Can you achieve a 100% plastic-free home? Our step-by-step guide paves the way for a low-waste, sustainable home that consumes and discards less plastic.
Sustainable living is not just a buzzword but a lifestyle choice that many are adopting. A crucial aspect of this lifestyle is reducing your plastic consumption and waste generation. The plastic waste problem is on an all-time high and plastic is negatively impacting our planet health as well as our own.
According to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data, plastic accounts for 8% of total solid waste, with Delhi producing more than any other city, followed by Kolkata and Ahmedabad. Households produce the most plastic garbage, with water and soft drink bottles accounting for a considerable portion.
We have become so dependent on plastic that we don’t know how to not use it anymore. But eliminating plastic from your life is not that tough. Switching to plastic-free product alternatives and making some active lifestyle changes can ensure not just a plastic-free home, but also a plastic-free life.
Here is a 3 step guide to ensure a plastic-free home.
1. Use What You Have
Yes, use what you already have such as plastic bags, containers and utensils. You don’t need to buy anything new if you can first use what you already own and fits the purpose.
Going completely plastic-free is tough and may seem impossible. But reusing our plastic consumption help us save another plastic bag or item to go into landfill. You can wash plastic bags and reuse them again.
You want your containers of stainless steel or glass but they are plastic. No worries! Reuse or repurpose them. You can send it for recycling when it starts to wear down because there is a chance of plastic getting in food. Plastic storage containers can be of great use to organize tools, stationery and junk drawers. You can also store small quantities of bulky dry food for easier access while in the kitchen. You can use these to store snacks and carry them around.
If you start thinking about it, there are multiple uses of the plastic products we own. Plastic is a durable material that lasts long and is also lightweight. Thus, ensure to use all the plastic you have to the end of its life cycle. This is a big step in reducing the amount of plastic waste that ends up in the environment.
2. Avoid Single-Use Plastic
As stated earlier, plastic is a great material as it lasts longer. But you know what is not so great about plastics? Single-use plastic products.
Single-use plastics are delicate, easily breakable and hard to recycle. While they may solve certain purposes (think packaging plastic and party cutlery), their cost to the environment is too heavy to continue using them. Single-use plastic is also harmful to animals who might mistakenly consume these items or parts of them.
Reducing your single-use plastic consumption can be done by making some simple changes like:
- Carry you own water bottle. This ensures that you will not buy PET plastic bottles when out.
- Have a cloth bag with you always thus eliminating the need to ask for a plastic polythene bag.
- When ordering food for delivery, add a special note to not send single-use plastic cutlery. Alternatively, you can also carry your own cutlery when heading out to eat.
Banning entry of single-use plastic in your homes is the first key target area. You can then start reducing your overall plastic consumption and hence, plastic waste generation. Learn about the different types of plastic & which ones can be recycled.
3. Adopt A Sustainable Buying Method
Once you have reduced the amount of plastic entering your homes, you will then start seeing what a plastic-free life looks like. Your mission from then on is to only shop for plastic-free sustainable products.
When you go shopping, ask yourself whether this product is going to affect the planet? You can see whether the product is going to last for a long time. Avoid packaging that has a lot of layers of plastic and materials that cannot be recycled.
Going plastic-free all at once is impossible. So, break the process into small steps. Conquer one area at a time. Start with achieving a plastic-free bathroom or a plastic-free kitchen. Include your family members in this change as well. After all, the home is a shared ecosystem and any changes in this space need the efforts and cooperation of all family members.
Rethink about products that you have and how to use them. Plastic is bad for us and our planet. It lasts on earth for hundreds of years. Plastic is not the legacy we want to leave behind for our future generations.
Our three-step model may be easy to read, but slightly difficult to implement. However, small steps can make a difference. It is progress that we are making for a better Earth. Your actions can motivate others to do the same. So start your plastic-free journey today!
Dhanashree is a student who believes in the power of individual action and had adopted a sustainable lifestyle for the planet. She loves reading and writing and brings together these passions on her blog page called Do Cognizance. She also runs an Instagram page by the same name.