6 Ways To Have A Plastic-Free Summer

We find the summer holidays one of the most challenging times to be plastic-free. The routine of the week and comforts of home make packing your own lunches in glass or metal containers, remembering your shopping bags and sipping from your water bottle easier. 

Now the summer holidays are here, and you might be out of the house a little bit more, away from home visiting family or looking for ways to treat yourself to a coffee from your local cafe. It’s all too easy to fall back into your old plastic wasting habits.

Incorporate some plastic-free activities and practises into your summer holidays. Soon they will become second nature, meaning that you will be reducing your plastic without even thinking about it! Here are six of our favourite plastic-free activities to get you started.

Take your own picnic

If you’re lucky enough to be able to explore or even travel further afield, pack up a picnic and set off for your local park or beach. 

For the ultimate plastic-free picnic, wrap your goodies in muslin or wax and store items glass or metal containers. You can also bring your own water bottles or thermos’ to drink from and bamboo cutlery, if you need them. Then all you need to do is just sit back and relax.

Remember your water bottle

Plastic bottles are the quickest thing to sink to the bottom of the ocean, and they never biodegrade. Plastic particles from bottles are also slowly eroding into your water so on a whole they are bad for the environment, and bad for your health! Grab yourself a stainless steel water bottle instead and remember to keep these on hand when you’re out and about this summer.

Visit the local farmers market

Farmer’s markets are a great activity, and a great way to save on plastic wrapping, eat organic, support local and independent businesses and have an all-round more personal shopping experience. You can find these in your local town, and more and more are popping up in cities. Bulk food stores are also another way to save on packaging, just grab your favourite refillable container!

Buy from the deli or bakery

When it comes to buying the ingredients for family gatherings or summer BBQs, try to visit your local bakery, butchers or deli. Most small businesses are happy to wrap your products in your own containers, or wax wraps so just ask!

Start your own herb garden or veggie patch

Herbs and veggies often come with a considerable amount of plastic waste. From herb portions wrapped in plastic to fruit on plastic trays, there are so many ways that you can reduce your plastic waste and growing your own is one of the best. Even if you just have space for a few small pots of herbs or salad leaves on your window ledge growing your own is a perfect activity to keep the whole family busy all summer long.

Ditch the coffee runs

We know that grabbing a coffee from a cafe feels like a treat, but disposable coffee cups can no longer be recycled. It is estimated Australians use 1 billion disposable coffee cups each year. That’s approximately 2,700,000 paper coffee cups thrown out every day! Instead, invest in your own reusable coffee thermos or some quality, fair-trade coffee that lives up to your takeaway coffee standards and make your own at home.

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5 of the best plastic-free swaps for No Waste November

If you missed our last Instagram post, this month is No Waste November – a global movement to inspire people to pledge to reduce or eliminate waste in their lives. 

The initiative was started by Roots and Shoots, a youth-led action program in over 50 counties.  Founded by Dr. Jane Goodall, the program’s mission is to foster respect and compassion for all living things, to promote understanding of all cultures and beliefs, and to inspire each individual to take action to make the world a better place for people, other animals, and the environment.

Why a month? The theory is that it takes a month to develop a habit – in this case, one that benefits the planet!

The No Waste November pledge aims to help people (especially young people) to create good habits and healthy habitats.

You can get involved in No Waste November by:⁣

– Pledging to reduce your waste throughout November

– Getting your friends involved and joining the conversation through #NoWasteNovember

– Keeping it up for the rest of the month…and beyond!

If you have already pledged, we’d love to hear how you are doing and what kind of changes you have already made in your day-to-day routine.

If you are just starting, we wanted to share some of the easiest and cheapest ways that you can make a few swaps in your life which will make a massive difference to the amount of waste you create and reduce your plastic usage.

Reuse your shopping bags

Somewhere between five billion and one trillion plastic bags are used each year around the world, so get yourself some pretty reusable bags to take on your weekly supermarket trip. These are usually more attractive, bigger and last longer too. Plus there are so many great options of bags which fold up small so you can always keep one in your bag/pocket, just in case. Alternatively, grab an empty cardboard box from an aisle for an easy option to carry those extra items.

BYO reusable drinks bottles and coffee cups

Plastic bottles are the quickest thing to sink to the bottom of the ocean, and although coffee cups are made mostly from paper, they’re hiding an interior coated in plastic. Plastic particles from disposable water bottles are also slowly eroding into your water, so on the whole, they are bad for the environment, and bad for your health! Grab yourself a Vesica BPA Free, stainless steel bottle and a refillable coffee cup/tea infuser and keep these on hand whenever you’re out and about. 

Swap tea-bags for tea leaves

If you’re anything like us and average upwards of 5 cups of tea each per day, every day then over the course of a year you’ll be sending over 2,000 tea bags to landfills. The numbers are shocking when you think about it! To reduce this swap your tea bags for tea leaves in a metal strainer instead. The tea leaves are often better quality too, so it’s a win-win for everyone.

Ditch disposables

Disposable items in your house like razors, plastic toothbrushes and disposable cutlery may seem small. Still, over a lifetime, they are going to add up to a lot of plastic in our landfills. Switch to safety razors which you can change the blades of or items made from natural/biodegradable materials like bamboo. Plus, they look much nicer on your bathroom shelf.

Avoid wrapped fruit and veg

One of the easiest things you can do is to refuse the pre-wrapped fruit and veg in the supermarket. Instead of buying that plastic-wrapped multi-packs or items like packs of 6 apples, visit your bulk shop or pick your own from the loose section and bring your own bag or put them straight in your basket. Even better if you are lucky enough to have access to a farmer’s market!

Are you taking the No Waste November pledge? Let us know in the comments!

Wooden cutlery

How to Start Living Plastic Free…

15 May 2018

How to Start Living Plastic FreeBulk Food Stores are fast becoming more popular and accessible

First you need to take a closer look at all the plastic in your life and around you – observe how much there is, where it comes from and where it goes.

Then, it’s all about finding plastic free alternatives to those products and things that come wrapped in plastic and are made out of plastic – and swap them out.

Start with steps – you don’t have to do everything all at once because that will become daunting, overwhelming and discouraging very quickly. Don’t be too hard or judgemental on your-self and others either, otherwise it becomes completely draining as well.

As you take the first steps by implementing the alternatives – I find that sectioning or categorising things into separate groups or areas really helps and makes it more manageable. For example: bathroom things or kitchen things, or food and cooking, cleaning products, beauty products, clothes, eating out and takeaway, travel and lifestyle, product packaging, shopping, etc… there are a number of ways you can categorise things to make it easier for you to handle, you’ll come up with what works for you based on what your current modality is.

Vesica Vessels

Modern Cloth NappiesManly Food Co Op

 

Gradually you’ll start to really notice a difference and more of a significant reduction in the amount of plastic going through your hands since you began this journey. You’ll see the impact in your life and around you as you start to become a lot more conscious of what you’re consuming and where it comes from.

You get to the point where you can be creative with it as you delve deeper and explore more as you research and discover new things. You’ll come up with your own innovative ideas, recipes, solutions, practices and alternatives to things you had before – and this becomes habitual and automatic. You are more conscious of your choices and how they impact your life, reality and the environment around you. It starts to extend into other areas of your life too, and people notice the change in you and become inspired by you as you shift towards a more conscious plastic free lifestyle. You are sharing more information and connecting with others and the network begin to grow.

Before you know it, this way of life is fully integrated into your lifestyle now and you are really aware and conscious of your impact and plastic footprint. You are taking charge of your choices not to support the unnecessary plastic pollution occurring on this planet and you can shape a positive, healthy, vibrant and plastic free environment.

For 10 simple ways to reduce your plastic – see our next blog post

 

Article written by Lillian Adele

(visit: www.lillianadele.com)