Plastic is undoubtedly everywhere around us. While we can do our best to recycle what we can, it still takes a lot of energy to turn old plastic into something new, and it’s is still a huge problem in terms of contributing to environmental waste.

The worst part about it is that it doesn’t really break down and disappear. Instead, it turns into “plastic dust” or very small bits that animals and aquatic life often mistake for food. And as if that weren’t bad enough, all of this plastic that gets tossed away also releases toxins that contaminate soil, water, and the wildlife that ingests it.

It’s about time we all take plastic reduction a little more seriously. Large corporations that sell our favorite products still have a long way to go, but we can all do our personal part by avoiding and reducing plastic use in our everyday lives as much as we can.

Make a promise never to buy bottled water ever again. You can save money, save the planet, and save your health by just saying no to bottled water. Instead, invest in a stainless steel, BPA-free bottle that you can reuse. An even better choices would be a glass bottle if you’re careful about breakage.

Shop with reusable grocery bags. Bring your own bags along when you head to the grocery store so you never have use plastic bags, which can take as long as an entire millennium to break down.

Look for cardboard and glass product packaging. It can be nearly impossible to eliminate all plastic from our lives in this day and age, but there certainly are brands out there that can help us along in our effort. Laundry detergents are one example of a product you can find in cardboard boxes.

Buy fresh produce and shop from bulk bins. You can avoid all that unnecessary packaging when you skip the frozen food or otherwise processed stuff so you can make everything yourself from fresh fruits and veggies. Buying from bulk bins also eliminates the need for packaging and gives you the opportunity to use your own refillable bags.

Bring plastic containers back. Some grocery stores and farmers’ markets will take plastic containers back to reuse them for produce like berries and cherry tomatoes. There’s no harm in asking!

Take stock of your kitchen to replace plastic supplies with sustainable ones. It’s time to stop buying resealable baggies, food containers, saran wrap, straws and plastic dishes or utensils in favor of non-plastic food storage and dishware solutions. In many cases, glass containers and jars will get the job done.

Kick your gum chewing habit to the curb. Did you know that gum is really just plastic? Well, now you know! You’re also just much better off avoiding those potentially toxic chemicals hiding in the ingredients that are used to pump up the flavoring anyway.

Do some extra research on your favorite yoga apparel brands. Sadly, most of today’s commercially sold yoga and sportswear products are actually made from plastic. On the bright side, however, there are several brands out there taking the environmentally friendly route by selling yoga apparel made from sustainable materials like organic cotton.

We may not be living in a plastic-free world anytime soon, but if we do our part now, we can make sure future generations won’t have to deal with the harmful and potentially disastrous environmental effects. Just say no to plastic whenever you know there are alternative options out there.