Five Facts about Plastic…..
- We use 20 times more plastic today than we did 50 years ago.
- Plastic chemicals can be absorbed by the body.
- Around 17 billion plastic grocery bags are given away by supermarkets each year
- The average time for plastic to decompose is 450 – well it could be awhile depending on what it is…but that plastic milk jug? Yep that will be here for a LONG time.
- Americans on average throw away 38 billion plastic bottles EVERY year.
While the numbers change depending on what site you use, they are still astronomically high. It’s incredibly sad to see the pictures of the ocean’s surface covered with plastic, or the beaches that have trash washed up. So today I wanted to share with you what we do when travelling to reduce the amount of plastic we use. I would like to think these are incredibly simple to do and achievable for all, because even the small things can make a huge difference.
1. Have a reusable water bottle with you at all times
Every hotel room, cruiseship stateroom and airport gift shop sells plastic water bottles. Once you take notice of them, it’s kind of hard to unsee them. Having your own water bottle with you at all times will cancel out the need for buying plastic water bottles, and help you stay hydrated and healthy. Double win!
2. Say no to plastic bags
While some countries don’t use plastic bags if you are in the United States this is a huge problem especially at WalMart! Always carry your own bag. I have a small one that stays in my purse along with reusable produce bags to make it easy to say no to plastic bags whether I am at home or on the go.
3. Don’t use travel size products or minis
It seems like everywhere offers travel sizes, even hotels usually have a mini sized bottle of shampoo waiting for you! These are unnecessary and honestly not the best quality either. Bring your own either in contact cases in the case of skincare or makeup, or in reusable bottles that you can easily rinse out time and time again. This helps reduce plastic and also ensures you still get a chance to use your favorite products from home while on the go.
4. Say no to disposable straws and cutlery
How many times have you ordered food to go and you get home and find 20 plastic sporks in the bag because the person fixing the bag just didn’t care. Always watch goes in the bag because there really isn’t a need for all the excess, especially if you are taking it someone that has reusable cutlery, like your Airbnb or hostel. You might only be saving 5 pieces of plastic, but that’s 5 less pieces in the ocean.
5. Carry a to go cup with you or say no to plastic lids
This is especially important for me as a coffee drinker. While it’s not always practical to have your own cup with you (especially if you travel lite) you can at least say no to the plastic lid every coffee shop in the world insists on putting on. You could also easily drink the coffee there if you are worried about it spilling.
Be sure to spread the word and let people know why you are trying to cut down on plastic usage and maybe you will encourage more people to reduce their plastic usage.