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Five Ways to Cut Down on Single-Use Plastics at Home


During Root for Earth, which runs from April 1 to April 22 this year, we are focusing on how to reduce the consumption of single-use plastics. Here are five ways to use fewer unnecessary plastics.

  1. Scream for ice cream…cones. If you go out to get ice cream with your child, ask for that single scoop in a cone instead of a plastic dish. It will be delicious and eco-friendly.
  2. Bulk up. When you’re shopping for toilet paper, diapers or other plastic-wrapped items, buying in bulk instead of in smaller quantities means you won’t be disposing of plastic as often. Buying in bulk also means taking fewer trips to the grocery store, which saves gas, money and time.
  3. Filter out the plastic by filtering your water. Use a refillable pitcher with a water filter and reusable water bottles instead of buying bottled water. You will use less plastic and save money. There’s also the added benefit of always having cold, filtered water on hand.
  4. Shop ‘til you drop…with reusable shopping bags. The average American family takes home about 1,500 plastic shopping bags a year (National Resources Defense Council, 2008). If you could stack them all up length-wise, they would be as tall as a 254-story skyscraper, which is 94 stories taller than the tallest building in the world! You can reduce the number of plastic bags you bring home by investing in reusable shopping bags, which are usually bigger and more durable. Many stores offer a discount if you bring your own reusable bags.
  5. Say no to plastic coffee cup lids, and say yes to saving moolah on java. Some coffee shops offer discounts on coffee when you bring your own reusable mug. You can save money on coffee while helping save the environment. It’s win-win!





Natural Resources Defense Council. (2008). NRDC lauds passage of New York City Council legislation requiring groceries, retailers to provide plastic bag recycling for consumers. Retrieved from https://www.nrdc.org/media/2008/080109