While there is a raging pandemic right outside our doorsteps, there has also been an ongoing environmental crisis for over 100 years now which poses just as deadly of a threat to us and our planet. Now, more than ever, it is important to understand and realize the ongoing problems and exactly what measures can be taken on our part. All good things and great actions begin small, so today, we will discuss some of the best ways you can be an environmental savior while staying safe from the looming pandemic.
According to UNICEF, here are some ways you can reduce or efficiently use the amount of plastic at home:
1. Try to limit the use of cellophane-wrapped products:
Cellophane recycling is difficult on an industrial scale because it tends to clog the machinery. The used cellophane that we dispose of usually ends up in landfills and can even release toxic chemicals into the environment upon degradation. It is easy to find considerably cheaper alternatives to conventional cellophane. Opting for this simple switch can create a significant impact.
2. Store leftovers in alternative containers to plastic:
Plastic bags and wraps often end up on seashores and sea beds and consequently harm most of the marine life present. Almost 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in the world’s oceans annually, according to a 2015 study from the University of California Santa Barbara. For comparison purposes, this is equivalent to 2 empire state buildings going into the ocean every month. If we store all our leftovers in glass containers, stainless steel bottles, and other such alternatives, we can considerably reduce the amount of waste and even save ourselves from potential health damage caused by the plastic.
3. Upcycle glass jars:
Glass jars make the perfect storage utilities! Simply remove the labels and repurpose the bottles to store liquids and even your mints. This saves us time and money and simultaneously helps reduce environmental stress.
4. Extending the life of the plastic in use:
There are multiple ways in which, the plastic bottles we purchase, can be used for a much longer duration before they are disposed of. In our article “Putting waste in its right place” we addressed that 79% of the plastic ends up in oceans and landfills instead of being incinerated or recycled. Recycling plastic has its added advantages that we will be talking about very soon (stay connected!). One of the most fun and creative ways to extend the plastic life is to turn them into art. Almost anything can be made into art these days! Including the waste (which has a negative connotation to it but can hold abundant value).
5. Try the ZeLoop app:
To promote a circular economy and to encourage the idea of recycling, the ZeLoop app rewards you for simply disposing of your plastic bottles into the recycling bins when you’re out for your grocery runs. Take a picture while you save the environment and earn eco-rewards for doing so! This is one of the easiest and most effective ways to ensure you save the marine life, the oceans, and the environment in a few simple steps. While these are only very few ways to mitigate the use and disposal effects of plastic, there are so many other simple modifications we can incorporate in our day-to-day activities to ensure we are being safe and environmentally friendly.
Feel free to leave your suggestions and comments below!