Little List: Ways to Lessen Plastic Usage

18 billion pounds of plastic waste flows into the oceans from coastal towns each year. 40% of all plastic produced is for packaging, and is only used once before being discarded. If this isn't upsetting enough, approximately 1 million seabirds die each year from plastic, and 100,000 sea creatures die from entanglement alone. While the statistics are so staggering and may make you feel helpless, there are some things you can do to help make a difference.

Bring your own tote bags when grocery shopping. The BeeGreen Reusable Grocery Bags are washable, foldable, and have a 1 year "no tear warranty" when holding up to 50 lbs. You can also purchase your own washable produce bags by Ecowaare.

Decline cultlery and napkins when ordering takeout. Seamless and Grubhub both give you the option to decline cutlery and napkins. There is a checkbox you can click when you go to checkout.

Use a reusable straw, like Little Hoboken's Reusable Silicone Straw.

Bring your own coffee mug to your favorite coffee shop. Most coffee shops in town offer a discount to anyone who brings their own mug!

Stop chewing gum. This may sound extreme, but gum is made of synthetic rubber, which is actually plastic. Instead, have a mint that doesn't come in a plastic case.

Use cloth diapers. The EPA estimates that 7.6 billion pounds of disposable diapers are discarded each year.

Pack your family's lunch in reusable containers and bags. For both kid's and adults we love the ECOlunchox, as it comes in a variety of sizes with a variety of compartments. The MIER Adult Lunch Box is a great cooler bag for adults as well. My personal favorite chicken nugget and mac and cheese transporter is the Thermos Foogo Leak-Proof Stainless Steel Container. It keeps food warm for up to 5 hours, and keeps it cold for up to 7. I also have not once experienced a leak!

Do you have a favorite product you would like me to add to the list? Let me know by emailing me at