Our NutraMilk team knows the importance of practicing sustainability and we know you do too. You lead a low-waste lifestyle as much as possible, you use your NutraMilk system weekly (okay, let's be real, probably daily), but you are still asking yourself if you can do more. We recently sat down with one of our partners, Dylan Weiser, from Live Weiser who shared with us her top eight tips for reducing plastic in your life so you can live a low to zero waste lifestyle.
1. Take an Inventory
Using less plastic is, well, less expensive, but before you run out and buy something new that's not plastic, check to see what you have at home. Why purchase a reusable water bottle when you already have one? Okay so you may have to clean out a few kitchen cabinets to find it, but you know you have one. It's always better to reuse what you already have, but if you don't have one, consider purchasing something second hand before you purchase something brand new.
2. Find a Reusable Water Bottle
Did you know it takes roughly 450-1,000 years for a plastic water to break down and that 38 billion water bottles (over two million tons) end up in U.S. landfills each year. (Not cool if you ask us!) Not to mention, plastic contains chemicals and toxins that can disrupt hormones in your endocrine system. Yikes! Instead of using plastic water bottles, find a reusable water bottle and take it with you everywhere you go. Use it for your morning tea or coffee, your afternoon juice or smoothie. Reusable water bottles, glass jars and mason jars can be used for more than just water, so get creative.Product Recommendations: Earth Lust, Klean Kanteen, Fressko, Welly, Swell, Healthy Human
3. Upgrade Produce Bags and Grocery Bags
4. Swap Your Straws
Americans use 500 million plastic straws every day, that's enough straws to fill 125+ school buses every day. Consider no longer using straws, but if using a straw is your thing (hey, no judgement here), then consider finding or purchasing a reusable metal straw.
Product Recommendations: SipWell
5. Banish Plastic from the Kitchen
When it comes to cooking and baking, elevate your kitchen utensils from plastic to something more sustainable like bamboo. Don't forget all of those leftover containers either! Instead of re-purposing restaurant to-go containers or plastic storage containers, recycle them and store your delicious leftovers in glassware. Product Recommendations: Bamboo Cutlery, To-Go Ware, Green Lunch, Mason Jars
6. Get Buzzy for Beeswax
Plastic wrap like cling wrap and saran wrap are bad for the environment, not to mention they are so annoying to use. Instead of dealing with miles of cling wrap that is, well, too clingy, opt for natural alternatives like beeswax paper.
7. Cloth Napkins
Most of us save the cloth napkins for dinner parties, holidays and special occasion, but consider using them all year long and abandoning single use paper towel and paper napkins. Mother Nature Network says, "When you factor in all of the components of making a paper towel or napkins (harvesting the material, processing and bleaching it, packaging it, shipping it, stocking it at a supermarket, transportation to and from the store to purchase it, etc.) all for a single use, you find that the paper towels and napkins are about twice as energy-intensive and create more greenhouse gases overall." Ditch the single-use stuff and instead use cloth napkins. (Oh, you so fancy!)
Product Recommendations: Cloth napkins
#8 Buy in Bulk
A big part of lowering waste is purchasing your favorite foods like coffee beans, nuts and seeds in bulk. Most individual cartons and packaging are made or lined with plastic, but buying in bulk is an easy way to reduce single use plastic. Not only is buying in bulk better for the environment, it's also better for your health. Most individual cartons of nut milks have added fillers, gums or artificial preservatives, so instead of buying individual cartons of nut milk or seed milk, make your own at home instead. It's easy!
When it comes to reducing plastic in your life, remember, the goal is not to buy more, but first to reuse what you have. Maybe it's an old olive jar or a glass pickle jar, it's not about perfection, it's about awareness. Start to pay attention and take notice how many things are packed in plastic and use these eight tips to help you reduce plastic in your life. Afterall, small changes lead to big results!
Tag us @thenutramilk so we can see how you reduce plastic in your life!