Before I started moving towards zero waste I didn’t even give the amount of plastic I used a thought. Now I am conscious of it, I can’t believe just how much plastic we use on near enough a daily basis. Zero waste can seem really extreme and hard to achieve but we can all do little things to help with the issue every day. So today I am giving you some tips on how you can start using less plastic today, nothing hard or extreme, just a couple of adjustments. Some are similar to what I have posted previously and some are new, hope it helps!
Before I give any tips though, I thought it would be good to share just why plastic is such an issue.
Plastic takes 500 to 1000 years to decompose
Every toothbrush, mushroom box and plastic bag you throw out thinking nothing of it can take 1000 years to decompose! If we don’t start acting now, imagine what the world will look like in 100 years!
Our seas are full of it!
Marine animals get killed by it all the time. Whales and sharks regularly wash up dead with stomachs full of it. Turtles, seals and dolphins get caught in it and choke. We have to stop all this plastic getting into our seas and the best way is just to not use it!
Plastic can be toxic
If you google it loads of different reasons why plastic can be toxic come up. Many people don’t allow their food near it. I wont get into it here, but wanted to bring it up!
It rarely actually gets recycled
If you believe what you read even when we put our plastic to recycling it can end up in landfill. The thought is enough to get me to cut right back.
So on to quick ways to use less…..
Buy products packed in glass or cardboard instead
If there is a choice between something packaged in plastic or glass & cardboard use the latter. Glass and cardboard are much easier to recycle so always a better option if you have no choice but to buy something which will have waste. You can even try to repurpose the jars, like making a terrarium or simply for storage.
Avoid buying frozen food
Buy fresh and freeze in tubs if you want frozen fruit or veg. When you buy it already frozen it is almost always in plastic packaging.
Avoid buying prepared veg
Again it is almost always in huge amounts of plastic compared to buying loose, fresh vegetables. I know we are all busy and even if you are too busy to chop veg on a school night and it is the convenient option, don’t buy it. Instead as above buy it when you do have time to chop and then freeze prepared. I do this with lots of spices and veg including fresh ginger, garlic and chillies in ice cube trays.
Buy in bulk
If you must buy a product wrapped in plastic, in the UK the likely products are rice or pasta, then buy it in bulk. The more you buy each time, the less you have to buy, the less plastic used.
Refuse straws and cutlery
I have said this before, but just say you don’t want the plastic straws or cutlery. Most people don’t actually need a straw so you don’t need a replacement. For plastic cutlery, if you know you will be somewhere you may need cutlery take a set in your bag.
Pack lunches in reusable tubs
Don’t use plastic food bags or clingfilm just use resusable tubs.
Finally, always have a water bottle
Keep it full or fill it where you can, just don’t buy the plastic bottles.
I hope I have given you some ideas and honestly its not painful, but the impact is HUGE! If you have any other suggestions, share them below.