Our Top Tips for Plastic Free Living

Our Top Tips For Plastic Free Living

We know that plastic is everywhere - in our food, in our air, and in the water we need to survive. We also know that it is in many of the products we consume.

Every year Canadians throw away 3 million tonnes of plastic waste, only 9% of which gets recycled. The good news is that there are many simple and rewarding ways to reduce our plastic waste and “close the loop” on consumption. Start small, and build these habits into a routine one by one. Every action makes a difference!

Read on for more:

1. Scan your home for plastics. Seeing how much unnecessary plastic we have is a great catalyst to incorporate small changes into our routines.

2. Bring your own... cup, bag, metal straw, or reusable container to stores and restaurants. It takes a little planning at first, but once the habit is there it’s a no-brainer!

3. Keep a reusable bottle on hand. Plastic water bottles and caps were the second-most common pieces of trash found during Canadian shoreline cleanups in 2019. Bringing a bottle keeps us better hydrated, saves money, and keeps plastic out of our oceans, lakes, and rivers. It also protects our watersheds.

4. Say no to single-use plastics. At a restaurant or store, speak up if they don’t have reusable options. Our voices are more powerful together!

5. Buy fresh. Produce typically comes with minimal or no packaging, as opposed to frozen or ready-made foods. Buying fresh foods can be cheaper as well. You can bring reusable produce bags to reduce waste even more!

6. Grow your own. Join a community garden (like GROW!) or plant some veggies in your window, on your balcony, or in your backyard. Rewarding, waste-free, and delicious!

7. Buy in bulk or at a farmer’s market. Bring leftover jars or reusable containers, and stock up. This saves money and so much plastic!

8. Swap out plastic wrap. Great options for storing leftovers include containers and beeswax wrapping.

9. Adopt litterless lunches. Challenge friends and family to adopt litterless lunches for a period of time. Share what worked well and lessons learned to kick off new lifelong habits.

10. Repair, reuse, recreate. Fixing something we already have or making it from scratch goes a long way in cutting down plastic waste.

11. Replace personal care products with reusables. Think metal razors, refillable hair products, and bamboo toothbrushes.

12. Shop secondhand. Thinking before purchasing and looking for a secondhand alternative cuts down on single use plastics and all of the waste that is emitted by creating something new.

13. Do a local clean-up. Know anywhere always covered in plastic? Gather a group of friends or join a cleanup organization like the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup to remember why we need to love this place, and reduce our waste!

Banner Credit: Greg Rasmussen/CBC

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