Waste-Free: No more one-use plastic

Recycling - The Vegan Rhino
Waste-Free World

In a current world where plastic consumption is everpresent and our planet is near the brink of further environmental turmoil, what can you do to help? One of the most significant ways we waste plastic is by using straws.

This once thought amazing creation is now impacting our earth, animals habitats, and most importantly killing many animals that ingest or get tangled in them. Below I am going to explain why choosing reusable options over plastic options can have a positive impact on the earth.

Why is it essential to reduce plastic waste?
As of April 2018, eight million metric tons of plastic are dumped into our oceans annually. According to Earthday.org, “There are five massive patches of plastic in the oceans around the world. These huge concentrations of plastic debris cover large swaths of the ocean; the one between California and Hawaii is the size of the state of Texas.”

When plastic bags, bottles, and microfibers break down, fish and other animals will ingest these harmful particles and not be able to process the plastics, which usually results in death. Implementing ways to use less plastic now will help to reduce the forecasted prediction that plastic waste will rise tenfold by 2050, making there more plastic in the ocean than fish. What are three easy waste-free hacks that you can use in your lives?


Choose bamboo straws
Just by saying no at restaurants, bars, and other places that give the option for a straw, you can reduce a lot of plastic waste. You’re going to be surprised when you realize how many you used to go through and for what reason? Bamboo, glass, or steel straws do the job just as well and leave less of an impact on our world.

Bamboo forks and knives instead of plastic to-go ware
Always on the go and don’t have time to cook? That’s okay, invest in a pair of bamboo to-go ware utensils that you can travel with. Choosing to opt out of plastic cutlery when eating out is another way to help the environment.

Tote bags for your groceries or shopping
The next time you’re at the grocery store and you’re asked, “Paper or plastic?”,  feel free to say paper. For a more reusable option, feel free to purchase a few canvas or hemp bags that you can wash by hand.

These are not only great for groceries, but they can be used for other items like when you’re at a convenience store, shopping for clothes, etc.

In hopes to reduce and reuse, recycling has become apart of my new lifestyle, and it’s been great. Having an understanding of how many plastic bags I would use to bring items from point A to B was absurd.

There are many other ways to be more sustainable, for example, our toothbrushes, kitchen dish sponges, and plastic water bottles.

What are your favorite ways to reduce your plastic consumption? Comment below and let me know!

Composting for Beginners: 2 Ways to Use Your Scraps

Composting - The Vegan Rhino

Curious about what happens to the banana peels, citrus rinds and apple cores you toss in the trash can? Otherwise known as “food scraps,” these often-discarded items are doomed for an after-life in a landfill—not the best use of these functional remains.

According to The Guardian, “Americans waste 150,000 tons of food each day—equal to a pound per person.”

I understand that waste, in some cases, is inevitable on a large scale (after all, we can’t control what a big-box grocery store deems fit for its shelves). However, I suggest giving composting a try. It doesn’t matter where you live or whether you have a garden. Composting can be for everyone! Check out the following ways to make it work for you:

The freezer method
Living in an apartment or dorm room? No problem! Start collecting your food scraps in a brown paper bag, which is compostable, or air-tight container. I keep my brown paper bag in the freezer and add my food scraps every time I prepare food. As the bag fills up, I simply remove it and bring it to a local farm. A quick Google search will most likely yield several community gardens in your area (look into gardening programs at nearby schools and nursing homes, too!). Call each one until you find an organization that will accept your scraps!

You can also share your soil with your neighbors! Perhaps they will share some fresh goodies with you for helping their garden grow strong.

Composting for your garden

Start with soil. Place it at the bottom of your compost container then add  food scraps and other organic matter to the container, mixing periodically. Top the mixture with more soil and continue the cycle. Use this organic soil in your home garden.

Composting is one of the best ways to reduce food waste. It requires virtual zero energy on your part and leaves you with healthy, nutrient-dense soil to grow your next harvest!

If you do not have an outside garden, check out 7 Things to Do with Compost if You Don’t Garden.