Another year is drawing to a close; and it has certainly been a challenging one for many of us. But if hindsight is to literally be 2020 (for the first time ever!), then let us take a moment to evaluate our impact on this planet, and how we may seek to reduce it. I’m pleased to be sharing this guest post from Donald Giddings, Founder of Green Living Zone, in which he demonstrates how plastic-free living is something we can all strive to achieve in 2021.
How to Live a Plastic-Free Life Guest Post
Plastics have become a major part of human life. The trend to use plastic at every given opportunity has lasted for decades, and doesn’t look likely to stop anytime soon. But perhaps by now, many of us have come to realise that we must change our consumer habits immediately, if we are to influence change at a higher level. Indeed, for many people, steps are already being taken to that effect to ensure a plastic-free life.
Whether you’re thinking of beginning your plastic-reduced lifestyle as a New Year’s Resolution, or are already well on the way to a zero waste existence, it never hurts to see what changes others are making too.
Can We Lead A Plastic-Free Life?
There’s no denying that it would be an arduous task to get people to unlearn a habit that has been part of their daily routine for years. Shopping with plastic bags and containers has been one of the most utilized sources that led to the proliferation of plastics in the world today.
Nevertheless, the trend was learned. Just like every other habit, it can be unlearned, if relevant approaches are meted out to actualize it.
So, here are the steps to follow to discover how to live a plastic-free life:
Give Up Liquid Soaps; Go for Bar Soaps
Liquid soaps are not entirely natural because they are manufactured with some emulsifying stabilizers and agents. Besides, the bottles are not only plastic but can accumulate germs over time, even after constant rinsing.
Instead, you should choose bar soaps that are made with many natural materials. They can also be washed off after use, thereby reducing the chances of attracting bacteria.
Replace Surface Cleaner with Vinegar
There’s no denying that vinegar is an active ingredient that has been neglected by some homeowners. In light of the consistent drive to live free of plastic, you may want to look into that by replacing chemical-based cleaners with vinegar.
If you’re wondering about the importance of vinegar, here are some of them. Vinegar, when mixed with water, becomes an active all-purpose spray cleaner. It can also kill germs, just as it can be used for other purposes, such as cleaning showerheads, microwaves, carpets, dishwashers, toilet bowls, and refrigerators.
Use Baking Soda for Washing
It’s time to reevaluate how you’ve been using soap and what cleaning products have you been buying. Worthy of mention is that the conventional soaps contain toxic chemicals, which are mostly trapped in the plastic wrappers.
The general rule regarding the plastic-free lifestyle is to substitute traditional cleaning products with baking soda. The soda does not only have a deodorizing effect but has versatile applications, such as cleaning dishes and bathroom surfaces.
Discard Synthetic Clothing
Many of us are too particular about food and water as the core areas of application for non-plastic living. While that is tenable, it should be noted that clothing is also affected by the overt use and presence of plastics.
It might interest you to know that clothes made from synthetic materials like acrylic and polyester release plastic microfibers after washing.
So, you may want to re-use or donate the synthetic clothing that you no longer wear and pick up other environmental friendly dress, such as silk, cotton, linen, and wool. You can also buy in second-hand stores and fight against “fast fashion” and give clothes a longer life.
Avoid Convenience Foods
Convenience foods are harmful to health. Besides, many of these are wrapped in plastic bags. So, if you want to lead a plastic-free life, then it’s time to call it quits with frozen convenience foods.
Drop Plastic Bags and Choose Plastic-free Reusable Bags
Humans need food to survive. While at that, there are higher chances of putting health at risk. Continuous use of plastic bags tends to trigger some health conditions like cancer. Hence, it’s essential to choose reusable bags.
The rule of thumb in that regard is to consider the type of material that is used in manufacturing your preferred reusable bags. For instance, reusable bags made from cotton may not be very much feasible because cotton as a plant consumes many pesticides, water, and fertilizers during its growth.
Instead, you may want to go for reusable bags that are made from bamboo or you can even make them yourself with materials you have at home.
Purchase Your Grocery Shopping at the Local Farmer’s Market
Conventional groceries and farm produce can be sourced at the local market. You should note that the likes of fruits and vegetables on the shelves of supermarkets did not only spend a number of days in transit before getting there, but are also spending more days pending their final sales on the shelves too.
Therefore, you may want to beat conventional grocery shopping by purchasing your groceries from the local farmer’s market.
You would not only be avoiding the plastic packaging that comes with them in the former option but would also get them at pocket-friendly rates while keeping them fresh for as long as possible.
Give Up Bottled Water for Reusable Water Bottles
The quest for a plastic-free life doesn’t end at the foods we consume. Similar attention should also be paid to the liquids we take. Water, for instance, can be substituted from the conventional plastic bottles to the use of reusable water bottles.
Go the Eco-Friendly Way
We’ve looked at the natural and individualistic approaches to living a plastic-free life. It’s worth mentioning that the overt use and dominance of plastics in many households around the world have led to a decline in some environmental conditions.
To that end, it’s essential to adapt to the eco-friendly pattern of living. That way, it wouldn’t be much of a task to (slowly) get rid of plastics while taking up other alternatives to replace plastics.
Live A Plastic-Free Life
The attention of many people has been drawn to the havoc caused by the excessive use of plastics, and many people already see reasons for that. As the awareness continues to go on, you may want to be among the early birds that would switch from the toxicity of plastics to the alternatives of plastics.
If you have any other insight(s), you can also share them using the comment section. Share this post with your family and friends as well to learn how to live a plastic-free life.
About the Author
Donald Giddings is founder and editor in chief at Green Living Zone. A lifelong sustainability enthusiast, Donald is always looking for the best way to live in harmony with nature. When he is not trying out new eco-friendly recipes, he writes engaging content about green, sustainable ways to maintain your home, body, and soul, readily sharing his abundant experience with other green living aficionados.