Plastic is one of the most harmful materials for our environment. Today, it is polluting oceans and harming the wildlife beyond imagination. And the disturbing sight of landfills that go for decades is giving serious threats to the well-being of our planet.
As a society we’ve become highly dependent on plastic products so making the shift to living with less plastic (and, eventually, living plastic-free) is a huge challenge as how much we are used to using & it every day. Before we bring you the top ten tips to living a plastic-free life, it’s important to consider what it is like to live plastic-free - fitting a plastic-free lifestyle into your budget to replacing plastic from the most important areas of your life.
At the same time, you must know that giving up plastic is as challenging as how much we are used to using & wasting it every day. It is thus important for all of us to do whatever we can and not feel overwhelmed.
Life without plastic- this is where the real challenge lies
Adopting a plastic-free lifestyle is a tough transition but it is equally rewarding both for yourself and the efforts you’ll be making for the planet.
- Finding replacements for living plastic-free - One of the hardest parts about giving up plastic is to find the alternatives to plastic products in your household including products that come with plastic packaging. An alarming amount of products come packed in plastic material or are either partially or fully made with plastic. Takeaway: Giving up plastic will take time.
- Maintaining a plastic-free habit is difficult yet possible - At times when you’ll find it difficult to find the replacement against plastic, building the plastic-free habit will get overwhelming. This is because falling back to your old ways will seem easier. During such times, it is important to remember the benefits of a plastic-free lifestyle.
- Overcoming the peer pressure - Pressure from the peers is a very realistic result of going #plastic-free for most of the people because this is a huge lifestyle change that impacts the lives of friends and family too. Such pressure is uncomfortable because these people are close to you but they won’t fully understand your choice to live with less plastic. At such moments, you must remember why you’re making the shift to living plastic-free, and stick to it.
Why must you go for a low or zero-plastic lifestyle?
- Positive impact on the planet - With a #plasticfree lifestyle, your efforts will help secure the health of our planet while making it better for the coming generations.
- Improved health and vitality - One of the greatest benefits of living plastic-free is improvement in the body's vitality. This is not related to direct plastic consumption but the fact that when you go plastic-free, you ought to make fresh and healthy eating choices with much less consumption of processed or “junk” food. And when you have weight-loss added to the impact, none is complaining.
- Inspiring the community to make necessary changes - Even if only one person starts living with less plastic, the impact will be greater. The health of our planet affects us equally and even if only one person can inspire others to follow the lead, the impact of #plasticfree life will grow exponentially. Nothing is better than sacrificing your own comforts for the greater good of the planet and humanity. If you can inspire people who look up to you with your lifestyle choices, that's an icing on the cake. It is high time people, more people begin their #plasticfree journey as this will help in cleaning up the oceans and lessening the effects of global warming.
10 Steps you can take now to start living plastic-free
More than keeping up with the new habit, getting started with it, is where the tough work lies. In case of going #plastic-free, we just don’t have a choice and we’ve to do it now. Here are the first 10 steps you can take to start making efforts to live a plastic-free life:
Carry reusable bags when you go for shopping
This is one of the easiest changes you can make in your day-to-day life. Simply carry 3-4 reusable cloth bags with you everytime you go out. This will cut out all of the plastic bag waste with immediate effect.
Identify plastic products in your household
The first step to go plastic-free is to identify the products you buy on a regular basis that contain plastic. You can then make a list of such products and start finding their replacements gradually. The best way is to keep reusing the products you already have and not discard them immediately.
Find easiest to replace plastic products - find them now!
As an advance step to the one mentioned above, pick three easiest items that you can easily replace and buy alternatives for eg. A Bamboo Toothbrush
Give up buying bottled water
Just like giving up plastic shopping bags, giving up buying bottled water will make it feel more real to you. Instead of this, you can have a sturdy stainless steel or copper water bottles to carry along. If you are already a step ahead in your plastic-free journey, you could opt for terracotta water-bottles. These are super stylish table top bottles and will keep your water cool the natural way. Once out of season, you can also use these bottles as aesthetic vases giving your home that earthy vibe.
This step will ensure your health improves too because these bottles will prevent the chemicals from plastic leaching into your drink.
Use a reusable coffee cup/straw
There is no harm in carrying your own coffee cup and straw whenever you want to buy a coffee. This will ensure you don’t waste single-use cups and create plastic pollution.
Make necessary changes for going plastic-free by introducing bar soaps & shampoos in your bathroom
This is one of the easiest things to do when you are beginning your plastic-free journey. Bar soap & shampoo is a perfect alternative to liquid body washes & shampoos that come packed in plastic bottles.
Buy fruits and veggies from the local farmer’s market
When you buy food from the local market, you are doing far greater good by supporting the local community than buying from supermarkets. Moreover, the produce from the local farmer’s market stays fresher far longer. But make sure you carry a cloth bag whenever you go to buy fruits/veggies.
Refrain from buying single-use plastic items
Keep a check on buying items and food supplies that come in single-use plastic like use and throw cutlery often used by restaurants for takeaway orders and street food vendors. Here's what got banned in India recently:
Buy non-perishable goods in bulk
The wisest step you can take in your plastic-free journey is to buy the non-perishable goods in bulk. This effectively reduces the need to go grocery shopping often, while also reducing the amount of plastic used in production per item purchased. Moreover, who is complaining when you will save the fuel and environment too.
This is a new concept taking up speed in India. Discover zero-waste stores in and around your area who can offer you package free products. This is by-far the best way we can eliminate everyday plastic packaging from our homes.
Stores such as UTTARDAYI RESPONSIBLE LIFESTYLE STORE in Sec 104, Noida with a zero-waste grocery zone encourage consumers to carry their own bags & containers to take refills of organic grocery items such as cereals, pulses, flours, spices etc. - as much required by them.
This way, you can protect yourself from the ill-effects of microplastics and treat your body with chemical-free food.
Plastic pollution is the most pressing environmental issue in the present times. The problem is less associated with plastic consumption as the real culprit is rapid increase in the production of disposable plastic products, which is overwhelming the humans’ ability to deal with such products. By choosing to live with a less plastic lifestyle and openly sharing it with others, you will be inspiring people to start being more aware of their own environmental impact and the global issues surrounding plastic consumption.
Want to reduce the amount of plastic you’re using everyday? This is just the right time to begin your #plasticfree journey with #uttardayi.