We’ve all heard the news by now. There’s a giant vortex of plastic somewhere out in the ocean the size of a large country. Plastic bags are killing sea turtles and destroying river systems. Your plastic cup may be leaking chemicals into your bloodstream and slowly changing your hormones. We’d like to tell you these things aren’t true, and you don’t have to worry too much — but we can’t.

You may not be able to solve all the world’s problems, but there are ways to cut down on your own use of plastics. Not only will it help the environment, but it’s good for you, too.

Plastic Bags
Switching to reusable bags for shopping isn’t as hard as you think. It’s one of the easier ways to cut down on plastic use. And there’s an upside to you, not just the environment. Many reusable bags are insulated, so they keep your food colder longer on the way back from the store. All reusable bags are thicker than plastic bags, so they won’t break easily either.

Plus, have you seen how cute some of the reusable bags you can get today are? Just remember to buy enough of them. You’ll forget them sometimes, so keep an extra bunch inside your car.

Plastic Bottles
There’s almost no reason to drink water out of a plastic bottle anymore. About a million plastic water bottles are sold per minute globally. Instead of adding to the plastic-frenzy, buy a metal water bottle. Your water will taste cooler and cleaner in the metal water bottle, plus they’re far better insulated, so your water will stay refreshingly cool.

Here’s the best reason — it won’t leak weird chemicals into your water. BPA is a chemical that mimics estrogen, a hormone. Small amounts of it can leak into your water, and that’s not good for your health at all. Switch to a metal water bottle because it’s better for you and the environment.

Plastic Straws and Coffee Cups
Sure, some drinks are easier to drink with a straw. But is that truly a good enough reason to use them as often as we do? Straws are another modern convenience that you can give up without too much trouble to yourself. It’s easy to carry your own reusable straw or choose a paper straw if the bar/coffee shop has that option.

It’s another easy change to carry a reusable coffee cup, too. The amount of plastic waste for coffee cups is staggering. While the cup itself is often made of paper, the lid is almost always made of plastic. Choose a reusable coffee cup and save on refills while saving the world at the same time. Trust us, it makes your coffee taste so much better when it’s low-waste.