We’re not gonna sugarcoat it: plastic is a problem. It’s a problem so big that when you stop to think about it — like, really think about it — it starts to feel so impossible and amorphous that you might as well be thinking about black holes. Even though we use plastic every day, the reality of where it goes and how that affects the environment is hard to wrap our heads around.
There are plenty of places online where you can find scary facts and upsetting numbers about what plastic is doing to the earth (here’s one source, if you’re interested). And like with any problem of this scope, it’s easy to get bogged down in the hopelessness of it all. It’s easy to feel like you, a single individual, can’t make much of a difference.
So rather than give you more scary facts and horrifying figures, we’d like to offer some simple, calm, not-scary solutions. So take a deep breath, de-stress, and read on.
Get an ice cream cone
See, we promised these wouldn’t be stressful! Next time you want something cold and sweet, treat yourself — but ask for a cone instead of a cup. You won’t be using any plastic, and as an extremely added bonus, it will be more fun to eat.
When you’re traveling, even just for an overnight trip, think ahead about the products you might need. If you already own them, bring them! Otherwise, you run the risk of heading to the nearest pharmacy and grabbing more items that come in plastic packaging. Pack smart and avoid extra plastic.
Use paper sandwich bags
A quick google search will get you to plenty of options for these. Not only are they plastic-free, but there’s just something fun about eating a sandwich out of a paper bag. We highly recommend.
Buy fresh bread
Looking for some bread for that sandwich? Rather than go to the grocery store and buy pre-sliced, plastic-packaged bread, go to your local bakery. You’ll get better-tasting, fresher bread, and you can take it home in a reusable cloth bag.
See, don’t you feel better already? We know these are simple and maybe even a little bit silly, but the point is that you can start small to combat this very big problem. Rather than let the big-ness of it all lead you to inaction, be empowered by what a difference every small action can make.