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Simple swaps for reducing your plastic use

Only 21% of plastic in Minnesota gets recycled. The rest ends up along lake shores or in landfills. Not using it in the first place is the best way to help reduce those numbers.

Plastic is everywhere and avoiding it seems overwhelming.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency says only about 21% of plastic gets recycled. That leaves more than 170,000 tons that ends up in a Minnesota landfill each year.

That's where Allison Sandve's experience comes in handy. She's spent the last year trying to reduce plastic in her home.

Start with the easiest stuff. Easy like a reuseable water bottle or coffee cup. If you are buying a pop or beverage... opt for the can instead of the plastic bottle.

Next up... shopping.

"I made sure that when I shop, I never use plastic bags," Sandve says.

The key is to have a stash in your car handy for when you need them.

That's the shopping totes of course, but also produce bags and the plastic bags from the bulk section. 

"One of the easiest things for me was buying things in bulk," says Sandve.

And that doesn't just mean nuts and rice and beans.

Think bulk hand or dishwasher soap for example! Refill the containers you already have instead of buying individual bottles.

One of the challenges? anything that comes in a plastic package.. like toilet paper.. but there are alternatives!

"One of the companies I found makes it's toilet paper and paper towels out of bamboo... really great find."

Allison has so many more tips like composting, homemade granola bar recipes and easy to make shampoo on her blog, My Microrepairs