“The people who make the biggest difference are the ones who do the little things consistently.” – Katrina Mayer
Plastic has become so integrated in our lives that it often seems impossible to avoid. People from all around the world are becoming increasingly aware of the devastating effects of plastic, especially single-use plastic on our environment. Reducing plastic waste requires evaluating and re-thinking our habits in every aspect of our daily lives but it is completely doable. Here are a few ways to cut down on your plastic waste that you can implement into your daily life:
Reusable Water Bottle
Stop buying bottled water! According to The Guardian a million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute! Investing in a reusable water bottle is the easiest swap to make, it will save you time and money and will help you stay on top of your water intake. You can also take it through airport security when you are travelling and most airports have water filters for you to refill it. If the tap water quality isn’t great, keep a filter in your bottle to get rid of any impurities in the water. We love charcoal water filters!
Reusable Coffee Cup
Disposable coffee cups used in coffee shops are lined with plastic and are very difficult to recycle. “Around 2.5bn coffee cups are thrown away every year in the UK alone – that’s seven million a day!” Bringing your own coffee mug for your to-go coffee is another easy way to reduce your plastic footprint. Most retailers will even give you a discount off your purchase when you bring your reusable cup.
Cloth & Tote Bags
If you go shopping don’t forget your tote bag! A single plastic bag can take up to 1000 years to break down! Reusable tote bags cut out plastic and paper bags when grocery shopping and are more durable and comfortable to carry. Mesh bags are great for bulk buying dry goods and for loose fruits and vegetables. Invest in a good quality tote canvas bag and keep it with you at all times. You can pick up a Mildreds cotton tote bag here.
Reusable Utensils & Containers
Say no to disposable straws, plastic forks, knives and spoons, and keep a portable set of utensils on you! Plastic-straws are non-recyclable, but if you need a straw, purchase a reusable stainless steel, glass or bamboo straw and keep it with you so you’re always prepared. Bring your own container for take-out or restaurant leftovers. You can also request that restaurants do not pack disposable utensils with your take-out order. All of our take-away packaging is recyclable and/or compostable.
Buy in Bulk
In many homes, the majority of plastic waste is created in the kitchen. Zero waste stores have a wide variety of unpackaged products, from dry goods to hygiene products. Purchase food like cereal pasta, rice and legumes from bulk bins using a reusable bag or container. Shopping with old jars is a great option too! When shopping for fruits and vegetables, shop as much as you can from the loose section as this not only helps reduce plastic waste but food waste too.
There you go, 5 ways you can eliminate plastic in your life. This is not about perfection, you do not need to go out and buy all of these items. Start by implementing these small changes, one by one. Have a look through your cupboards at home, evaluate what items are contributing to plastic pollution and begin to wean yourself (and the planet) off them by using more sustainable alternatives.