Things You Can Do to Reduce Your Plastic Footprint

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 | 1:07 am

Plastic Wrapper Kills Baby Seal. Credit David Doubilet, National Geographic Creative

Plastic is weaving its way into the fabric of our planet. Polluting our oceans and lands, plastics are responsible for the deaths of so many of our sea creatures. The only way to stop this environmental crisis is to reduce our plastic consumption for good. Here are a few ways you can help make that happen.

While it may seem impossible for you, just one person can make the difference, making simple changes to your daily routine can and will help the planet. Han Huang of Tzu Chi USA tells us that even simple things, like plastic straws, are causing a serious environmental problem. (Americans use over 500 million of them a day in case you were wondering.) Whether you’re ordering from Starbucks or concocting a drink in your own kitchen, just sip it instead of sticking a plastic straw in it, or use one of those cardboard straws that doesn’t impact the environment.


Your tap may not give out the best tasting water, but instead of buying tons of plastic bottles, Han and Tzu Chi recommends investing in a water filter and a reusable bottle for on-the-go hydration. Plastic shopping bags are also a major culprit in plastic pollution. Instead of using them every time you go grocery shopping, buy a few reusable bags to bring with you each week.

For washing your clothes, Han advises to turn on the cold wash to prevent microfibers from being released. These pesky things end up in the oceans and the stomachs of oysters, crabs, and other animals. If you want to help, even more, buy clothes made of natural fibers like cotton, silk, and wool.


If you enjoy a nice cup of tea now and then, you’ve probably never thought about the environmental impact of your tea bags. But there is an alternative just as tasty. Opting for loose leaf teas may require an extra strainer but it’s worth it.

Han of Tzu Chi knows these things are easy to implement if you have the will to do so. So if you care about the environment, and want to reduce the amount of plastic you and your household wastes, consider taking time to make the changes. The Earth, its oceans, and your children and grandchildren will thank you.

Tzu Chi USA – National Headquarters is located at 1100 S Valley Center Ave. in San Dimas. For more information call (646) 391-8693 or visit








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