Tips for Reducing Your Plastic Footprint

Greetings from my quarantine to yours! I hope you are staying well and safe whenever possible. I wanted to pop in and say “hi” since my social interactions these days are at an all-time low (for good reason) and I’ve found myself talking to inanimate objects. Nothing to be too concerned about, although my dresser and I are still not on speaking terms…

Anywho! I wanted to share a few tips – some quarantine hacks – I have recently learned about which may help you, as well as the planet as an added benefit. Some of these tips would mean having to purchase less items at the grocery store, reducing your time there as well as contact with others. Have a look, test any of these out, and let me know if (a) they work for you, (b) if you have tips of your own, or (c) if you just want to say “hi” back to me!

    • Have you heard of Swedish dish cloths? These things are AWESOME. They are reusable, normally made from cellulose or something similar, and can be used in place of paper towels, which I know that some people are unable to purchase these days. 

  • Some companies have started subscription services for household cleaners and hand soap! They’ll send you a reusable bottle which you fill with water and add some sort of included tablet that breaks down, creating the cleaning solution itself. This not only reduces plastic used but also provides a safe, consistent alternative to household cleaners, which also may be tough to get a hold of at the store!
Soap tablets

Photo: BlueLand

  • Given that many of us have increased our take-out orders from restaurants, I imagine that your pile of plastic silverware might now be looming over your heads. Fear not! I have a solution. Politely tell the restaurant that plastic utensils are not needed since you have silverware of sorts at your home. Boom! 
  • I have been making larger portions of food in order to have a steady stream of leftovers. Oftentimes a single-use, re-sealable plastic bag might come in handy BUT did you know that certain companies make reusable, sealable bags which can be washed and then reused? One less item you might have to buy at the store!

I hope some of these quarantine hacks are able to work for you and make things a bit easier on your daily lives. Soon, I will put together another list of fun activities you can do right from the comforts of your own home. Meanwhile, if you have questions or any quarantine hack ideas of your own, email me at and I can put together a list for us all to learn from! 

Thanks for stopping by and stay safe, my friends.


Charlie Rolsky is Director of Science, North America, for Plastic Oceans International. He is also the host of “Breaking It Down, With Charlie Rolsky” – a new YouTube series from Plastic Oceans that simplifies the science, while having a bit of fun. He conducts research at Arizona State University’s (ASU) Biodesign Center for Environmental Health Engineering where he works on marine and aquatic plastic pollution, a major concern within many ecosystems and environments around the world.