Eliminating plastic, especially single use plastic, from our lives is something that many of us are trying to do at the moment and I’m so glad that it’s something that so many people are talking about. I thought I’d put together a few plastic swaps/alternative ideas that you can totally and easily switch today/this week!
Ditch The Packaging on Your Fruit & Veg
You don’t need to have access to a local farmers market to do this(although that would be even better!) as most UK supermarkets have a wide variety of their fruits and vegetables loose in store. You don’t even need to go out and buy any fancy produce bags, just grab your potatoes and your bananas, pop them in your trolley, weigh them at the end of your shop and pop them in a canvas tote together, or even an old plastic bag if you have one already at home!
Bring your own water bottle! You probably have a reusable bottle of some shape or form in your home already, so need to go out and buy one right away(hey, you can even use a mason jar!) just remember to bring it with you next time you leave the house! 1 million plastic bottles are bought around the world every MINUTE!(*source) If that’s not scary enough for you, that works out to 20,000 a SECOND. So not only will you be saving the planet from more plastic pollution but you’ll be saving yourself a lot of money too! Bottled water can be super expensive, especially in places like train stations and on the motorway services.
Since using a reusable water bottle I’ve personally found that I drink more water on a day to day basis, so there’s another great reason to ditch single use water bottles!
Take Your Own Container To The Counter
As a vegan, this isn’t something that I’ve had to do, but if you buy meats or cheeses from the counters at supermarkets/markets, take in your own Tupperware or container. Again, you don’t need to go out and buy anything fancy, just use what you already have at home. Many UK supermarkets are encouraging this system now and our local Morrison’s has multiple sings up in the store to inform you that this is an option and that they’re trying to cut back on their plastic waste, which I think is pretty cool!
Just Say No
To the straw, to the little plastic produce bag that the checkout person tries to offer you for your kiwi, to the pizza “table” in the Takeaway pizza box. These might all seem like little things, but when you realise how often these little bits of plastic are creeping into our lives and how many people are also using these little plastic things, it quickly adds up.
Get a Reusable Coffee Cup
Similar to the water bottle option, get yourself a reusable coffee cup that you can have your barista put your favourite hot beverage in, time and time again. If you haven’t already done this and you’re a serial coffee drinker then where have you BEEN!? Most coffee shops will offer you some sort of incentive to use a reusable cup, like money off or an extra stamp on your loyalty card. In fact, most coffee houses now sell reusable coffee cups, so there’s no excuse really! Disposable coffee cups are lined with plastic, which is super tricky to remove from it’s cardboard outer, so most recycling firms wont do this, so they end up in landfill.. all because of the plastic.
I’m planning on putting together a couple more blog posts on ways to reduce your plastic consumption over a longer period of time too, is that something that you’d be interested in reading? These ideas are all things that you can put into practice right now, starting today, don’t you think? Together we can make a big difference!