Updated: Mar 26
Contribute towards a greener environment and save money as well by getting rid of this dangerous environmental catastrophe.
Plastic has made our lives easier and convenient ever since it was first introduced. However, millions of plastic bottles, straws, bags and other plastic items are thrown in the trash everyday. 90% of the trash floating around in the oceans is plastic. Plastic takes 450-1000 years to biodegrade. In the oceans it breaks down into tiny pieces, some of these are not visible to the naked eye. It is also said that those who consume seafood more often, are consuming tiny pieces of plastic as well. This is a dangerous health hazard, plastic poses an increased risk of cancer and is one of the causes of death of thousands of bird and sea animals. While it may not be possible to completely eliminate plastic but we can make sure that we reduce our consumption of plastic and save money in the process while safeguarding your health. Here are 7 ways that you can start implementing towards a plastic free environment - 1. Reusable bags. Invest in a reusable bag that is comfortable and compact to carry around and can last for long. This can come in handy when shopping for groceries, carrying your lunch and takeaways or anything else. If they do get filthy, you can wash them and get it cleaned. Carrefour is one of the places in the UAE where they sell their own branded reusable shopping bags on their cash counters. 2. Reusable water bottles. Plastic water bottles beyond a certain time start releasing harmful chemicals into the water that you drink. A stainless steel bottle is your best bet when it comes to water bottles. You can use them for a long period of time, carrying water around with you wherever you go. Never again would you be reaching for that plastic bottle of water from the supermarkets for a quick thirst quench. Avoid purchasing plastic water bottles in restaurants as well and you would be saving yourself a good amount of money. The same applies when it comes to coffee or any hot beverages, invest in a reusable coffee mug or flask that you can use to carry around. 3. Eliminate plastic when ordering food. When placing an order for food, whether dine-in, takeaway or home delivery, ask them to not provide any plastic cutlery, plastic straws or even a plastic bag, if possible. This plastic more often than not, always ends up in the trash or is just thrown around in parks, on the beaches etc. Some restaurants even place an additional charge for all the plastic packaging. You can choose to dine-in on such an occasion and ditch the plastic while saving those extra charges.
4. Use plastic-free containers. Invest in glass jars, glass food containers, stainless steel containers and silicone containers. Plastic containers may be cheaper and convenient but many of them contain BPA, which is a chemical that blocks and interferes with our body's hormones. These plastic containers release this chemical when they are subjected to heat in a microwave or when they get old. This chemical has also been found to have caused cancers and reproductive disorders. Glass containers will last longer and over the long run will beat the costs of repeated plastic container purchases and will also save your health. 5. Buying in bulk. Avoid prepackaged food, vegetables, meat, etc. and buy everything you need in bulk. When you buy in bulk, you avoid all the prepackaged items which is usually packed in plastic. It is no surprise that when you buy in bulk, it costs a lot cheaper. You can directly head to the fruit, vegetable and meat markets and buy all that you need in bulk, provided you also have the sufficient storage and would actually consume everything before it goes bad. 6. Ditch chewing gums. Most chewing gums are made of a malleable plastic material and just like any other plastic material, chewing gums do not degrade. Every year there's tonnes of plastic waste coming from just chewing gums and not only is this draining your money over a period of time but it is also causing damage to your health. 7. Reuse and recycle. Reuse all the plastic that is around your home so that less goes to waste. Use them as storage containers for your tools and accessories. You can use bottles and other small containers to grow plants, fruits and vegetables before moving them to a larger pot or a garden. Pinterest is a great place to find ideas to reuse and upcycle plastic. Related - Top 6 Ways to Save Money on your Gym Memberships! 10 ways to Save Money on your Food & Household Expenses! 10 ways to Save Money on your Transportation Expenses! 10 ways to reduce food waste and save money! 7 tricks Supermarkets use to make you spend more money! 7 unhealthy habits that are costing you money!
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