You would have noticed the big chain super markets making a move on the plastic bag free shopping but have you ever thought to take a closer look at how much plastic you actually use personally? It can be a real eye opener for most people. I challenge you to give yourself 1 week to not use any plastics at all and see what you discover.
Here are some of my helpful tips on going more plastic free:
Reusable coffee cup - Thanks to the incredible KeepCups and other companies who have created us some awesome BYO cups. To keep your daily coffee shop visit plastic free I suggest you purchase an awesome reusable cup.
Some cafes like my local actually offer 50c off per coffee when you bring your own cup! So look at that you are saving money and the planet at the same time.
Its estimated that 500 billion disposable cups are discarded to landfill every year! Thats 1 million cups a mixture, every hour of every day. Since keep cup came about in 2009 its estimated that 3.5 billion cups have been diverted from landfill.
Reusable drink bottles - this should be everyones staple item. We all need to drink more water every day. You should never leave home without one! So grabbing yourself a reusable water bottle will help you stay hydrated and help you to minimise your plastic use.
Say no to the plastic straw - Americans use 500 million drinking straws every day. To get a clear picture of what that looks like it would fill about 125 school busses with straws every single day! Plastic straws are one of our most common problems in our oceans. Ill never forget the sad video of the turtle with one stuck up her nose.
Say no to having a straw in your drink at a bar or restaurant and if you like using a straw for whatever reason then its time to invest in a stainless steel (these can be found at most health food stores) or even a bamboo option is available now.
Get yourself a collection of reusable bags - Create new habits of taking your reusable bags to the store. My mum has been doing this for as long as I can remember, she will wander the Westfield hours on end carrying around her green bags with her incase she makes purchases. Hat off to her! She has definitely been someone Ive learnt a lot of my waste reducing tips from.
Set yourself up for success with your shopping and keep reusable bags in your car, in your backpack, handbag. You never know when you might need to make an unexpected trip to the store on your way home from work.
No thanks to the cling wrap - Try more sustainable ways to wrap leftovers and other food items. Aluminium foil is actually 100% recyclable. There are some other great alternatives out there too, beeswax is another.
No more protein bars - This is a big one for me, I love a good grab and go protein bar or treat especially with all the travelling I do. This is a huge one for single use plastic.
So I am committing and suggest you do too, include with your weekly meal prep some healthy treat preps. With places like source bulk foods and Naked Foods you can grab so many great ingredients and really create whatever bars you love at home. I have many great recipes here or inside our online program that you can try. Whole food stores have nuts, dried fruits, flours, spices, cacao and so much more.
Next snack you feel like grabbing on the go, why not just try a whole piece of real fruit instead.
Plastic free periods - Most of us girls do have a monthly cycle and we use products that do have single use plastics. Tampons and pads are individually wrapped in plastic right? Some of you may have seen the menstrual cups? This is something I am yet to try but I think will be giving this a go to help my reduction in plastic use. This cup is a soft silicone thats inserted inside you in the mornings and only needs to be removed once per day to be emptied, rinsed and then re used.
You can also purchase reusable washable liner options too. These are great for those who don’t want to put something inside.
If you aren’t keen on trying this plastic free option yet then I do suggest you at least change over to organic products if you haven’t already. Please read more here on the toxic levels in the cotton you are using in your sanitary products each month.
Plastic free personal care -Swap out your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo one, they are eco-friendly and still very functional. Statistics suggest that 4.7 billion plastic tooth brushes are used every year! They are not recyclable meaning they just end up in landfill living forever. The great thing about bamboo is its naturally antimicrobial and also compostable when you are finished with it. You can also get yourself some other great personal care items like stainless steel razor, deodorants that come in glass or stainless steel, facial and body soaps that don’t come in plastic bottles but are bars.