Kick Your Plastic Habit in 2021
We’ve gathered a few tips to help you keep your plastic-free New Year’s Resolution.
Some New Year’s resolutions can be overwhelming, but going plastic free doesn’t have to be. We’ve collected some of our best, tried-and-true methods for reducing plastic waste that are completely achievable. Let’s get right into it!
The bad habit: Buying pre-packaged food
You almost always bring your reusable bags (win!), but wind up filling them with single-use packages of pre-made food.
The quick fix: Learn to shop low waste!
Find copycat recipes for your favorite meals, buy ingredients in bulk, and prep your meals in advance using reusable containers.
The bad habit: Buying wellness products in single-use packaging
You love your skin care routine, but can’t stand all the plastic packaging that comes with your glow up.
The quick fix: Learn to make your own beauty products!
You can find recipes for almost anything online. From hand soap to skin lotion, you can make almost anything yourself. This is especially beneficial if you have sensitive skin and need to know what’s in your products. If you can’t make your own, take the time to research sustainable, zero-waste brands.
The bad habit: Shopping fast fashion
You need to refresh your wardrobe but feel guilty about buying new clothes because so many garments are made from synthetic fabrics that introduce microplastic into the environment when washed and create unnecessary plastic waste like hangers, hooks, tags, etc.
The quick fix: Learn to love gently-used clothing!
Organize a clothing swap with your friends or go thrifting and shop second hand. For every new piece of clothing you buy, donate an old one. And if you absolutely must buy brand-new, invest in a higher-quality product made from organic materials that will last for years to come. If you’re handy, you can also install a washing machine filter to collect microfibers that shed during the wash cycle to prevent them from entering our waterways.
The bad habit: Using too much plastic in the bathroom
You know oral health is the key to overall health, but you can’t stand how keeping your teeth pearly white impacts the ocean’s health.
The quick fix: Start with easy swaps and work your way up to bigger ones
Did you know we throw away over 50 million pounds of toothbrushes in the US alone every year? And that doesn’t even include floss or toothpaste tubes! The quickest fix is to swap your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo one. Then swap your plastic floss for a natural option that comes in a reusable container. Once you’ve got those new habits down, make the switch to either homemade toothpaste or test those toothpaste tabs that come in a reusable glass jar. If there is one takeaway here, it’s that Google will be your new, best, and most sustainable friend this year!
The bad habit: Using cleaning supplies in plastic packaging
You love living in a clean and tidy home, but hate creating more waste while you clean up your own.
The quick fix: Learn to make your own cleaning products!
Find DIY cleaning recipes for whatever you need to clean online. You can finish using the products you already have and store your homemade products in the leftover bottles. Most of the ingredients you’ll need are things you already have around the house. Make your chores extra sustainable by using a washable rag or old t-shirt to wipe down surfaces instead of paper towels.
Remember, one change at a time
The #1 reason that New Year’s Resolutions fail is because people set their goals too big instead of breaking them down into smaller, more manageable steps. You don’t have to be plastic-free by the end of January to make a difference for the ocean.
Start slowly by creating a list of the swaps you know you can make and assign yourself a timeline to make them. Don’t introduce too many new habits at once. Make one swap and let yourself get adjusted. Once it’s become a habit, move on to the next swap.
There’s no right or wrong way to quit plastic. You have to go at your own pace and do what works for you. And most importantly, start by giving yourself permission to fail. It means you’re trying, and that’s always better than giving up because you feel overwhelmed.