20 May 2018
10 Simple Ways You Can Cut Down Your Plastic Waste
Here are some simple and easy ways that don’t take much effort to help get you on your way to living a plastic-free lifestyle.
1. Stop Using Plastic Bags! – this is a big one that will have a lot of impact. Find yourself some colourful re-usable produce bags and get into the habit of using them. So often you have them in your car or ready to go at home – but so many people simply forget to take them actually into the shop! And stop using plastic bags as bin liners – you don’t need them! Use a high quality durable re-usable bin liner if you have to put things in the general waste – but the goal is to reduce the need for this completely – so that nothing goes to landfill.
2. Use a Keep Cup for takeaway coffee and have a re-usable take away kit – utensils, straw, & container. Coffee cups are a huge one. Just make a rule for yourself – if you’re not sitting in to have coffee or you didn’t bring a keep cup – no coffee for you today. So if you enjoy drinking coffee and don’t often have time to sit-in – you’ll soon make it a habit to bring the keep cup. Same for any other kind of take-away, either dine-in or use your re-usable kit!
3. Buy a re-usable Water Bottle. Plastic water bottles are one of the most damaging things currently in the environment because the quantity is so prolific and everyone needs water. Here at Vesica this is one of our main goals to reduce the need for plastic water bottles, so we have an awesome plastic-free high quality alternative solution.
4. Buy Whole Foods – not packaged food. Start shopping at the local farmers market, organic produce store and whole foods pantry rather than the supermarket. This will dramatically cut down your plastic consumption – as well as instigate healthier eating patterns. Just don’t bring into the house food that comes in packaging. I challenge you to try it for a month and see the difference it makes.
5. Buy things second hand rather than brand-new and try to reduce shopping online. Not only will you save the packaging that usually always comes with buying things brand-new and especially online (all those styrofoam chips, plastic inserts and bubble wrap), but you’re also not increasing the demand for the resources to produce those new products. Not to mention all the other kinds of waste and pollution that goes along with the manufacturing and transportation process. As well as that, it will force you to do more research when you want or need to buy something and start thinking more consciously about what you buy, if you Really need it and where it comes from. Plus opp-shopping, thrift stores and garage sales are so much fun to scope out and find those gems that you wouldn’t find at the mall!
6. Buy local, handmade and artisan goods. Not only are you supporting artists and the community, but often these products are much better quality, last way longer and have that uniqueness and creativity that you simply cannot get with mass produced products.
7. Support sustainable and ethical fashion brands and clothes made from natural fibres like bamboo and hemp – don’t buy fast fashion. I think this one is pretty self-explanatory and ethically it’s a no-brainer. So easy to incorporate into your life, because there are many amazing brands out there these days creating high quality affordable clothing products for every day wear.
8. Stop using plastic toothbrushes and make your own toothpaste.
9. Make your own alternative cleaning products.
10. Make your own beauty, hygiene, body care products and shampoos.
Each of these last three points are super easy and fun, plastic-free and toxin free. It’s absolutely surprising what you can use to clean your body and house – and so much cheaper! Try vinegar, lemon and eucalyptus oil (or any essential oils) for degreasing and disinfecting surfaces. Diluted eucalyptus oil is also a great natural mosquito repellent. Mix essential oils with coconut oil, bentonite clay and bicarb soda for toothpaste and you can use anything like coconut oil, coffee grounds, bentonite clay, oats, avocados, apple cider vinegar, bi-carb and much more to make all kinds of yummy body scrubs and shampoos… it’s amazing! I heard the saying once “If you can’t eat it, then don’t put it on your skin and body” and this goes for cleaning products too. So have fun with these ones – and eventually you can start coming up with your own recipes and solutions to things – The possibilities are endless!
11. And an EXTRA BONUS tip for any Parents out there – Re-usable, washable, cloth nappies!
And remember take these things step-by-step and don’t be too hard on yourself and have fun with it, enjoy the process of discovery and learning as you add more and more plastic-free solutions and alternatives to your life!
Article written by Lillian Adele