Green Living: Reducing Plastic Use
Our Earth’s precious resources need to last for generations to come, and the only way we can preserve them is by using less, recycling, making conscious buying decisions, and giving back to the planet. One of the best ways we can all contribute to a cleaner environment is by changing our plastic use habits and recycling!
Our oceans are suffocating in plastic. The conveniences we have become accustomed to are harmful far beyond what our eyes can see. More than 8 million tons of plastic goes into our ocean each year! This statistic should be enough for all of us to make an effort to reduce our plastic waste whenever possible by reusing plastics and learning how to recycle them properly.
Cruz Hemp Roll-ons use glass bottles, which can be reused by refilling them with your own essential oil blends or cleaned out then properly recycled. Our lotion and carrier oil formula bottles can also be reused after proper washing. We chose a virgin PET plastic to reduce the amount of packaging needed in shipping. PET plastic has a longer life as it can be recycled multiple times. Before discarding Cruz Hemp bottles, glass, or plastic, wash them out thoroughly. This will ensure they will be recycled, as recycling centers routinely sort out unclean plastic.
Cruz Hemp plastic pump bottles can be used for many things after being properly cleaned. They are food safe and work great for anything from salad dressings to homemade face cleanser. Get the most life out of all plastics in your household by washing them and discovering new ways to reuse them.
Plastic is a versatile resource, and it is cheap to produce. However, the consequences of its domination and one-time use is unnecessary and unsustainable. Practice reusing plastics by cleaning them and finding ways to repurpose them to get the most life out of them before they make it to the recycling bin. Proper recycling practices reduce the risk of plastic pollution in our oceans. When plastic enters the ocean, it breaks down so small that it is nearly impossible to retrieve. The size of a one-liter bottle can break down so small it eventually ends up on every mile of beach throughout the world. Wash and recycle plastics to eliminate pollution and save marine life. Plastic is the leading cause of death for marine birds, which mainly feed off the surface of the ocean. Over 90% of sea birds have plastic in their stomachs, and when it accumulates, it leads to starvation and early death. One in three marine life species ends up entangled or wounded by our garbage, leading to low quality of life and a shortened lifespan.
Each year the average American throws away approximately 185 pounds of plastic! Plastic from consumer goods makes up about 40% of the whole world’s plastic production. An estimate of 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide annually, and over one million bags are used every minute. Our one-time-use of plastic bags have an average use time of 15 minutes and take up to 1,000 years to degrade. They cannot be melted and recycled.
Replacing your plastic bag use when you shop with cloth bags can make a huge difference for the planet. Using reusable produce bags and substituting food saver bags with glass containers is a great way to begin your journey to a plastic-free household and produce less toxic waste worldwide. As you start reducing your plastic waste, you can make the most out of the plastic you have on hand. A great way to do that is by reusing what you already have like gallon-sized Ziploc bags. You can wash with soapy water and reuse them before they make it to the trash.
Buying beverages in plastic bottles contributes to over 14% of all plastic litter in the world. Not only can we stop contributing to the toxic waste where these bottles eventually end up, but we can also save water and make healthier choices by not consuming sodas and plastic bottled beverages. It takes three times the amount of water just to make a plastic water bottle than the actual amount of water inside of it. Switching to reusable water bottles and water purifier systems is essential to reducing water waste and pollution. Reusing plastic bottles by finding clever ways to repurpose and recycle them is a good option. Choosing beverages in glass bottles is great because both materials can be recycled infinitely, but plastic cannot. Each time plastic is melted down to be recycled, the quality gets worse and eventually becomes unusable. The result is more toxic waste to give to the earth.
Make the most out of the plastic you do use now by reusing it and repurposing it. Practice buying products that use biodegradable packaging when available. Buy bread packaged in paper bags, bring your own reusable produce sacks when you shop. Start bringing a reusable to-go mug to coffee shops and say no to straws. Just making a few adjustments to reduce your plastic use will make a difference. If we do not practice responsible recycling and reduce our plastic use, the world’s plastic waste will become unmanageable and cause more harm.
Discover ways to give back to the earth and our oceans by participating in beach clean-ups and recycling properly. There are many organizations you can donate to and contribute to. Surfrider Foundation has monthly beach clean-ups. You can find local events to participate in or start your own community environmental clean-up groups.
Support plastic bans in your community, spread the word, and recycle!