10 Easy Ways to Bring Down Your Daily Plastic Consumption

Our daily usage of plastic often goes beyond polybags, wafers and instant noodles. At-least, I used to think this way until I started reading about better ways to make my travel responsible and sustainable. Over the due course of time I realized that my plastic consumption is way more than what I believe.

So I started looking for ways to bring down the usage of plastic and in last three months I have seen a change for good.

Ladakh road trip

Reducing plastic consumption is way more than taking parts in cleaning drives. These campaigns help in cleaning up a place for the time being but the moment you leave, the situation becomes the same.

Indian hills, especially the Himalayan regions are suffering with a huge problem of plastic accumulation. This issue, if not dealt with, will ruin the environment and these places will not be fit for travel in the future.


A recent report reveals that not only hills but even the oceans are going through a similar problem. The infamous garbage island of the Pacific is an example.

So how is an individual supposed to bring down this plastic collection on their level? Well, there are a few simple tricks and most of them are not costly at all.

Avoid mineral water bottles

Asian countries are one of the biggest markets for the mineral water manufacturers. A common belief that the local water is not fit for use, prompts many to buy at-least two bottles on a daily basis. I used to believe that the problem with local water is a hoax and white people problem, until my dad caught jaundice after drinking tap water in Banaras.

Eco friendly waterbottle
Earthen Waterbottles from REWA, Purulia, are ideal for carrying during car journeys. Backpackers can use similar bottles made from plastic.

Anyhow, reusable bottles are the best solution for this problem. Off-late, I have also seen a number of Western Tourists using portable water purifier. They are really good in cleaning the tap water and most of them only cost between INR 800 to INR 2000.

Carry metal straws or use no straws at all

The annual consumption of plastic has proportionally grown higher because of the use of straws, sporks and containers. Unlike plastic bags, which are reusable, the straws become totally useless after a single use. You can also carry a set of metal straws while travelling. If you cannot purchase one, ask the restaurant to sell from their collection. Recently, Illiterati Café in Mcleodganj, started using metal straws taking part in a great step towards a sustainable future in the hills.



Use reusable bags

Plastic bags, no matter how many times you use, tear down and ultimately you have to throw it away. Reusable bags made of jute and cotton are a great alternative to this plastic. You can always keep a few in your rucksack and not only use them but also share with others who need one.


Avoid buying fruits and vegetables kept in plastic trays

Many super markets keep their fruits and vegetables packed in plastic trays to give them a more posh look. You can refuse buying them and if possible, provide a feedback to the store management and on social media that how this is not sustainable.

Use the food delivery packaging for other household purposes

When we order food online, it always comes in a plastic container. Many gourmet food delivery companies have started to provide sustainable boxes perfect for reuse. Establishments like Keventers, sell their milkshakes in glass bottles which can be used in many creative ways. Don’t throw the plastic box. If you don’t need one, may be someone else you know would do.

Bring your own coffee mug


Do you know how much does a coffee jar costs in the long run? Once used, it is normally thrown away in the dust bin. Do yourself a favour and buy a coffee mug or a jar for your needs. This way, you’ll have a mug to use and fill it with not only coffee but also with beer or mojito whenever you need it. Also, large cups of coffee (which are pretty useless) can be packed and you can leave the coffee shop while sipping it on your way.

Use bubblewrap for future use

A lot of online shopping portals deliver products covered in bubble wraps. No one knows what to do with it once it is opened. We pop it and make it useless. After this, we throw it away and it eventually gets buried in the ground. Bubble wraps can come of a great use in future in multiple scenarios. You may need one while packing your stuff or when you are travelling with something that may break during the journey. Why waste money on extra wraps when shopping portals are giving it for free?

Bulk shopping is always a great idea

Instead of buying something for one time use, you can always purchase them in bulk and avoid the use of extra bags in the future. Off-course this doesn’t apply to products with expiry dates, otherwise it is very useful.

Try sustainable clothing whenever possible

To be honest, I find sustainable clothing way more costly than regular clothes. This is the same problem with anything that is sold in the name of being eco-friendly. But this should not stop you from having one or two in your collection (only if you can afford them, going broke in your quest to become eco-friendly is not a wise move). Fabrics like rayon, polyester, acrylic, etc. leave tiny residue of plastic that eventually goes in the water. This plastic is eaten by fish and we eventually eat fish. No wonder, they taste so much better these days.

Speak out

Use the power of social media to ask the brands for not to print bills and wrap the products in plastic. If you find a company doing so, then appreciate them. Tell others about the value of less plastic consumption and more importantly, start this movement from your home.


I am not a perfect human being. Intentionally or unintentionally, I often end up doing things that I normally advocate to avoid. So I won’t judge you if your daily life doesn’t allow you to avoid plastic. But I’ll surely appreciate if you find a solution even in a few ways.

Leave a Reply

This Post Has 18 Comments

  1. It so sad to see all the plastic bags, bottles, wrappers when I’m trekking sometimes through gorgeous places when travelling. I get angry that people Do That. Thank you for sharing this and I hope more and more people reduce their use of plastic!

  2. Zoya

    This is such an important topic. I’m totally against littering and I find it horrific to see what some travelers do. Thank you for compiling this great list, you’ve added some good ideas especially avoiding fruit/veg that’s sold in plastic bags. I never even thought of that (I already ditched the straws and carry a reusable water bottle with me everywhere). I’m definitely going to try to be more responsible and green, not just in my travels but also in my daily life.

  3. Out of Town Blog

    I started carrying a refillable water bottle everytime I travel. Its a good way to save money and to save the environment too 🙂 thanks for sharing your story btw!

  4. Tony

    Excellent article and tips. It’s so important that we work together to reduce this plastic wastage that we created together. O will be sharing this article to all my fellow travellers

  5. Kemi

    All that plastic waste hurts my soul, especially in natural environments and coincidentally I have an article on how-to tips on sustainable travel and living. We should be doing re to curb this and not leaving all the governments.

  6. Shaily

    Your post is an eye opener and it’s high time we start taking care of our environment before it’s too late. I agree we tend to use a lot of plastic in our daily lives intentionally or unintentionally. Thanks for sharing these great tips to avoid this use. I like your idea of reusing bubble paper and carrying your own coffee mug. I generally carry my water bottle and avoid buying the plastic bottles, but never thought of coffee mug. Also, the metal straw is quite an innovative idea.

  7. I kind of love sustainable clothing! I feel like the people behind sustainable clothing brands love their work so their designs are pretty cool. We have a brand back home in Hawaii called Sundaze Bikinis that actually makes all of their products out of recycled plastic found on the beaches of Hawaii! Isn’t that cool, sad, and crazy all at the same time? Oh, and their products are very practical, aesthetic, and comfortable.

  8. Plastic consumption is a major issue and is harming our environment in many ways, although many people do not realize it. I like what you are doing to raise awareness, I myself have stopped using plastic in many ways.

  9. Annie

    Thanks for the tips – they’re really valuable! I’m looking for more ways to cut down on plastic and be more resourceful 🙂

  10. Smita Chandra

    Good for you for doing your bit, every effort helps! It is frustrating and very annoying to see all the plastic that people carelessly throw into beautiful lakes and other places. Thanks for your helpful tips on how we can all be involved in solving this issue.

  11. Our heart hurts every time we go for hiking or any other travel, and we see plastic litter.. be it mountains or beaches. We truly hope your post reaches many more people and they get reminded of being mindful of their actions towards reducing the plastic foot print. Liked the neer patra concept. Thanks for this post.. Best.. Backpacking Series 🙂

  12. These are some great tips and reminders about how much plastic we use without thinking. I always use refillable bottles and recycle/reuse the plastic containers we have to buy with certain products.

  13. Purvi Kamaliya

    My respect and appreciation for the efforts you have put into creating this post. This is absolutely the need of an hour especially in a country like India where we have almost no system of waste management.

  14. Ali Dunnell

    This is such an important and interesting blog post – I live in Kenya where they have already banned plastic bags. I believe that plastic bottles should be banned worldwide – but I am not sure if that will ever happen. Thanks for sharing

  15. Metal straws are a good idea, I think a lot of people are starting to use biodegradable paper ones too.
    Anything to save the planet gets a thumbs up from me!

  16. Alex Trembath

    It’s so important that we travel responsibly so I really welcome this article, the tips are excellent. It’s been really refreshing to see how the travelling community is stepping up to the challenge of addressing plastic usage in the last couple of years. Lots of work left to do but we’re moving in the right direction.

  17. NN

    That photo of all the trash on the mountain makes me so sad. Good tips for reducing plastic use!

  18. angieroxx02

    It may seem unnecessary but many groups have brought edible cutlery in order to reduce the intake of plastic cutlery. Please promote this idea by yourself using this cutlery.
    Also, sir, do you go to schools to spread awareness about the condition of our hills? It would be very nice to be know it. I didn’t the condition of our hills properly before reading this. Thank you for sharing.