Things That Matter

21 Tips To Go Plastic Free This Month

Plastic is poison for our planet and there’s no better proof than the piles and piles of garbage polluting our oceans and landfills across the globe. While no one person can possibly save the planet from plastic in one day, we can all do our part to help protect the planet from the poisonous plastic that takes so long to degrade. Making the switch to biodegradable, using plastic-free products and reusing everything are small changes you can make to protect the planet from the damaging effects of plastic. Here are 21 ways to go plastic-free this month.

1. Use Canvas Bags Instead of Plastic Bags.

Instagram – Credit: @shop.canvasco

Use canvas totes instead of plastic bags. This Instagram user keeps a few tote bags in her car and uses them for nearly everything. They’re a great alternative to plastic bags and you can use them over and over again.

2. Get a Bamboo Toothbrush.

Instagram – Credit: @queen_bunny_kat

Instead of getting yet another plastic toothbrush, order yourself a bamboo toothbrush, which can help cut down on plastic use and waste.

3. Buy Milk in a Glass Bottle

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Twitter – Credit: @alexiskeech

Most milk comes in those one-gallon plastic containers and the waste from those containers is wreaking havoc on our planet, which is why making the switch to glass milk bottles is recommended. You can’t go wrong when you’re saving the Earth!

4. Swap Out Your Body Spray.

Twitter – Credit: @littleplasticf1

Tons of body spray cans are made with plastic on the tops. To go completely plastic-free, try switching your body spray to an eco-friendly brand you can be proud of.

5. Bamboo Your Cotton Swabs.

Instagram – Credit: @ecologic_living

Cotton swabs can take forever to degrade naturally, which is why it’s best to ditch the ones with plastic handles and hop on the bamboo bandwagon. Bamboo cotton swabs are much more biodegradable than plastic ones.

6. Shop at Plastic-Free Shops.

Twitter – Credit: @wastenotlife

A number of plastic-free stores and pop-up shops have begun appearing across the country. Do your part by shopping at stores committed to ending plastic consumption. Every dollar you spend is a vote for or against plastic.

7. Use Refillable Water Bottles and Filling Stations.

Instagram – Credit: @myflowater

Plastic water bottles are crippling the planet and this could be a potential solution to the problem. Bring your own water bottle and fill it up at a Flo Water filling station. This helps cut down on plastic tremendously. My Flo Water has taken great strides to help people eliminate plastic bottle waste.

8. Keep on Sippin’…Through the Same Straw.

Instagram – Credit: @sipsea

Plastic straws are one of the biggest offenders when it comes to plastic pollution. Consider reusable straws instead of plastic straws. Bring one with you whenever you go out to eat and inform the staff that you won’t be needing a plastic straw.

9. Replace the Blades on Your Razor.

Twitter – Credit: @gingerheadesign

Instead of using single-use, disposable razors, opt instead for a reusable razor that allows you to change the blades instead of throwing the whole thing away. Disposable razors are made of mostly plastic and they’re only hurting the environment.

10. Get Pretty Without Plastic.

Twitter – Credit: @FHCCosmetics

Cosmetics companies are notorious for using tons of plastic in their packaging. From the plastic tubes used for mascara to the plastic used to contain the concealer – and don’t forget the additional plastic used to prevent tampering. You’ve got a full-on plastic-palooza. Ditch those companies for one that cares about the environment.

11. Use a Bamboo Dish Brush.

Instagram – Credit: enricheducatebloom

Washing the dishes doesn’t have to involve grabbing a traditional dish wand (made mostly of plastic) or a sponge made with plastic materials. Get yourself a bamboo dish cleaning brush. Your planet will thank you.

12. Get a Bar of Shampoo.

Twitter – Credit: @TweetTheCoach

You read that right – a bar of shampoo. A bar (as opposed to a bottle) of shampoo helps cut down on plastic by avoiding it in the packaging. It may sound silly at first, but it’s actually a small step in helping to save the environment.

13. Get a Tin of Shaving Soap.

Instagram – Credit: thesoapartisan

Shaving cream containers often contain plastic lids that only contribute to the plastic pollution problem. The next time you find yourself shopping for shaving cream, consider switching to a plastic-free brand like the one mentioned here, which uses tins instead of aluminum cans and plastic lids.

14. Invest in a Reusable Coffee Cup.

Twitter – Credit: @Starbucks

Coffee lids are one of the top offenders when it comes to plastic pollution. If you’re a coffee connoisseur, grab yourself a reusable coffee cup and either make your coffee at home or bring your cup with you when you go out to get coffee. You’ll help eliminate unnecessary waste from all those pesky coffee lids. You can also choose a coffee place with biodegradable lids (if one exists in your area).

15. Get a Plastic Lunch Pail.

Instagram – Credit: bhawana.bags 

A tin lunch pail is not only reusable but when it comes time to throw it away, you’ll have peace of mind knowing it won’t be polluting the planet for hundreds of years before finally decomposing.

16. Don’t use plastic wrapped toilet paper.

Credit: Instagram @ rubyst

Who Gives A Crap is an awesome choice to switch that plastic-wrapped toilet paper to paper-wrapped rolls. Besides, 50% of their profit goes towards building toilets!

17. Get Your Gum Sans Plastic.

Instagram – Credit: almaeko_

That’s right. Most chewing gum on the market contains plastic. When you pick up your favorite brand of gum, you’re likely chewing on plastic, among other ingredients. Probably where the idea that gum takes seven years to digest comes from. Finding a plastic alternative like the one above can be accomplished with a quick Google or social media search.

18. Go to Plastic-Free Farmer’s Markets.

Instagram – Credit: @kelloggarden

Instead of a trip to the grocery store where plastic bags run rampant, head to your local farmer’s market instead. Farmer’s markets typically provide you with bags or containers to carry your purchases, but many are doing away with plastic containers altogether and going completely plastic free. Find one in your area and stock up on fresh fruits and veggies and put plastic in the past.

19. Use Compost Food Bags.

Twitter – Credit: @@MaisticBioGroup 

Maistic Bio Group sells compostable food bags and a full range of other products designed to help eliminate plastic waste. This includes kitchen cleaning tools like the bio scrubber and a hemp scrubber.

20. Sip Your Tea Plastic Free.

Instagram – Credit: @leafico 

Tea bags are traditionally made with food-grade plastic (which – alarmingly – not a lot of people know). So if you’re looking for an eco-friendly alternative, try tea bags made from bananas or other biodegradable materials. Because who really wants to dunk a plastic bag in their tea?

21. Grab a box of Plastic-Free Feminine Products.

Instagram – Credit: @plasticfreemillenial

Feminine hygiene products are made with plastic in the product as well as the packaging. Not only are traditional feminine products made with plastic, but they’re also loaded with chemicals that aren’t great for your body. Think about making the switch to an eco-friendly feminine product brand. NatraCare offers plastic-free liners as well as plastic-free packaging. Win-win.

You might have believed plastic is so ingrained in our lives that we can’t possibly continue modern life without it. But actually, plastic is a detriment to the survival of the planet. We all need to do our part to eliminate plastic waste and protect the environment. Hopefully, you’ve learned some things that can help you make the transition to living a plastic-free life. One step at a time is all it takes.

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5 Tips So You Can Succeed At Your 2021 Resolutions

Culture

5 Tips So You Can Succeed At Your 2021 Resolutions

Your resolutions are your goals and aspirations. This means you can’t leave it up to anyone else. That is a surefire way to fall behind and not accomplish everything you put your mind to. Here are some tips to help you get through the new year and achieve your goals.

Don’t feel bad about being seflish.

Credit: @rupaulsdragrace / GIPHY

You are trying to better yourself. That is the point of making resolutions. This means that sometimes you have to be selfish and think about yourself and only yourself. If you want to get in better shape, you might have to tell your friends you can’t go eating with them all of the time. Or you want to follow your passion and need to create time to do you and block off time to do it. You deserve the investment so take the time to invest.

Your mom will love to keep you accountable.

Credit: @snl / GIPHY

Latina moms are always here for you for anything. This also definitely absolutely goes for keeping you accountable. This is something that she already does naturally. You never have to remind her of a goal of yours because she will always remember and she will always follow up. She wants to know that her baby is getting everything they want out of life. Let them know your resolutions and you will get weekly check-ins to be held accountable.

Don’t go for those fad diets.

Credit: Herbalife Nutrition / GIPHY

Be good to yourself and your body. Make better food choices. We all have some kind of healthy food that we like. If you are trying to lose weight, let yourself enjoy the journey Find those foods that you already love that are good for you and your goal. Now, find ways to introduce more of that into your life. Those foods and replace the not-so-good foods to give you a better food option. Don’t go to the place of scarcity and famine. That won’t do you any good.

Light a candle to Saint Anthony, the Saint of Lost Causes.

Credit: @dualvoidanima / GIPHY

We have seen abuela and mami light candles to Saint Anthony so many times. At this point, he is legit a part of our family and there is a reason that he is so beloved in our homes. If you find yourself really struggling, go ahead and give this a trick. You might be surprised by the results of putting your faith in him.

Visualize the moment you are working towards.

Credit: @KarstenTorebjer / GIPHY

Take the time to see this through first. Don’t just jump into it without knowing where you are going. This will give you a roadmap that will lead you right to where you want to go. It is so important to visualize our goals if you want them to become realities.

READ: Reddit Users Are Sharing Their Craziest New Year’s Eve Stories And I Can’t Believe Some Of Them Didn’t Make The News

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Mexico Becomes The World’s First Country With A Highway Paved From Recycled Plastics

Things That Matter

Mexico Becomes The World’s First Country With A Highway Paved From Recycled Plastics

One of the biggest assets of the great and complex country known as Mexico is the creative and even ludic way in which people reuse materials. This is done on an everyday basis. You just have to go to a traditional mercado to see, for example, Barbie doll dresses made with scraps from old clothes. Need a swing for the backyard? No worries, that used tire will do! 

But sometimes this sort of creativity extends to public works that set a good example that other governments can follow. 

Introducing the world’s very first eco-highway! Recycled plastic on the road! 

The state of Guanajuato in central Mexico is home to the first-ever highway paved with recycled materials. The effort is modest at the moment and involved a 4 kilometer stretch that required 1.7 tons of plastic. The stretch communicates the municipalities of Irapuato and Cuerámaro. If we don’t continue to implement solutions like these, the only highway that we will be paving as humanity is a highway to climate hell!

The number of plastic packages required to accumulate 1.7 tons will surprise you!

According to Dow Plastics Technology Mexico, the 1.7 tons of eco-pavement equal up to 425,000 plastic packaging units. The development of the highway plastic was a private affair that involved the companies Dow, Vise, Surfax, Lasfalto and Omnigreen, and its use in the highway was championed by the federal body Communications and Transportation Secretariat (SCT). Regardless of the politics that are surely involved in the project (governments loooove to take credit for this sort of initiatives and present themselves as super eco-friendly), this project sets a great precedent. 

And the new recycled material is much more durable too!

Through a press release, Dow praised the durability of the new eco-material, which could become the standard in the years to come: “This new technology not only offers a possible solution to the management of plastic waste, it also theoretically prolongs the life span of highways by 50% compared to conventional asphalt. The advantage of using recycled plastic products is that they can be used on all types of highways, not only in high-performance products, which can extend the life span of any paved road”.

It is important to note that the world at large is facing a crisis when it comes to the management of recycling materials. Many developed countries such as Australia and New Zealand traditionally send their plastics to China to be recycled. However, China is no longer accepting them and a lot of plastic is either being stored (a costly and not very useful solution) or, worse, it ends up in landfill. This was a pilot study, but it will surely at least trigger the curiosity of other governments and companies. And remember: they both love good PR, and what could be better PR than being eco-friendly in these times of true environmental distress? 

Mexicans have done some other pretty cool eco-friendly things with roads!

If you have been to Mexico City chances are that you have been stuck in traffic. If the traffic lasts for more than, say, 45 minutes, chances are then that you are in the infamous Periferico. This artery, which connects the city’s Sur y Norte, was so busy that the government decided to build a second floor on top of it. This was a very controversial project then championed by now president AMLO.

A new project, Via Verde, is creating vertical gardens on the pillars that support “El Segundo Piso”. This is intended not only to provide a pretty view for tired drivers, but also to alleviate some of the air pollution caused by the thousands of cars that cross “El Peri” every day in what is perhaps one of the world’s busiest commutes. We only hope that CDMX becomes a truly green megalopolis… 

And don’t forget the nopal leather made by a duo of Mexican superstars!

A few days ago this wonderful invention made its rounds on the media: Adrian Lopez and Marte Cazarez, two Mexican inventors, have created an alternative to plastic faux leather by using nopal, a cactus variety that is as delicious to eat as it is durable when used as a material. If this vegan and eco-friendly is commercialized on a large scale it will not only provide more fashion alternatives to vegans, but it will also have an impact on the cattle industry, which is one of the main culprits of climate change. The material is also much more breathable than plastic faux leather… seriously, that things makes you sweat like there is no tomorrow!

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