Do you want to start 2019 off right and reduce your plastic footprint? Here are a few easy tips to choose plastic free alternatives you can incorporate into your everyday life.
Everything seems to be wrapped in plastic these days. Take plastic shampoo bottles for example. They arrive in the store packaged by 6, are wrapped in another layer in pairs of 2, to ultimately be put in a plastic shopping bag.
Try getting to a Snickers bar when you’re hangry and have to fight your way through copious layers of plastic.
I remember about 5 years ago the talk of the town was our excessive use of paper. Paper’s made of trees, and whole forests were being cut down so we could print out emails, have cute stationary and write down notes about notes.
Over the years a new, fancy material had entered town: plastic. So durable, you could reuse it over and over again. Your groceries wouldn’t tear through that plastic shopping bag any longer, that plastic box could hold your sandwiches until lunch, and prebottled water made hydration on the go a breeze.
Life in plastic really did seem fantastic.
But there was one thing we overlooked. Plastic is SO durable, that it just Would. Not. Waste away.
Over time we figured out how to recycle paper. And although most plastic is also recycable, we overlooked what happens when single use plastic strays from its perfect recycle cycle.
When a paper bag ends up in nature, the weather and soil will ultimately break it down. The same goes for plastic, it only takes a ‘bazillion’ more years to break down.
The sad evidence is now turning up in our oceans, with over 3 million tons of long-lasting plastic going into the world’s Ocean each year. (source)
It’s no wonder more and more people are looking into tips for plastic free living.
1. No straw, thanks
When you order a drink, ask for no straw with your order.
This single use tube of plastic is pretty useless anyways if you ask me.
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2. Carry a tote bag
Bring your own cloth shopping bag when you go out shopping for groceries or clothes. They are lightweight and easy to put away in your pocket until you can put it to good use.
You can easily sew your own tote bag with vintage or repurposed fabric or get one for pennies in any store these days.
3. Drinks to Go
Don’t be afraid to lug around your own re-usable coffee cup and water bottle.
When you order a drink to go, ask if they can pour it into your durable coffee cup instead.
If they sigh or complaint, strike up a conversation about how fishes get trapped in their plastic lined cups. That’ll guilt them enough into topping up your coffee cup in silence.
Personalize your cup with your name so it never gets misspelled again.
Staying in? Most coffee bars will serve coffee in an old fashioned mug if you ask them to. Even at Starbucks you can get your matcha latte poured in proper stoneware.
4. BYO Cutlery
Ditch the plastic and bring your own cutlery to the party.
Bamboo cutlery for example is a great lightweight alternative to regular knives and forks.
If you must throw it away, go for a biodegradable alternative instead.
5. Go solid for zero packaging
Raise your hand if you keep knocking over your endless collection of plastic bottles in the shower. *Raises hand*
They don’t just make the perfect plastic free, low packaging alternative. They also look incredibly cute in your bath selfie!
6. Repurpose glass jars
Another material that seems to magically multiply in my cupboard: glass jars.
Don’t throw those out just yet.
There are plenty of things you can store inside of them.
Food items make an obvious choice.
Once cleanser out thoroughly, you can reuse a glass jar to store leftovers, your pasta lunch, or even to prepare your overnight oats.
Glass jars can also hold many other things.
Fill it with bath bombs to give as your next Birthday gift.
Into sewing? Keep your needles, buttons and thread in separate glass containers.
Keep your coins together in a jar and write a goal (‘Disney trip’, ‘Honeymoon’, ‘Pizza party’) on the glass with permanent marker.
Once it’s full, that money can go towards your goal!