My favorite are from Amazon, here.

8. shampoo & conditioner bar

When I first heard of shampoo and conditioner bars I was a huge skeptic. I am a bit crazy about my hair at times and I never thought these bars would work. However, I was tired of having to watch my liquids so one day I gave them a try and I have been hooked ever since. I buy these from Lush but I also got recommended these ones, which might be even better.

9. deva cup

I’m just going to say, probably the best thing ever invented for women everywhere and the environment. If you are a skeptic, just get one and try it out. I promise they are incredible and life changing and not gross at all. Just give it a go.

10. shop local

Whether you are traveling or just at home, look for local brands that you can support instead of those larger corporations. It might cost a bit more, but I promise it’s worth it. You are supporting a local family or artisan and you are helping the earth as well.

11. bamboo buds

If you are anything like me, you just can’t say no to sticking those cotton buds in your ears to get the best clean. I know everyone says not to but I can’t stop. So, I found some bamboo buds so at least I am not hurting the environment while risking my eardrums every week. This pack comes with 400. That’s enough to last a lot of ear cleanings and make up fixes.

12. tupperware

Next time you want to take a picnic or snacks on the airplane, try packing them in Tupperware instead of plastic bags. Then you can reuse the Tupperware throughout your travels. If you get these collapsible ones, they won’t even take up a ton of space in your luggage! It’s a win/win.

13. silverware

This spork only cost $2 and you can take it anywhere. There’s tons of camping silverware out there that you can use, just be careful because I did have a butter knife taken from me along with a jar of peanut butter at security once. But I always travel with a fork and spoon connected by a key chain because then you are just prepared to eat on the go, no matter what. And you can say no to plastic forks and spoons at food trucks or street food stands.

14. bar soap

I know it’s not your favorite bubbly body wash from Bath and Body Works, but it’s actually going to last you a lot longer and not be a toll of your liquid limitations in the your carry on. Try my favorite, or look for your own! And if you are feeling it, you can even get a lotion bar too. (Lotion bars are also great for getting your best friend or partner to massage your back or feet after a long travel day)

15. plastic free campaign

Just sign up HERE. It’s free and keeps you in the know.

Lastly, remember that you don’t have to be perfect. Just the fact that you are trying goes a long way. And if you can’t afford to make all these changes, come up with creative ways to use less plastic that works for you. Keep in mind the motto, “Progress, not Perfection”.

If you are interested in learning more:

And don’t forget to grab the pin over in the sidebar to share this post with everyone! If we all start making tiny changes in our everyday lives, we can start to see huge results in the world.

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