Highland Heights Green Task Force – Serving the Greater Hillcrest Communities & Beyond

woman recycling

10 Ways to Use Less Plastic

People often forget that the first line of defense is to REDUCE the use of waste, including single-use plastics….REDUCE, Reuse, Recycle. Here are TEN WAYS that you can scale down your single-use plastic consumption.

  1. Choose reusable grocery bags AND produce bags.
    You can re-use the ones from the store, or invest in some top notch bags on Amazon or other sources.
  2. Just say NO to plastic straws.
    Perhaps even urge the restaurant to resume using paper straws!
  3. Bring your own “take-home” containers
    When dining out, bring your own containers for left-overs. Glass or stainless steel are best to avoid plastic contamination from warm foods.
  4. Use a refillable water bottle.
    There are many commercial bottles available. But you can innovate! Empty spaghetti sauce jars are great, free, lidded bottles!
  5. Use refillable bottles for basic necessities.
    Some local grocers (Heinens, Whole Foods) offer refills on bulk olive oil, beer growlers, shampoos, and other basic necessities. Check for details at each establishment.
  6. Visit the “deli-counter”.
    You can request that they wrap your cheeses, meats, and fish in butcher paper without plastic, rather than purchase pre-packaged goods.
  7. Disposable paper products.
    For times when you must use disposable products, choose renewable sourced materials if possible. Cups, plates, table covers, toilet paper, paper towels and even diapers can be made from recycled paper, bamboo, or even hemp! Unbleached options are best! You can purchase most locally, or find a wide variety of options on Amazon!
    Or skip the disposable and opt for washable glass, fabric or stainless steel products.
  8. Sandwich Bag Alternatives.
    Remember waxed paper? It still works! A “modern” option is beeswax wraps. Not only are they reusable and sustainable, but they don’t leach harmful chemicals into your food! (That’s another big story!)
  9. Look for Non-Plastic Packaging
    Many companies are beginning to offer alternative packaging! Boxed soups, frozen veggies and even laundry sheets can now be purchased in cardboard boxes!Look for Cardboard and Paper Packaging.
  10. Reuse what you already have.
    Plastic is everywhere! Reuse or find new uses for plastics you already have.
    We really do “vote with our dollars”. By purchasing products that don’t use more sustainable materials we send a strong signal to companies; they will continue to move in that direction.

Plastic will be with us for a long time…and it CAN be useful for many things such as medical and safety products! It is the casual and one-time convenience usage that we should strive to eliminate. 

We are all in this together. Let’s work together AND as individuals to steer our earth-ship in a healthier and safer direction.