Friday, July 6, 2018

10 Easy Ways to Reduce Your Plastic Consumption

Hey cupcakes! A couple of weeks ago I posted a review of Beth Terry's book, Plastic Free... After reading this book and No Impact Man by Colin Beavan, I vowed to live a lower waste lifestyle to do my part in helping the planet (and to improve my own quality of living).

Unfortunately, as my internship got more busy I will admit that I have faltered in some of my sustainability efforts. However, failing is all part of the journey, so I was excited to see that it is currently Plastic-Free July. You can register for this challenge and vow to reduce your plastic consumption for the month of July, so I saw this as an opportunity to hold myself accountable to continue switching to a lower-waste lifestyle.

Image result for plastic-free july

Ever since I started this journey, I have actually been SO surprised at how simple getting rid of certain plastics can be. To help any of you all who also want to reduce your plastic usage (as it is bad for both you and the environment), here are ways you can do so:

1. Bring your own mug when you get coffee/tea in the morning - I'm not a coffee drinker, but many people go to Starbucks every single morning. Think about all those plastic straws, cups, and lids that end up in the landfill or oceans (and then never actually decay). Did you know that plastics in the ocean break down into micro plastics that we end up consuming later down the food chain? Yuck. Seems simple enough to bring your own glass/stainless steel mug with you each day.

2. Try to avoid takeout containers - Instead of eating out, eat in! This will save on Styrofoam and plastic clamshells...Or bring a container with you to take out food!

3. Make snacks instead of buying individually wrapped ones - This one has been a struggle for me recently, as my office has three huge drawers full of snacks that are all wrapped in plastic. If you were to bake some cookies over the weekend (or buy snacks from the bulk bins), you can save plastic AND avoid nasty preservatives/additives in food.

4. Order your water without a straw - Surprisingly, I have only had one waiter question me when I have asked for "A water with no straw, please". Easy switch!

Image result for refuse straw

5. Use bar soap instead of body wash - Body wash comes in a plastic bottle just like most body care products, but it is the easiest to switch out for a bar of soap. Places like LUSH even sell soap with no packaging at all!

6. Buy loose vegetables when you can - Why buy broccoli in plastic wrap when you can just buy it with no plastic?

7. Switch to reusable shopping bags AND reusable produce bags - I bought these mesh bags on Amazon for only $13! Instead of using the plastic produce bags/bulk bags at the store, just use these instead (and pop them in the wash after you use them).

8. Use mason/glass jars instead of plastic Tupperware - Plastics leach into food, which doesn't sound too appealing to me... Plus, glass jars make a fridge look so organized!

9. Find alternatives for Ziploc bags - Use mason jars, reusable cloth Ziploc bags, etc. instead of using a bunch of Ziplocs every day. The best part about this is that you get to save a bunch of money by not buying them! :)

10. NEVER USE A PLASTIC WATER BOTTLE AGAIN - Did you know that bottled water is LESS regulated than tap water? I'd rather drink tap water in a reusable bottle thank you very much.

Image result for refuse plastic bottles

What do you do to reduce your plastic consumption? Comment below and don't forget to follow The Chic Cupcake to never miss another post!

If you are interested in also trying to live lower-waste, check out my post Living a Lower-Waste Lifestyle 101 :)

Sustainable Jenna <3


  1. Hey Jenna,

    Thanks for these tips. In a lot of countries in Europe reusable shopping bags are virtually compulsory as shops are no longer providing / selling those one-use plastic bags.

    This might be stupid, but I didn't know how harmful straws were until quite recently because the issue has been getting a lot of media exposure. I'll never use them again.

    I'm following you on Bloglovin now :)

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Kate! :) Don't worry, I also had no idea to how harmful straws were (and basically all plastics) until I started reading a lot about this over the summer. I'm glad you know now!
      -Jenna <3


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