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How to Reduce Plastic Waste Around Your Home and Office

a close up view of a plastic bottle on the beach leading to plastic waste around the country
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If you’ve been growing more concerned about the proliferation of plastic waste, you might be wondering how to reduce plastic waste at home and in the office. Everyone on the planet should be concerned about this, in light of projections on cumulative plastic waste. According to an article published in Science journal, the equivalent of 136 billion milk cartons will be deposited in the oceans this year.

The Greenpeace organization estimates that by the year 2050, there will be more plastic items floating in the oceans than there are fish. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the best ways to accomplish a reduction of plastic waste. You should also encourage friends and family to follow suit because this problem will not simply go away on its own.

Reducing Plastic Waste at Home

If the statistics on plastic waste accumulating in the ocean startles you, there are plenty of ways you can contribute to its reduction. You might think your conservation won’t have much impact on the tidal wave of plastic waste. However, if a great many people make a small contribution, it would amount to a huge collective achievement. Here are some of the ways you can lower your home usage of plastic items, and encourage others to do the same.

Limit Usage of Disposable Plastics

When thinking about how to reduce plastic waste at home, the first area to consider is limiting your use of disposables. There are all kinds of small plastic items you probably don’t even think about that can cause problems for the environment. Some of these include coffee cup lids, straws, shopping bags, disposable silverware, and plastic wrap. All of these can be replaced with more permanent items, such as travel mugs, personal shopping bags, and real silverware.

a picture of plastic waste all over the beach

Stop Purchasing Bottled Water

Every year, something like 20 billion plastic water bottles hit the trash. This is a big reason why fish will be competing for space with plastic bottles by the year 2050. You can have a big impact on conservation by eschewing bottled water and drinking tap water from your home. If you’re worried about its purity, invest in a water purification system from ONIT.

Do More Cooking at home

When you order take-out food, it will generally be packaged in a plastic bag and might be placed in a plastic container, accompanied by plastic cutlery. By cooking at home more frequently, you’ll avoid all this plastic usage. By going out to eat less often, you’ll also have less need for the plastic take-out containers used for leftovers.

Recycle Plastic Items

You might think we’re doing a great job with recycling, but the truth is that less than 14% of all plastic packaging gets recycled. That means the vast majority of these items will find their way into landfills or the oceans of the world. Check the number on the bottom of your plastic item, if you’re unsure whether it can be recycled. Anything with a #1 can be recycled anywhere, items with a #2 are larger plastic items, and #5 items like cutlery might be recyclable in your area.

Make Bulk Purchases

When you buy lots of single-serving items like yogurt, nuts, mac & cheese, and others, it increases the discardable plastic. This is not how to reduce plastic waste. It quickly contributes to the tremendous volume of disposable plastic items that have to be handled. You would do much better by purchasing bulk items that package more food into a single container. At the very least, this will reduce the number of plastic items that must be disposed of.

Choose Sustainable Manufacturers

Some manufacturers have been conscientious in doing their part to reduce plastic waste. Others haven’t bothered to alter their production methods, but continue to operate as though all resources on earth are inexhaustible. You can support the more sustainable companies by patronizing them and ignoring the wasteful companies. It’s a bit like voting – your passive choices speak loudly in terms of supporting the right organizations while bypassing more wasteful ones.

Reducing Plastic Waste at the Office

Most professional people spend a significant amount of time at the office during any given week. That makes it important to continue your plastic waste conservation strategies in the office as well as at home. It needn’t be the focus of your day at work or anything like that. But continuing your good plastic conservation at work can be important because it’s a significant part of your day. And while you’re at work, you’ll have at least one meal (lunch), and throughout the day, you’ll be sipping coffee or other drinks. Pay attention to how foods and beverages are consumed at work, and also to the use of common office products.

glass water bottle in the sand

Bring Your Water Bottle

Just as plastic water bottles can be a problem at home, so can they be in the workplace. Rather than cracking open 4-7 bottles of water every day, why not bring your water bottle to work? If more people adopted this strategy, the fish in the ocean might have more room to navigate. You might even want to suggest to management that they provide branded metal water bottles to employees. This will save immensely on discarded plastic water bottles and will be good advertising for your company.

Stop Using Plastic Drinking Straws

There are all kinds of perfectly acceptable alternatives to using plastic drinking straws. For instance, you can stock up on bio-degradable paper straws and eliminate the need for plastics. These plastic straws can cause all kinds of damage to the environment, including becoming a nuisance or a serious threat to wildlife.

Schedule a Weekly Litter Day

Every workplace should set aside a half hour every week for Litter Day. This can be a time when the work area gets cleaned up, and office litter gets stowed away properly in bins. It can also serve as a reminder to employees that they need to be more conscious of the environment. In this way, everyone will help to shoulder the load, and the workplace as a whole will be more responsible for recycling.

Buy Plastic-Free Cleaning Supplies

In this general category, there are tons of opportunities for sparing the environment. Even if you don’t personally make the decisions on what gets purchased, you can make your voice heard on the subject. Nowadays, all kinds of natural products and eco-friendly products can be purchased. Even the containers that cleaners come in can be chosen based on their reusability and sustainability. Some of the cleaning wipes on the market will not degrade within the next 1,000 years. Better choices can be made.

Improve How Coffee Gets Served

Many workplace offices in this country have adopted the strategy of serving coffee in pods. While this might make a very satisfying cup of coffee, it also creates tons of plastic waste. All those pods are packaged in plastic containers, and only a small percentage of them ever reach the recycle bin. The disposable pods that do reach the garbage get deposited in landfills, where they will rest indefinitely before finally decomposing. If your office has an older-style coffee-brewing apparatus, make sure to use your ceramic coffee mug, rather than a plastic container.

Start an Anti-Plastics Drive at Work

Do your best to make your colleagues aware of the plight of our environment, and all the wildlife that inhabits it. When they understand the urgency and importance of cleaning up the environment, they may be glad to join in on an Anti-Plastics Drive that gets held monthly, quarterly, or annually. Any initiative that advocates significantly less usage of plastics will be a big help. Once you get such a program going at your office, it might easily spread to other offices. Once they understand its critical nature, many other companies will become interested in how to reduce plastic waste. The domino effect can be a powerful agent working on your side.

large amount of plastic bottles stacked up

Conservation Strategies with ONIT

ONIT is a company that can be trusted 100% whenever you need home maintenance, water filtration services, concierge services, security systems, insurance, or solar power installation. Solar power is one of the absolute best ways of conserving energy on our planet because it draws power from a renewable source, the sun. Along with your efforts to reduce plastic usage, you can step up your conservation efforts a notch by using solar power.

Contact us at ONIT today, and discuss your home needs with us, so we can help you become as green and efficient as possible at home. Our company makes a point of being ‘on it’, to provide our customers with the services and the technology they need. We don’t just tell you we’re ‘on it’ – we put it right into our name, so you would remember the one company that takes your needs seriously. Whatever you need in the way of green services, we’re on it.

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