Find 5 easy tips on how to start using less plastic on a daily basis that will help you live more sustainably.
I’m sure you’ve been reading and listening about all the changes our mother Earth has started regarding our misbehaviour over the centuries. Climate change is happening and it’s not going to be nice. And, frankly, I am scared. I bet you are too. So the least we can do is to start with ourselves. I will share with you 5 tips on how to stop using that monster called plastic.
1. PLASTIC BAGS
This is one of the most common and easy plastic swaps. Instead of paying 10p (in the UK) for each bag every time you go shopping, buy a few reusable bags that will last you for years and most of them are machine-washable. Also, there are so many affordable, beautiful and fashionable tote bags that you can take with you and use it for your shopping.
People often say how they forget to take the bag with them if they are going to pick up some food after work or go shopping unintentionally. So the best advice is always aim to have one reusable bag with you, no matter where you’re going.
2. SINGLE USE CUPS
Hello coffee/tea addicts, this one is for us. Due to nature of my job, I don’t usually drink coffee or tea on the go but for everyone who does, I think it’s a major problem. Tons and tons of cups, actually, to be precise, 2.5 billion coffee cups are used and thrown away each year in the UK. a BILLION. If you can’t imagine the number, I’ll paint it for you. That would be enough to stretch around the world roughly five and a half times. Well, hope you get it and like, REALLY get it. You can get a reusable cup in any coffee shop, bigger stores like Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose and also every zero waste/byo shops.
Fun fact: when you bring your own cup to the coffee shop you will pay less for your coffee.
3. PACK YOUR LUNCH
I know, it’s not always easy to prepare your lunch the day before work but just think about your future, about the animals choking on plastic every second because you couldn’t be bothered to make your packed lunch. I know it sounds harsh but I do want to be real with you. You are doing it for yourself, for your kids and/ or family and for other generations.
The issue is you can’t see it instantly. Which makes it harder, I guess. But in the long term, it’s definitely worth it. Another great thing about prepping your food is you will know exactly what you eat. And usually, it’s much healthier. When your lunch break starts, you have 30mins-1 hour to shove some food into your mouth so you have some peace and quiet before returning to work. And most of the time you will go after some sandwich wrapped in plastic, salad packed in plastic, ready meal packed in plastic which will stay on earth for up to 1000 years. Yes, one thousand years.
I will give my best to share easy and healthy lunch ideas to go, to stay healthy and to keep the plastic use to a minimum.
You can find great lunch boxes here but please, use plastic containers that you already have for as long as possible. https://andkeep.com/collections/lunchboxes-food-containers-1
4. LOOSE FRUIT AND VEG
Once upon a time, I would use over 10 plastic bags while buying fruits or veg in store. 5 lemons, one plastic bag. 2 oranges, one plastic bag. Broccoli, one plastic bag. When you think about it, it’s totally unnecessary. I know it might be convenient but instead of using plastic bags, get reusable cotton bags. I got mine from andkeep.com. They are very affordable, washable in a washing machine and you can reuse them over and over and over again. Most of the shops now have a huge choice of loose produce next to the packed one. So go for the loose ones. Or even better option is to check your local markets and get most of the stuff there.
5. BUY IN BULK
This might be tricky but when you start, it’s actually fun. And very easy. You’ve probably heard of BYO (bring your own), zero waste shops where you bring your own jars/bottles and refill them. Some stuff like pasta, rice and nuts could be more expensive than in regular shops but start small and buy what you can. If you choose to get a bar of chocolate, washing up liquid or oats for a start, it’s better than nothing. Don’t worry yourself over other things you can’t afford. Baby steps are better than no steps, right?
And that would be it for a start.
If you have just started with more conscious living, this can seem a lot at once. But it gets easier, I promise. And don’t stress about it. I still (re)use plastic containers to refill some cleaning products and that’s totally fine.
Use and reuse all the plastic that you currently have for as long as you can. I know all of this sounds a bit crazy but If you told me that I will use toothpaste from a glass container, that If I forget my reusable produce bags at home I would rather not buy certain foods than buy a plastic bag, that I will make my own makeup remover and use reusable cotton pads, that I will use a toilet paper wrapped in funny-colored recyclable paper, that I will care that much about all of this I would tell you something sarcastically and how I have neither time nor money for that.
So if you feel the same, that’s totally fine. Let it all sink in. Come back after a week, do some research, and read the post again.