Did you know that 50% of the plastic we use we use just once and throw away? How about that the average American throws away 185 pounds of plastic per year, even though it takes 500 – 1,000 years for plastic to degrade? With these kind of facts, we must take action to live more plastic free in our everyday lives. If we don’t, we risk hurting the ocean and environments even more than we are now. We wanted to share our best tips on how to eliminate single use plastic from your life for the long term. #helloArlogoodbyeplastic

Carry reusable shopping bags

This doesn’t only go for grocery shopping, but for all aspects in your life. Carry them when you go to the mall, to school, or to work. Leave a few in your car as an emergency stash in case you forget to take it out the door with you.

Say bye to bottled water

A reusable stainless steel bottle goes a long way. Fill it up with tap water (which you can purchase a filter for) and you are all set. There are even stainless steel travel mugs you can take for that morning coffee or cup of tea. Not only are plastic bottles bad for the environment, but they are also bad for you, as the plastic can leak chemicals into the water.

Bring your own straw

500 million plastic straws are used by Americans daily. Carry your own bamboo or metal straw in your bag at all times to prevent you from using plastic straws for your daily iced beverage order, or if you are going out to eat. A little can go a long way in this situation.

Say goodbye to take-out containers and utensils

Purchase reusable steel containers and utensils to take with you every time you go for take out.

No more frozen foods

Face it, all frozen meals use plastic. As hard as this may be to let go, you are doing better for the environment as well as your body. Cooking sustainably with fresh foods is the way to go.

Do not reach for that plastic bag in the produce section

Simple and efficient. Put your fruits and vegetables in reusable bags or buy cloths to put them in. Or best of all simply don’t use a bag. The item is dirty anyway and will need to be washed regardless of if it’s in a bag or not.

Buy in bulk

Buying from bulk bins when you go grocery shopping and using reusable bags will save tons of little plastic bags and boxes from being used. You can purchase many dry foods, grains, seeds, nuts, tea/coffee, and so many more items in bulk.

Use bar soap instead of liquid hand soap

No plastic pump, no worries. Bar soaps are much more sustainable and can be packaged in materials other than plastic.

Laundry can be plastic-free

Use soap flakes, stripes, or nuts instead of laundry detergents that come in plastic jugs.

Go local

Shopping from your farmer’s market and local bakeries eliminates the use of plastic containers and wraps, as you won’t be using store-bought packaged items and can shop with a reusable bag. If you do need to purchase produce in a plastic container, always return the container when you’re done.