How to be Eco-Friendly 101

This+picture+captures+the+plastic+waste+that+has+been+affecting+our+earth+for+many+years.

Korah Honig

This picture captures the plastic waste that has been affecting our earth for many years.

Korah Honig , Writer

Saint Louis High School students are recently taking steps to avoid leaving a carbon footprint to help save the planet.

One major step into avoiding plastic waste is using reusable bags and not the plastic bags provided at a store. Reusable bags were popularized in the early 2000’s as consumers began to reject disposable shopping bags. There has been a large increase in use in the last decade. At one point in 2007, reusable bags even became a sought-after fashion accessory, and recently tote bags have stepped into the scene.  

Peyton Allen tries to always avoid using plastic bags. She said, “I like to think I’m helping in a way by not using plastic bags and using tote bags instead. I know it doesn’t make a big difference because a lot of others still proceed to use plastic while being aware of the issue.”

Plastic bags are very harmful to the environment. They don’t biodegrade and they are photo-degraded. That means that they break down into smaller and smaller toxic bits and contaminate soil and waterways. They are the largest source of ocean litter and are harmful to wildlife. Eliminating the use of this waste can be one big step to cleaning the planet.

Recently, there have been more and more sustainable options being introduced. There are many small businesses that create products that help people reduce waste. One product, in particular, that is very helpful is reusable wax wraps. It works as a clear plastic wrap but can be easily cleaned and used many times and is eco-friendly. Others have been using reusable ziplock bags for their food.

There is one simple way that everyone could help reduce waste– use a water bottle. Having a nice water bottle to take with you is a very little thing, but it cuts out the need for buying plastic water bottles. United States landfills are overflowing with more than 2 million tons of discarded water bottles.  

Jenna Abell is a runner and consumes a lot of water daily. She does her part in reducing waste by not using plastic water bottles. She commented, “I use my water bottle every day, and I carry it around with me everywhere. I haven’t used a plastic one in a long time because I can just refill my own.”