- Richard Robinson
We’re all well aware by now of the impact that our consumer centric lives are having on the environment; and whilst the responsibility doesn’t solely lie with individual consumers, we all should be exploring ways we can make simple changes to our habits that can vastly reduce the amount of single-use plastic we get through. It doesn’t have to be time consuming or cost more money, and you may even find that you save money by integrating some of these handy tips into your daily routines.
Stop Buying Bottled Water
Sometimes it’s unavoidable, and bottled water is a necessary product, but doesn’t mean we should be buying it every day. If you live in a local routine that covers the same ground day after day, making the switch shouldn’t be too difficult. We recommend a metal container over similar thick plastic bottles, as the lifespan is generally longer. If you’re concerned about the quality of drinking water straight from the tap, a water filter is good for a couple of months and uses significantly less plastic and costs a lot less in the long run.
Insist On Plastic Free Fruit and Veg
It seems counter intuitive that some of the healthiest products available are among the heaviest packaged goods in the supermarket. There is generally more awareness about this issue recently, so expect to see an improvement in coming years from the big supermarkets. Until that comes, see if you can find some vegetables that aren’t covered in plastic. It is possible to support your local growers without paying through the nose, and locally grown organic fruit and veg typically isn’t sprayed with pesticides and herbicides that can have potentially detrimental effects on your health.
Return Of The Milk
We Brits love milk, and we’re all aware of the litres upon litres of the stuff we consume. If you’re not able to recycle your milk cartons, consider switching to glass bottles if possible. The milkman doesn’t have the same presence as days gone by, but milk in glass by the pint can still be found in many smaller retailers.
Stop It with The Ready Meals
Most ready meals are terrible for you, and all of them are encased in plastic. There’s no denying their convenience factor, as a couple of minutes in the microwave is a cinch in a pinch; but consider for a minute the amount of plastic we get through for a relatively small amount of produce. It’s understandable that a lot of us barely have a spare minute to prepare food sometimes, but if ready meals are a regular part of your eating habits, the damage you’re doing to yourself and the environment probably isn’t worth the time saved. If you’re like me and don’t enjoy cooking, I recommend perfecting a few simple recipes that you can knock up easily with few ingredients, and with a little bit of planning you will be able to greatly reduce your relicance on microwave mediocrity.
Research Natural Cleaning
Did you know you can make cleaning stuff out of stuff you already have?! Yes, you can clean your house without the use of noxious chemicals that come inside thick plastic containers. Vinegar, lemons and baking soda all have properties that can leave your home and its contents sparkling clean. There’s tonnes of information online about how you can create cleaning products by simply combining a couple of ingredients, and you don’t need a PHD in chemistry to do it.
Re-useable Toiletry Packaging
Cosmetic and toiletry companies are also big offenders when it comes to plastic pollution, and a race to the bottom means the cheapest packaging method possible wins. Hopefully the future sees more innovation in this sector, but for now look out for the companies and products that use paper instead of plastic, and offer refills on consumable items.
Ignore The Naysayers
We all have THAT friend that calls you out on every little decision you make, but if you’re leading the charge in trying to improve yourself or the environment, a little ribbing is to be expected. Maybe when you tell them how much money you’ve saved it might change their mind?
Practice Plastic-less Picnics and Parties
Having a BBQ, going for a picnic, or hosting a birthday party? Challenge yourself to see how plastic-free you can make it. It will make the shopping experience more interesting and provide a conversation starter too.
What’s BYOT I hear you ask? Bring Your Own Tupperware! If you’re out and about at an event or going to a restaurant, having a piece of good Tupperware plus an eating utensil handy will serve you well. Most places will be happy to fill your own containers instead of using their own single use plastic boxes, and having your own fork handy means you can eat street food like a boss, instead of using those easy to break knives and forks.
No More Plastic Bags, Obviously!
This one’s a given and having a tote bag handy has already been widely adopted. We hope more people cotton on to the benefits of using an eco-friendly alternative bag instead of spending 10p’s on plastic bags that will get thrown very quickly.Tweet