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With all the news about climate change and the heavy toll that pollution takes on our environment, it seems imperative that we each do our part to repair our Earth. But it can feel downright daunting to try to dramatically alter our lifestyles. After all, many of us were raised on the idea and reality of conveniences in the form of disposable everything.
Thankfully, there are little things we can do every day that will not only make us feel better about the way we choose to live, but also help make a collective dent in combating the negative effects of pollutant.
500 million plastic straws are used every single day in the United States.
Sorry straw lovers. No doubt you’ve seen the reports of late that plastic straws present one of the biggest threats to marine life. Some 500 million straws are used every single day in the United States, with an average use time of only 20 minutes before the straw is thrown way and very likely ends up in our oceans by the tens of thousands. That is an astonishingly fast lifespan for an item that will be on the planet forever.
Enter the copper straw, a reusable and on-trend straw for the most stylish of beverage drinkers who cannot do without their straws, but also want to preserve and protect our beautiful planet Earth.
It may seem like something only for dedicated organic farmers, but composting is the latest in-home trend to reduce food waste and put good nutrients back into the soil. Food scraps and yard waste together currently make up about 30 percent of what we throw away, and can be composted instead, creating an organic material that can be added to soil to help plants grow.
Making compost keeps waste products out of landfills where they take up space and release methane, a potent greenhouse gas. There are many different sized composters, depending on the size of your family and how much food and yard waste your household produces.
For your drinking pleasure, consider investing in a high-quality steel or glass bottle that can be reused daily instead of consuming from and tossing disposable plastic bottles that can take a century to degrade.
You can still enjoy your favorite drinks by purchasing the largest volume per container and filling your reusable bottle with the drink.
It’s time to ditch disposable grocery bags, whether paper or plastic. Now, there are so many fashionable, reusable, and even insulated grocery totes such as the Packit Freezable Grocery Bag.
The cooling power is built into the base of the bag (just pop the bag in the freezer at night and it’s good to go in the morning), so there’s no need for ice packs to keep items chilled. Meat, dairy, fruits, veggies and frozen foods stay safe so you don’t have to stop home to unload them while you run errands
If you pack lunches for school and work, and you enjoy leftovers, you are no stranger to disposable plastic bags and containers, many of which end up littering our shores and oceans.
Instead, consider colorful and heavy duty reusable silicone bags. They come in a variety of sizes and still have that sought-after malleability factor so they’re easy to pack in lunch bags and boxes.
Photography by Constance Mariena
This story will appear in the Spring/Summer 2019 issue of The Inspired Home Journal, titled “One Small Sip For Mankind.”