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  • Writer's picture The Vindicator

Evaluate Recycling, and Move Towards Reusing

Written by Jillian VanDyke

In spite of environmentally friendly lifestyles gaining popularity, I wanted to expand on the benefits of reusable materials and my favorite ones I use everyday.

Plastic Bags Aren’t Recycled, So Shop Baggu

Everyday use of single-use products will accumulate a large amount of trash and even unnecessary recyclables. The best way to avoid this is to start using products that are reusable. My personal favorite company that supports this is Baggu. This company has various sizes of reusable nylon bags. Not only do they easily compact due to the bags they come with, there’s also a large selection of styles to choose from. To keep our earth beautiful, being sustainable can be as well. There’s many ways these bags can be put to use, but my personal favorite is for grocery shopping. This company strives to create bags that have a long, impactful life. According to Baggu, they “design to minimize waste, use sustainable materials and have a long-standing partnership with [their] manufacturer in China, who is committed to ethical and environmentally responsible practices.” A popular belief when shopping is that the plastic bags are recyclable; however, this is completely false. Not all plastic is actually recyclable, so substituting the convenient use of these bags by using reusable bags will save the overload of plastic bags that get thrown away — or if you’re misinformed: recycled — in your home. Baggu bags are not only reducing plastic waste, but also giving users a stylish way to be environmentally friendly!

Save Money with Reusable Cups

Believe it or not, some big corporations and even local coffee and smoothie shops give you a discount if you aren’t using their plastic products. If you purchase a reusable cup at Starbucks, you get 10 cents off every time you purchase a drink with it. The paper cups that are used for hot drinks are recyclable; however, they usually do not end up doing so because the plastic lining on the interior would have to be removed. Often times extra work is not done by those at recycling centers because of the large load coming it. If you use a reusable cup, this will reduce the number of cups that you wish to be recycled ending up in a landfill. Getting a reusable cold cup is also an option; these can be found at a lot of different stores, and even coffee shops themselves. Plus, Starbucks carries nitrolids for those not wanting to use their non-recyclable plastic straws. These gained popularity in 2019 with the “Save The Turtles” movement. Although this does help, it’s not always the best option. On November 7th, Starbucks gave away free reusable red cups to anyone ordering a holiday drink in order to promote the use of them. For only $3.00 you can have yourself a reusable cup (hot or cold) and you will begin saving money and plastic in no time!

Sip Sustainably

Using a stainless steel straw is something that is so easy to do! Many brands now create straws that come with a traveling container so you can easily store it in a bag along with a brush to clean it on the go. Avoiding using a plastic straw will not only obviously save a straw per drink, but help a complex piece of plastic to be avoid being added to our waste baskets; they create an overall lessened economic cost and support eco-friendliness. They are safe, non-toxic and BPA free. There are also alternatives such as bamboo straws, but whatever way to not use plastic straws is a great way to start eliminating waste

Recycling is something I think is so important, but not even having to go through the process because of preventative steps is even easier for all parties involved — especially the environment. Investing your money in reusable products rather than single-use is a better investment.


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