The word plastic means “pliable and easy to use”. Plastic has been around for centuries and we all know the disadvantages of using items made from it. Every day, millions of plastic bottles, bags and other miscellaneous goods head over to our landfills. It costs cities millions of dollars to get rid of all this plastic waste. By reusing, recycling and repurposing plastic bottles and bags around our homes we can help divert this harmful garbage from our overloaded landfills. Here are some easy ways to reuse and recycle plastic bottles and bags with tons of craft ideas.
1. Reuse plastic bottles-ideas
Here are some easy ways to reuse plastic bottles around the house:
- Use colorful plastic bottles for kids’ arts and crafts projects. You can make colorful plastic bottle flowers, dreamcatchers, mobile, wall hanging, milk bottle elephants, plastic bottle turtles, bird feeders or bird houses, fruit containers, plastic bottle rockets, pen-pencil holders, etc.
- Reuse plastic bottles for plants– You can reuse old plastic bottles in the garden for small plants, flower pots and even for vertical gardens. You can use the bottles as cloches for small plants. You can even create a greenhouse with old plastic bottles.
2. Reduce use of plastic
Here are some ideas to reduce use of plastic in and around the house:
- Buy used items as far as possible. Many electronic goods are made with plastic and once they are damaged, they simply clog our landfills. So try and buy used electronics, household furniture, bikes etc.
- Drink filtered tap water instead of using bottled water. Fill your own steel bottles and take them to work. Refill bottles from filters and say no to bottled water. If you need to buy bottled water while traveling, make sure to dispose them in the right recycling containers.
- Avoid plastic tableware. Use only reusable wares. Even when hosting a party, you must try and use reusable items.
- Refill toners and cartridges where possible, around the office.
- Avoid buying plastic containers, razors, pots and pans, batteries etc. Buy rechargeable batteries.
- Carry cloth bags to the grocery store. If given a choice, select paper bags for bagging grocery instead of plastic bags.
- Carry your own thermos or cups to the café.
- Select glass or metal wherever applicable.
- Look for items made with little or no packaging.
- Avoid individually wrapped
- Buy bulk and wholesale to reduce use of plastic.
3. Spread awareness about reusing and recycling plastic
Spread the awareness about the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling. You can do so in many ways:
- Organize or get involved with environmental groups to get plastic banned. You can go to schools to talk about this or even organize rallies dressed up as plastic monster. You can go to great lengths like carry boards saying ‘Honk if you support the recycling and reusing of plastic’.
- Stand outside local stores. Remind people to carry their own cloth bags or old grocery bags and reuse them.
- You can get your group to host free concerts or write a song or poem about why plastic is bad for the environment.
- Educate people, especially kids, about the aforementioned ways to reuse plastic ideas.
- Write a blog about ways to repurpose plastic bottles. You can even write a piece about how to reuse plastic bottles at home for plants and for crafts and submit it to a newspaper.
- Give a speech about easy ways to reuse plastic bottle ideas at your next local community get-together.
- Host plastic craft activities for children and grown-ups with following reuse plastic bag ideas: quilted plastic bags, plastic bag drinking coasters, fused plastic bag coin purses, and even a recycled plastic bag chair! You can even try plastic bag wreaths for Christmas, or a round plastic rug.
4. Recycle plastic ideas
Find out places having recycling centers. Most grocery stores have recycling bins in their car parks. Get into the habit of carrying your plastic bottles and bags in your car so you can recycle them each time you shop. Many rubbish bins also have recycling bins near them. Do not forget to recycle old shampoo bottles, cosmetic bottles, perfumes etc.
5. Ideas for alternatives to plastic
Here are common alternative materials in place of plastic:
- Soda bottles, salsa containers, water bottles, pudding containers all come in plastic. Buy in glass where possible. Reuse deli containers. Buy wholesale to reduce usage of plastic.
- Detergent containers- Buy powder detergent that comes in paper containers.
- Shrink wrap- Buy meat from butcher to avoid meat cuts in plastic wraps. Also get cheese from stores that cut it in blocks.
- Produce bags- Use cloth bags where possible. Take your own bag. You can also buy reusable fruit and vegetable bags that can be used over and over and they also help keep produce fresh longer.
- Compost so you use less plastic trash bags.
- Purchase wooden toys.
- Use glass or metal jars and containers to store food, grains etc.
- Eliminate and drink without straws.
- Sit down meals are best to avoid plastic packaged meals. Take your own container where possible.
- Use stainless steel water containers.
- Buy butter and margarine wholesale to reduce plastic containers. Reuse the containers wherever possible.
- Use metal plates and tableware on picnics.
Use these easy ways to reuse plastic bottles and bags and reduce plastic usage to save our planet.