Living sustainably is not as difficult as many people think. It only takes a few simple steps to reduce your own plastic consumption. This means the land and sea are sustainably protected. This makes it all the more important to change or improve our consumer behavior in order to avoid plastic waste. Here you can find out which tips can make the change uncomplicated and inexpensive in every household.

Many foods such as fruit and vegetables are already offered for sale unpackaged – but here too we like to use plastic bags, which then end up in the trash. A sensible alternative here would be to simply bring your own fruit and vegetable net. On the one hand, you can use it again and again (and wash it), and on the other hand, you use significantly less plastic with every purchase.

There are too many products in our household that we use wastefully without thinking about the consequences. From eco-friendly and washable bamboo kitchen rolls to compostable cotton swabs, there are plenty of good alternatives to plastic products – particularly recommended is reusable wax paper, which can permanently replace the cling film that is still popular in many households.

It may be a little unusual to bring your own food storage containers with you to the supermarket – but fresh foods such as cheese and sausage can be transported home in your own containers. There are now even more and more health food stores and weekly markets where you can fill loose flour, sugar, sweets, grains, etc. into your own cans. In this way, you not only avoid unnecessary plastic waste, but you can also determine the amount individually.

For us it goes without saying that we buy drinks filled in Tetrapaks or PET bottles: whether milk or fruit juices, mineral water or soft drinks. It is better to use glass bottles, as they are much more environmentally friendly. The same goes for straws, which produce an extremely large amount of plastic waste. If you need it for health reasons, we recommend stainless steel drinking straws including cleaning brushes.

In Germany alone, around 5,000 coffee cups are thrown away every minute. Although they are made of cardboard on the outside, they have a thin plastic coating at the core – otherwise the hot coffee would soak the paper. If you are one of those people who like to have a hot drink on the go, we have a tip for you: take your own thermo mug with you and have it filled in the cafĂ©. In many stores this is rewarded with a small discount.

Of course, there are everyday items that we cannot completely do without or that we have already bought. But instead of throwing them away, try to use them multiple times. Empty plastic containers that previously contained shampoo or shower gel can be refilled in the unpackaged store. Empty plastic containers that once contained ice cream or something similar can be used as lunch boxes. However, you should be careful not to put hot food in it or heat the plastic containers in the microwave!

More and more supermarkets are banning plastic bags from their range and offering alternative cardboard carrier bags – but these have to be purchased. To save costs and limit paper usage, it makes far more sense to bring your own bag. Jute bags are not only particularly robust and therefore can be used over a long period of time, they can also be washed and thus freed from food residue if necessary.

You probably know this too: especially in the kitchen, we tend to use cling film to preserve opened food for longer. On the one hand, this is of course very laudable if you counteract the prevailing food waste. On the other hand, you continually produce plastic waste. You can avoid this by using reusable silicone lids or fresh-keeping lids that are stretchy and dishwasher safe.

In order to practice our daily personal hygiene, we use a variety of different cosmetic products in plastic packaging. Here, too, you can avoid plastic waste by switching to alternative products such as a compostable bamboo toothbrush, hair soap with natural keratin or even a handmade natural soap for showering. These natural hygiene products were produced sustainably and are completely plastic-free.

Stiftung Warentest took a closer look at 32 different mineral waters – the result was that undesirable germs and critical ingredients were found in every second sample. For this reason, it is not only much healthier to switch to tap water, but also more environmentally friendly as you avoid plastic bottles. If you still prefer to drink carbonated water, we recommend a Sodastream.

Unfortunately, there are a large number of hygiene and cosmetic products that contain microplastics and therefore pollute our oceans. According to the Federation for the Environment and Nature Conservation, the plastic parts can be found in peelings and facial cleansers, shower gels and body care baths, shampoo and conditioners, etc. If you want to avoid plastic waste, only buy items that do not contain the following ingredients: polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene (PP), polyamide (PA) or polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

For many smokers, it is natural to put their cigarette butts on the ground outdoors – and then leave them there. The filters also contain plastic! Even if there are already special trash cans with integrated ashtrays, these can often only be found in large cities. If you want to do something good for the environment, it is better to collect the butts in a mobile pocket ashtray and dispose of them properly at the next opportunity.

Unless your clothing was produced sustainably, it is often made of synthetic fibers such as polyester, polyacrylic, polyamide or elastane. When the textiles are cleaned, microscopic fibers come off with every wash, which in turn contribute to environmental pollution. Here you can avoid plastic waste by wearing more clothing made from natural fibers such as cotton, wool, silk or linen – fair trade.

Apart from the fact that cheaply produced toys often contain plasticizers that are harmful to health, there are millions of stable and non-toxic alternatives made of wood, melamine or fabric for your child. From rocking horses to worry eaters to doll dishes, there are lots of toys without plastic. If you’re still not into Lego

There is also a way for dog owners to avoid plastic waste: By using dog waste bags made from recycled material, which is also biodegradable, you can make your contribution to environmental protection. After all, you have to walk your dog several times a day, so you throw a lot of plastic bags with your four-legged friend’s waste in the trash.

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