Plastic is in almost all products used today. It is an attractive material to manufacturers since it comes in a variety of textures and offers great versatility. Plastic is light, easy to transport, and easy to store. Objects such as disposable utensils, beverage containers, and toys all contain plastics. According to a 2011 study by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 32 million tons of plastic were generated. Of this total, 12.7 percent represents municipal solid waste, which includes bags, wraps and sacks. Unfortunately, plastic material is more difficult to recycle compared to other materials like paper and glass. This is why most plastic ends up in landfills. You can help the environment and reduce your plastic consumption by following the tips below:

Grocery Shop Consciously

Billions of plastic bags are used each year adding to the piles of debris found in the ocean and landfills. You can make a difference by practicing more eco-friendly habits when shopping at the grocery store. Begin by choosing to use reusable, cloth shopping bags to reduce plastic bag use. Purchase cloth bags made from cotton. Avoid bags made from polyester and nylon–they are made from plastic too! Instead of throwing away the current plastic bags you may have on hand, take them back to the store for recycling, or use them as bin liners. Avoid purchasing disposable products such as razors, pens and plastic utensils. Do not purchase anything that is individually wrapped in plastic, such as cheese or juices. Ask your grocery store to carry products in bulk or in recycled packaging to reduce your waste.

How To Use Less Plastic In--and Outside--Your Home

Choose Your Children’s Toys Wisely

Say no to plastic even when shopping for the kids. Opt for metal and wooden toys. Classic hammer and peg sets, wooden cars, and wooden puzzle and train sets provide years of use without contributing to waste. Little girls will love a soft cloth doll just as much as the plastic dolls–just get a little creative with the presentation. When you present the doll, include extra clothing and plastic-free baby accessories. Finally, if you have a toddler in diapers, use cloth diapers instead of disposable ones.

Eliminate Water Bottle Use

Plastic bottle use in America is excessive, and it pollutes the environment. Bottled water creates approximately 1.5 million tons of plastic annually; this requires millions of gallons of oil to produce. Reduce your water bottle consumption by drinking filtered tap water instead of buying bottles from the store. Take water on-the-go by using reusable drink containers. Stainless steel water bottles are an eco-friendly alternative.

Keep Reusable Utensils at Work

The average full-time working adult spends most of their day at work, oftentimes consuming breakfast and lunch in the workplace, or on the way to work. Plastic utensils are typically used for fast-food consumption since they are convenient as well. Say no to plastic utensils; instead, keep a set of reusable forks, spoons, and butter knives in your desk.

Carry Your Own Reusable Container

How often do you go out to eat for dinner and end up taking home leftovers? Whether you’re ordering takeout or need to bring home leftovers, ask if you can use you own container.

Unfortunately, we live in a world that consumes tons of plastic for its convenience and availability. It’s important to make the effort to do your part no matter how small it is. Each environmentally-conscious decision you make reduces the amount of plastic that is filling the landfills, littering the roads, and polluting the waterways.

Joel Bellamy knows that environmental preservation is a highly important area of concern; however, he also knows that plastic can be a real asset for homeowners, and so he recommends the plastic tanks from

Image credit goes to d o l f i.