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Beginner's Guide to Reducing Individual Plastic Waste

Trying to start being more environmentally conscious and reducing your waste can seem overwhelming at first, but it will become second nature in no time. Many people think that they can't make a difference, it's inconvenient, too expensive, etc (excuses, excuses...). You don't have to go 0 to 100 immediately, which is when people get frustrated and give up. Start out with a few things I list below and I promise your awareness of how much plastic is wasted daily will be heightened and you'll see how much of a difference you really are making. 

1. Reusable water bottle


I'm sorry but if you don't already have a reusable water bottle what are you doing. This is the easiest thing you can do and it will SAVE you money. Yes you might be spending more initially but in the long term you save so much money. Also, reusable water bottles are given out for free at events all the time so maybe you don't even need to spend money on one. 


  • 48 8oz Deer Park water bottles is $28.82

    • 384oz total​

    • 48 bottles total / $​28.82 total = $1.66 per bottle​

  • 1 17oz Swell Bottle is $35 

    • Let's make this 16oz so it's easier​

  • It's you recommended you drink 64oz

    • 8 8oz water bottles​

    • I drink 96oz water a day (sorry to flex) which is 12 8oz bottles 

  • 48 bottles / 8 bottles a day = 6 bottles a day​​

    • So that $28.82 will last you six days if you're drinking the MINIMUM amount of recommended water a day​

    • The Swell bottle will have been paid off in less than 2 weeks​


This is the bottle I'm currently using but you by no means have to get a Swell bottle there are so many options out there now

2. Water Filter


This is to piggy back off of the reusable water bottle. A lot people buy plastic bottles of water because they want to drink filtered water, which is understandable but there is another way. There are a lot of refill stations now popping up on school campuses, buildings, and restaurants will give you water for free. However, if that isn't an option for you or you don't want to drink tap water at home, I have the solution for you. A water filter. Simple I know yet some people don't do it. This Brita Filter Water Pitcher is $27.99, so again an investment at first, but it pays itself off.


3. Reusable mug/tumbler


This could fall under reusable water bottle, but different bottles serve different purposes for me so here we are. I love my Porter portable ceramic mug (perfect for tea), but sometimes 12oz just isn't enough. I use my 20oz Yeti insulated tumbler when I need more (perfect for coffee). Also, sometimes you just want a classic tumbler with a straw and lid ya know. You clearly don't need to get all of these, but I wanted to share some of my favorites and show some options. 


4. Reusable Straw


While we're talking about drinks, how could I not talk about reusable straws after the spotlight they got in 2018. The movement against plastic straws that occurred is proof that we have the power to make the necessary changes to fight climate change, pollution, and waste, when we want to. It's not a matter of if we can, but if we will. The stigma that now exists around plastic straws as a single use plastic is a great first step, but not enough, here a couple you can use to do your part.


5. Reusable plastic bags


Plastic bags genuinely anger me. People use them once and throw them away, wasting money and polluting the environment. I know it's so easy to just grab a plastic bag for chips, toiletries, whatever, so please please genuinely consider buying these reusable bags. You'll just have to wash them quickly ever so often and this purchase will be an investment for yourself and the environment (like everything I recommend here). 

6. Reusable Produce Bags


One of the places I see people waste the most plastic is the grocery store (I'll get into more ways you can reduce plastic in another post so I don't overwhelm you). There is so much unnecessary plastic readily available, but if you come prepared you can totally avoid it. Produce bags are such a waste because people will grab one for each item they buy and then throw them all away when they get home. Reusable produce bags like these will save a ton of plastic and overtime will just become part of your routine (along with your reusable tote bag lol). 

7. Reusable Grocery Bags


If you don't already bring your own reusable bags when you go grocery shopping what are you doing. You probably don't even need to buy one because I can guarantee you have some big tote bag or something in your house already. Also, most states charge you five cents per plastic bag, so you'll actually save money. If you feel like you won't remember to bring them just leave a couple in your car. Easy. Next. 

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