Category Archives: plastic bags

20+ Solid Steps Towards Plastic-Free Living

The use of plastic is a big menace to the environment. Plastic lacks the ability to biodegrade and this means that it pollutes the environment. It is hence imperative to adopt a plastic free living to reduce the overall impacts plastics have on the environment.

Essentially, plastic free living means that one has to avoid or minimize using plastic materials. In other words, the plastic materials we use daily can be substituted by other environmentally friendly materials or can be avoided completely. Here are 20+ solid steps to plastic free living.


1. Giving up bottled water. Bottled water comes in a plastic package, which requires effort to ship and extract. Using a reusable stainless bottle instead of using the plastic bottles is one step towards a plastic free life. The bottled water is normally filtered tap water so one can just purify tap water in their homes and bottle it in a stainless steel bottle. However, one should avoid reusable plastic bottles and aluminum bottles as they may leach chemicals in water and are lined by hazardous epoxy resins respectively.

2. Use reusable shopping bag The use of plastic bags are on the rise and they contribute greatly to pollution and their production also contribute to global warming. Instead of using a plastic bag next time when doing grocery shopping, you can use other alternatives such reusable paper bags, canvas bags, backpacks, and messenger bags. The reusable shopping bags should be kept in one’s bag or car at all times in order to avoid buying plastic bags.

3. Use reusable containers for take outs and leftovers. Next time you are out for food and you need to take out foods or leftovers use one of your containers instead of the takeout containers provided. Make sure you carry with you a container each time you go out to avoid promoting the use of plastic materials. The move will allow movement towards a plastic free living.

4. Use stainless steel bottles and cups for water or coffee as you move around. When moving around the world on travel or when running errands, one needs water or coffee. These drinks come in plastic bottles or disposable cups. To avoid plastics, you can choose to carry around stainless steel mugs or water bottles to store the drinks in. And to avoid forgetting the mug or bottle at home, you must have a personal policy not to take any of the drinks if you have forgotten the containers.

5. Eat ice cream cone instead of ice cream in a container. Instead of keeping tons of ice cream in the freezer in plastic containers you can treat yourself to cone ice cream occasionally when you have cravings. In addition to reducing the number of plastics in the world, it also reduces ice cream consumption hence a healthier individual.

6. Cut on plastic bottled beverages. Plastic bottled beverages include drinks such as sodas and juices, which increase the level of plastics or non-biodegradable components on earth. Choosing to take fresh fruits or drink fresh juice from the comfort of your home makes it easier to get rid of plastics or glass bottles or containers that accompany these beverages.

7. Buy fresh pastries that come in paper bags or no bags. When going to the bakery for bread or other pastries, you should opt for fresh ones that come in paper bags or no paper at all. A cloth bag or any other clean bag can be used when picking bread from the bakery or farmers market. Additionally, bread stay fresh when stored in an airtight tin or in a cloth bag so it’s an added bonus to using plastic bags.

8. Return used containers to suppliers for reuse. When buying groceries from the farmers market, you can use one shopping bag that you can take for a refill each week. As for the cherries, tomatoes, and jam that can be stored in containers, they should be returned to the farmers market for reuse. Instead of having a pile of containers in your kitchen that keep accumulating each time you go to the market, you can collect them and take them back for reuse.

9. Carry around a container for meat and prepared food. When you go out to for meat or other prepared meals that need packaging be sure to carry your own container from home to avoid their plastic containers. You can ask the butcher to measure the weight of the container you are using and deduct it from the total weight of the meat.

10. Buy milk in reusable glass bottle. When buying milk or yogurt you can opt to use glass bottles. The glass bottles can be yours or you can get milk packed in them in the supermarket. Instead of buying milk packed in plastic bags or disposable paper bags you can carry around your glass bottle that is specific to milk or yogurt. The glass bottles help get rid of plastic bags and paper bags coated with plastic on both sides a major step towards plastic free living.

11. Carry Cutlery and Straws that is Non-plastic. Plastic cutlery such as spoons and knives and straws are among the worst pollutants. They are normally overlooked but they are mostly used and disposed of leading to a pile of plastic disposed in the environment. In order to embrace plastic free living, it is important for you to stop using these plastic cutleries and straws and instead embrace the use of your own cutlery. Carry cutlery with you from home and keep it in the car. It could be made of stainless steel, wood or anything that is not plastic or disposable in order to keep this world plastic free.


12. Shop in Bulk to Minimize Packaging. It is important to shop in bulk be it for personal effects, grocery, hardware products, cleaning supplies or other products that come in plastic packages. When you shop in bulk, you avoid using plastic packaging or minimize them. There are stores that weigh products you have bought in bulk and package them in personal containers. While shopping carrying these containers or bags, it can be essential in reducing and eventually putting a stop to plastic living.

13. Avoid Buying Foods that have been over packaged, processed, canned and those that are frozen. The ban of plastic completely in the world would mean that people would be healthier. Most of the unhealthy foods are stored in plastic materials whereby they are stored for future purposes. Vegetables and fruits are normally covered in plastic in order to keep them fresh. Frozen convenient foods are normally packaged in plastic bags to avoid keeping them fresh while in the freezer. Canned foods are also coated using plastic called epoxy. If you avoid buying these products, then you are taking a step towards a plastic free living.

14. Try Replacing Plastics in the Kitchen. Most small packages in the kitchen come in plastic packages, therefore bulk buying comes in handy here. Buying in bulk means that you can dictate the package that the product comes in say detergent, for example, and instead use mason jars. Plastic scouring pads made of plastic can also be replaced with copper scrubbers. Plastic ice cube and Popsicle makers can be replaced with stainless steel ones to cut on the use of plastic. Cutleries and other utensils made of plastics can be replaced with either wood or stainless steel.

15. Replace Plastics around the Bathroom. Looking around the bathroom and replacing plastic containers with alternative containers goes a long way in getting rid of plastic. Tooth brushes, combs and hairbrushes with plastic handles can be replaced with wooden handles. Furthermore, instead of using deodorants that come in plastic packaging one could opt for baking soda which is as effective in drying the underarm.

16. Choose Healthier Electronics. Instead of buying new plastic made electronics opt for second hand electronics that have less packaging and less toxics.

17. Forego the Idea of a Christmas Tree. Instead of buying the artificial Christmas tree made of PVC, one should consider getting the real tree. The natural trees are more environmental friendly and they are a step towards living a plastic free life.

18. Throw a Zero Waste Party. Hold a party that requires the use of no plastic materials. Replace disposable plastic plates, cups and cutleries with stainless steel utensils. In case you have limited utensils, ask the guests to carry theirs from their homes to reduce the use of plastic.

19. Modify old clothing and shoes. Next time instead of throwing away old clothes or shoes, you should try modifying it and creating something better out of it. Old clothes that are either out of fashion or do not fit anymore could be taken to the tailor for alteration or you can think of something to do with them. The same applies for shoes.

20. Get Rid of Plastic Trash Bags. Instead of using the plastic garbage bags for trash, you could get a recycled plastic Urban Compost Tumbler which allows you to decompose garbage instead of throwing it away. Therefore, the use of plastic bags becomes obsolete.

21. Repair Things when they Break. Repair things around the house or outside before you opt to replace them. Repair allows old appliances or tools to be utilized instead of buying new ones with plastic packages. This acts as a step towards plastic free living.


Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

20+ Simple and Easy Ways to go Zero Waste at Home

Zero waste entails a set objective set by an individual(s) or organization(s) to ensure the absence of materials which can become waste or that lead to resource wastage. It follows that for this to be possible, there is need to remodel the waste by using them as useful resources. That is, reverting back to the original source of materials to tackle the waste from the very beginning by managing the resource and all the processes therein that lead to production to ensure no wastage is realized.

One major concern is that the growth of population in the world is faced with a predicament of not having a subsequent growth in resources in the environment. For this reason, the conversion of waste to be reused is a plus. In a bid to accomplish this initiative, it should start at home where resources can be managed with ease. This article seeks to enlighten on 20+ simple and easy ways to go zero waste at home.


1. Use of bamboo toothbrushes. It is common health know how that a toothbrush ought to be used once every 3 months. In as much as this is a boost to personal hygiene, it also means that in every 3 months, a toothbrush is disposed of which leads to an increase in pollution in the landfill. To avoid this and still promote personal hygiene, it is easier to opt for bamboo toothbrushes which are very compostable.

2. Use of fabric cleaning rags. This is a cost effective initiative that ensures less use of synthetic material for washing i.e washing brushes. Instead, old cloths can make good rags which last longer and can be recycled. This ensures that cloths that are no longer needed can be reused.

3. Ensure you have a cotton or synthetic fiber bag for groceries. Groceries obtained from supermarkets cannot escape packaging using plastics, nylon papers or meshes. Therefore, it is essential to have your own bag that is not a hazard to the environment and that which can be used every other time when heading out for groceries.

4. Acquire baking soda as it has multiple uses. Baking soda is a multipurpose component that can ensure less purchase of items in the house. It is mainly used for hygiene purposes at home. It can be used as toothpaste, detergent for laundry as well as kitchen utensils and top it all off, it is a body deodorant. This goes a long way towards reducing the budget for the said items as well as having one universal item for multiple purposes.

5. Ensure that you own a mason jar. Mason jars are multipurpose. They can be used for storing wastes as well as foodstuff. Instead of packaging food in the fridge using plastic containers, the Mason jar may be used. It is advantageous as it can be washed thoroughly for future storage of food. Moreover, in case of making trips where snacks and drinks are essential, the Mason jar can come in handy.

6. Ensure that you are in possession of a handkerchief. A handkerchief is very useful since it can be used in place of tissues when feeding, drying tears or mucus and just needs a rewash instead of disposal. Tissues and disposable wipes cannot be used for very long and once disposed, pose a threat to the landfill. It is worth noting that handkerchiefs are easy to carry as they take up less space which means they can be carried everywhere, either at home or outdoors.

7. Obtain groceries from a fresh farm market. Produce from the farm market is fresh and healthy since the market is strictly a farm market. Moreover, the packaging used in the farm markets is one that is environment friendly thus avoiding the use of non-recyclable packaging materials and the use of tags are discouraged.

8. Ensure you have a reusable water bottle. The landfill is full of plastic water bottles which are disposed due to the tendency to lack storage for drinking water and lack of water for drinking. This has led to the overly popular trend of purchase of plastic water bottles.

Individuals should ensure they have a water bottle which is insulated and stainless. In addition to this, water should be obtained from home, that is, from tap water to ensure one has water when they go out to dissuade the purchase of plastic water bottles.

9. Obtain glass or stainless containers for food storage. Storage of food is a critical issue since it entails hygiene. The use of plastics to store food can lead to sweating of the plastics which is cancerous and harmful to one’s health. One should thus opt for glass or stainless containers which just need thorough washing and can be reused for storage. Besides, there is less contamination of food when stored in these containers.

10. Obtain reusable napkins. There are many uses for such napkins. One can use them to dry dishes at home to avoid use of some dish towels which are unrecyclable. Furthermore, cleaning and dusting home antiquities becomes easier using napkins.

Wrapping of food also becomes easy now that the reusable napkins can be used. This dissuades use of plastic bags in carrying snacks. Woven cotton napkins are very efficient for cleaning as well as packaging.

11. Getting rid of unnecessary things at home. It is common tendency of people to take up space in order to have a lot even when they are not in need of these things. The so called ‘feel of property’ encourages pollution since there is no need for the items in the house and as such, they should be disposed of, donated or sold at auctions in order to have free house space and better aeration present.

12. Use of cotton towels. Cotton towels are easy to use and easy to wash. They are a plus compared to the use of paper towels which end up filling the landfill. Cotton is a microfiber material which is very suitable for long lasting towel life. These cotton towels can either be purchased from cloth stores or can be sown to one’s preference and potential use.


13. Maintaining proper indoor compost bins. Every home should have a small bin inside the house where they deposit all the materials they decide to dispose. When the bin is full, there are two options. The small bin can be disposed into an outdoor bin or through municipal composting.

14. Return of plastic containers and bags for deposit. Some stores encourage the return of plastic bags once issued as well as containers for a deposit. This is a good initiative as it provides incentive towards the shoppers to ensure they bring back the plastics for the stores to reuse as well as recycle for the production of more bags and containers. In addition, the shopper is encouraged to always have with him/her the plastics he bought so as to return thus maintaining the cleanliness of the environment.

15. Repair broken appliances and electronics. In most instances when electronics and other appliances break or fail to work, the occupy space in the house or in the garage before finally being thrown in the pit which increases the waste on the landfill. It is essential that such broken appliances are repaired for reuse instead of sending them to the landfill.

16. Buy items in bulk. Buying food products at small quantities leads to too many wastes for all the wrappings, plastic bags and containers present in the small items. Additionally, it leads to an increase in the spending on food. Instead, buying food in bulk and then sub-dividing the contents into small reusable mason jars aids to minimize the wastes in the environment.

17. Efficient drug disposal. Just like the stores, most pharmacies encourage taking back of drugs that have either expired or that have not been taken for a long time. This is to discourage the improper disposal of medicine either on land fill or through flushing in toilets which leads to pollution to water sources.

18. Ladies should ensure that they own a menstrual cup. It is a safer option since it maintains hygiene as well as reduces the chances of disposables on the environs. It is easy to manage as it entails thorough cleaning and proper storage. Not only are they manageable, they are cheaper than regular purchase of tampons on a monthly basis.

19. Minimize wastage of food. Food wastage is not only a health hazard to the environment but also a case of poor use of resources. Food resources should be well conserved in the house. This can be done by shopping only for what is needed to avoid excesses which lead to food wastes. Alternatively, the food leftovers can be redesigned as paste for sauces and other food items.

20. Make your own cosmetics. It is not only cheap to do so but also economical. Homemade cosmetics can range from cleaning items, shampoos, to facial cosmetics. It also ensures less usage of harmful items packaged from the industries. In consequence of this, there is less purchase from the shops which translates to fewer plastics in the house.

21. Opt for downloading and streaming videos rather than purchase of CD’s and DVDs. This aids the house to have zero waste when it comes to entertainment. CD’s once viewed after a couple of times, may need to be disposed. Thus, streaming channels such as Neflix are the way to go.


Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

Plastic Bags: A Matter of Convenience or Curse on the Environment

It is intriguing when you look at how scientifically advanced western nations have become and yet there has been no viable alternative to plastic bags successfully developed and implemented. Plastic packaging is still used on thousands of products and a very substantial part of it ends up as landfill. Some plastic items are being recycled and there has been a push by Governments particularly with recycling drink bottles. But the level of plastic packaging is still very high and is becoming a curse on the environment.

There has been an increasing level of plastic waste, particularly as countries continue to be accepting of its use in daily life as convenient and affordable even with increasing affluence. The waste management systems of countries are no longer able to effectively handle the increasing quantities. In addition, local disposal practices are not appropriate and allow plastics to pollute the environment.


Adding to this was a report released in 2016 that stated that the weight of the plastic pollution in the oceans by 2050 would be greater than the weight of the fish in the oceans.
There has been a recent push to reduce the use of plastic bags for grocery shopping. Many shops now will offer an alternative reusable shopping bag that could be made from organic materials or even recycled plastic that has been branded by them in some way.

However, many people still continue to use the plastic bags as they are convenient. In some countries, the Government has introduced legislation to prevent plastic bags from being offered at shops and some large supermarkets have themselves decided that they will become plastic bag free.

This change in a simple social dynamic is clearly an effective way to reduce the use of plastic bags in western nations but there are still many countries where the use of the plastic bag crosses into many areas of use. In countries throughout Asia, the plastic bag is used to hold the actual liquid of drinks with ice and a straw. It is used for condiments that accompany a takeaway order. It is used to carry your takeaway order that you can take home and reheat.

Almost every time you buy something it will be given to you in a plastic bag. It is just how things are done. And the system for the disposal of rubbish sometimes does not really manage the disposal of plastic very well. You are able to travel across Asia and see plastic bags lining the roads or all across the ground in poorer parts of the towns. The wind blows them around and the rain washes them into the mud or into rivers.

It is a serious problem that has been recognized by many Governments in the region but not one that is really captured the attention of senior-level influential figures. The focus tends to be on other business development and health activities. There have however been some efforts made to identify suitable alternatives.

In Indonesia, there has been a whole range of products developed by a local businessman who was unhappy with there being such a large amount of plastic pollution around Bali. His company has developed bags for products which are made from cassava, coffee cups and takeaway bowls made of paper lined with cornstarch, a takeaway food box made from sugar cane and drinking straws that have been developed from paper and a waxy material from plants. The coffee cups and fast food bowls are able to be used for hot items and will biodegrade effectively when thrown away.

Indonesia is an island nation and so much of the plastic that goes into the rivers is then likely to go into the ocean. It has been recognized as a major polluter of its oceans and it is clear that there need to be new approaches brought to resolve this situation with appropriate support from the Government and businesses. These products are so safe that they are even able to be eaten although you would not get any nutritional benefit and the taste may not be so good. However, for sea life this is a great advantage as ingesting plastic has been an ongoing problem in recent years.

Changing the way that people view the use of plastic will have to be the way that most Governments need to address the problem. Changing the way that people behave will need to be influenced by Government legislation and support from industry but there must also be a convenient alternative that people are able to use.

Plastic is already a man-made pollutant that has spread across our environment. It is negatively impacting the environment across a range of regions. Governments need to find ways to ensure that efforts are made to limit the use of plastic and part of this could be consideration of the use of plastic alternatives.

The UN is not a strong advocate for plastic alternatives and is instead focusing on working with large businesses to reduce their plastic use. The UN considers that plastic alternatives are more costly and will be unlikely to appeal to the market because of this. However, it has not completely closed the door and says that there needs to be more learned about the industry to identify if it will be part of a broader environmental solution.


Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

20+ Shocking Food Waste Facts of America

Food waste is one of the issues currently facing the planet as a whole. America in particular tends to have a serious food waste problem because its consumerism is largely at the retail level compounded by the fact that the majority of Americans are more conversant with finished goods rather than the actual produce.

America therefore has a very high rate of food waste because people have developed a habit of buying excess food than what is actually needed or eaten per meal time. This article seeks to list 20+ shocking food waste facts about America.


1. The total food waste realized in America is as high the food produced in Sub-Saharan Africa. Sub-Saharan Africa relies on irrigation and minimal rainfall to ensure crops grow to maturity before harvest. After a series of short and long rainfall, there is produce realized which is fairly equal to the food waste of the whole of America.

2. More than a third of food produced in America becomes food waste. This is caused by the unconscious or conscious state of throwing food away as waste. Snacks half eaten as well as excess food purchased but not finished leads to the alarming percentage of food waste.

3. Food waste in America is realized at the consumer level. Most Americans eat at home, buy snacks or eat at a restaurant which is perfectly okay. However, food left on plates or the leftover burger or fries contribute to heightened food wastes.

4. In 2010, the largest component of municipal solid waste from garbage bins was food waste. The dumping of food is becoming rampant which is sad since there are people who still reside in the same country who lack adequate food.

5. America is home to the largest share of the 1.4 billion overweight adults in the world. This is quite ironic. America has the largest food waste in terms of metric tons and still, has the highest number of individuals who suffer from obesity and being overweight. It simply translates to a stalemate because in one household, there is overconsumption of food while in another; food is wasted and goes down the garbage bin.

6. Food waste in America is approximately at 50 million tons annually. The garbage collected in America is full of food waste from the American households which contributes to pollution, effective landfill management problems, and is hazardous to the environment. Most of these food wastes are in plastic bags and containers thus contributing to plastic pollution.

7. High levels of perishable food wastes in American farm leads to lower consumption. In a case where the farm produce goes bad in the farm or in the store, there is a high likelihood that there is reduced willingness to purchase the produce. This leads to a decrease in the consumption of vegetables and fruits which constitute the majority of vitamins and metals which are essential in human diets.

8. Most Americans realize there is a food waste problem but do not acknowledge that they are part of the problem. A large percentage of the American population is aware that the rate of increase of food waste is at an alarming rate. Nevertheless, they do not realize that the little acts they do goes a long way towards food waste, that is, buying food in excess and then throwing away what remains.

9. One in seven people is faced with food insecurity in America. The common stereotype is that food insecurity is only in third world countries and that in developed countries, there is sufficient food and wealth. This may not be the case in America. One in about seven people relies on the government through feeding programs translating to roughly 50 million people. Beside, the affected people are unable to provide for their families as a whole and so have to seek food stamps to survive.

10. A lot of the food waste realized comes from over-purchasing. Individuals buy items in bulk which is okay but fail to see the expiry date which then warrants the disposal of the already bad food, leading to wastes. In order to avoid this, in the case of bulk buying, then there should be effective means of storage like freezers and keen review of expiry dates.


11. There is loss of 650 pounds of food between the farm and the dining table. Normally, an individual should consume about 2000 pounds of food annually to stay healthy. Yet, there is a loss of pounds therein. This happens when there is poor storage of produce in the farm, stores and at home. Farm produce may overstay in the farm or the store and due to the high level of perishability, it goes bad.

12. About 20% of the farm produce is rejected in the retail stores due to poor quality standards. Farm produce that does not meet the set quality checks such as shape, color and packaging is normally removed from the stores. The result is loss of food that is suitable for human consumption. In light of this predicament, there are stores that are ready to accept the farm produce that has been rejected to salvage the produce and minimize food wastes.

13. In America only, about 25% of water is wasted because of food waste. Water is a scarce resource which should be utilized. In the course of farm produce, there is water that is constantly used for irrigation which would be termed as wasted if the farm produce is itself in the end, termed as wasted. In addition, there is a lot of water left running in taps during food preparation which leads to massive wastage of water in the long run.

14. There is a loss of about 640 billion dollars realized from food waste every year in America. The figure is alarmingly large which begs the need to save food and consume what one can consume.

15. About a half of Americans take home the left overs they left in the restaurants. This should be encouraged since this translates to less loss of food. In consequence of this, more individuals should seek to take back what they have left on dinner tables in restaurants in order to take it again, or to recycle the leftover. In the end, there is no food waste.

16. 40% of food in America is never consumed. This is brought about by the fact that there are certain crops which are majorly produced by America and are mainly exported to other countries. In the end, there is minimal consumption of the particular crop in the country. For instance, despite America being the largest producers of maize, most of it used for export and people still go hungry in the same country.

17. In 30 years’ time, the average calorie consumption will be at 3070 up from the current 2000. This is warranted by the fact that the current population consumes a lot of food which has brought about a heightened level of overconsumption. The increase is also attributed to the growth of the number of obese and overweight individuals in America since the 21st With the current trend, year 2050 will be graced by a lot of obesity which may lead to overconsumption.

18. Food wastes have led to an increase in the per capita income. The wastes in food translate to money loss when it comes to the American economy. In about 40-50 years, the per capita income has been on the rise owed to the fact that the rate of food waste is increasing annually.

Moreover, the population is still steadily growing and as such, the number of individuals who are obese and overweight is also on the increase. As a result, the government has to invest a large chunk of the financial budget on food and the amount keeps increasing annually.

19. America has realized that food wastes can be an avenue for creating value on other sectors of the economy. American has realized that wasted food can provide compost which can be converted to give energy. Wasted food can also be processed into animal feeds in the agricultural sector. With such initiatives, compost can be used for energy production and animal feeds can support the agricultural sector.

20. Food waste in America produces billions of tons of carbon dioxide, augmenting global climate change. Emissions related to food waste considering production, transportation and processing of food in America simply translate to worsening of climate change and increased global warming.

21. There are millions of individuals who reside in America who face malnutrition. Those that are not privileged enough to have a constant supply of food end up facing this nutritional disorder. It is for this reason that feeding programs exist.

References: TheDailyMeal
Image credit: pixabay, flickr


Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)