Image via @carlanatalia__
We’ve made it halfway through the wildest year, I’m sure most of us can agree, we’ve been through, and somehow we’re in Plastic Free July once again. We love to use this time to reflect on the changes that we’ve made in the past twelve months, and to consider what we’re going to do in the next twelve months to reduce our plastic consumption. We’re all about making sustainable long-term changes to how we live our lives. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about making small changes that we can incorporate into our daily lives until they become second nature. We’ve compiled a list of our top 10 favourite ways to reduce our plastic usage. This list is by no means exhaustive, it’s just a great place to start if you’re at the beginning of your plastic-free journey.
1. Purchase from your local farmer's markets whenever possible.
We’re sure that you, like us, have walked through the vegetable section of your local supermarket and thought “why the heck does this need to be covered in plastic?”. There are entire blogs and Instagram pages dedicated to excessive and unnecessary packaging. Which is just one of the reasons why we choose to pick up our fruit and vegetables from the farmer's markets. Not only are you directly supporting the farmers who grow the goods, but you also have much more control over how you take your faves home. Another plus is that fruits and vegetables from the farmer's markets rarely come with those unnecessary plastic stickers.
2. Say no way to plastic straws.
Did you know that in 2018 it was estimated that Australian’s used 10 million plastic straws a day? That’s an estimated 3650000000 per year (and we don’t even know how to say that number). These are all made from soft plastics, which can’t be recycled and can take over 200 years to breakdown, and many of them end up in our waterways, harming wildlife. Thankfully many cafes and restaurants have started to adopt more sustainable options, but if your local hasn’t made this change yet, consider picking yourself up a sustainable straw set. It comes in a handy pouch which you can take with you on the go, as well as a cleaner too so your straws will stay squeaky clean.
3. Bring your own reusable cutlery.
Much like plastic straws, takeaway, plastic cutlery is also a major issue in Australia (and the world at large), according to The Ocean Conservancy, plastic cutlery is among the most deadly pollution threats to sea turtles, birds and mammals. Consider getting yourself a Sustainable cutlery set that comes with all the utensils you need housed in a handy travel pouch, super easy to throw in your bag and take with you on the go.
4. BYO Coffee Cup.
While they may appear to be made from paper, most takeaway coffee cups are lined with a plastic coating, meaning that they are not recyclable and are contributing to landfill. Do yourself and the planet a favour and pick yourself up a reusable coffee cup. They come in so many different styles and sizes to meet your individual needs.
5. Say no to plastic water bottles.
Did you know that it takes 3 litres of water and 250 ml of oil to make 1L of water in a plastic bottle? Not to mention that although most plastic water bottles are made from PET plastic which can be recycled, most end up in landfill, contributing a huge amount of waste each and every year. In this day and age, there are so many alternatives, pick yourself up a beautiful reusable bottle which you can refill as you need.
6. Have a stash of reusable shopping bags.
We’re very familiar with the age-old problem of getting to the checkout after a big shop and realising that we’ve left our reusable bags in the kitchen drawer. Make it easier for yourself and keep a stash in the car so that you’re never caught without. We're a fan of string bags which take up almost no space, so you can always keep one in your bag for those times you need to quickly duck into the shops.
7. Use Glass or stainless steel food storage containers.
Or, reuse what you already have. Glass jars are super handy storage containers, just remove the stickers with some rubbing alcohol and you’re on your way to a Pinterest worthy cupboard or work lunch!
8. Buy in bulk.
So many of the products we purchase from supermarkets are housed in plastic, by buying in bulk, you’re not contributing to landfill. Plus you get to use all those glass jars you’ve been saving and put them to good use.
9. Make instead of buying.
Making your own dips is way easier than you think, and most dips come housed in plastic. Find some of our fave dip recipes here.
10. Grow your own herb garden.
Not only will you be reducing your plastic intake, as most herbs from the supermarket come wrapped in plastic, but a little bit of greenery and something to take care of and love on is always a good thing to introduce to your home.
Hopefully, some of these tips have inspired you to make a small change and remember, it’s not about doing it perfectly, it’s just about being mindful, and making changes where you can to help protect this incredible planet we’re lucky enough to call home.