7 easy steps to reduce your plastic waste!
Updated: May 21, 2019
Plastic pollution is one of the most talked about topics nowadays. From fashion to politics, people are trying to find ways to reduce their plastic waste, or their waste in general. Zero waste movement is growing so fast that even I can’t keep up with it. Every business meeting I had with anyone connected to health and wellness is concerned about how bad it really is. Every person is trying to do a bit here and there to help. If you watched Blue Planet you probably saw how polluted our waters are and how damaging single use plastic combined with human negligence is to the species of our planet. Just want to remind you about one thing, we do not have a planet B.
Earth is our only option and we are killing it. To give you an idea on how bad it really is, 4Oceans comprised a great graph detailing how long it takes for different items to decompose.
To make it even clearer.....
Plastic water bottles - 450 + years
Plastic bags - 10-20 years
Plastic Food Wrapper/Containers - 20-30 years
Plastic cups and lids - 450-1,000 years
Plastic utensils - 450 years
Plastic straws and stirrers - up to 200 years
Glass bottles - 1 million years (estimated, exact time unknown)
Aluminium cans - 80-200 years
Paper bags - 1 month
Cigarettes/Cigarette Filters - 1-5 years to biodegrade
Just think about it, most of these things will be here for much longer than me, you and our kids combined.
I want to share with you a few very simple steps on how you can help reduce the waste in your day to day life, and trust me, it won’t take much of your time.
1. Get a reusable water bottle. I do not leave my house without a reusable water bottle. I have Chilly’s bottle which I carry with me pretty much everywhere, I even take it with me when I fly abroad as most airports now have a water refill stations. A lot of coffee shops will also now refill your bottle for free! This sort of option is so much better than a single use plastic and you can use it as many times as you want! If we look back down the history lane, you’ll know that first plastic bottle was commercially used in 1947. If someone dropped it to the ocean at that time, and no doubt someone did, that bottle is still floating somewhere. Even by 2397 it would not be completely decomposed as it would turn into a micro-plastic. Because of the many carbon-carbon bonds that are used in processing plastics to be as sturdy as they are, the organisms responsible for breaking down organic compounds do not recognize these unnatural strong carbon-carbon bonds and therefore cannot break these compounds down.
2. Get a reusable coffee mug. The best Christmas present I received in the last few years was my Contigo mug. It is by far the best that I’ve used, not only it holds the heat for hours on end, it also is leak proof and looks very classy. It is also mostly made of metal and despite dropping it a few times, it is still looking brand new! There is many alternatives in the market and I am sure you will be able to find one that matches your style!
3. Carry reusable cutlery. You may think it’s funny or cheap but just think about how much you can do by refusing to take plastic one from the coffee shop or take away restaurant! I use reusable bamboo cutlery which comes in a little pouch but you can also take the metal cutlery from home. I dismissed that idea when I realised that it rattled in my bag quite a lot and because I carry all of my reusables with me, it just added extra weight. Bamboo option was lighter and more appealing to me. And it is super eco-friendly too!
4. Carry a reusable shopping bag. This is one of the simples and easiest things to do. Plastic bags in stores are just unnecessary. They look awful, smell awful and are super damaging to the environment. There is so many beautiful options you can choose from. You can either support your local charity, get one from a supermarket or even make your own!
5. Say no to the straw. If you are reading this, I assume you’re an adult, do you really need a straw? Probably not. Plastic straws are the most useless utensil ever developed and should be completely banned for use in hospitality industry. There is absolutely no need for them and all should be replaced with paper or pasta straws as a matter of priority. You can also carry your own reusable straw, there are many in the market at the moment including metal and bamboo ones!
6. Swap your shower gel to a soap. It may seem a little old school but most of us were raised using an actual old school soaps. I do not remember having a shower gel in a plastic bottle on the bath from my childhood memories. I remember a bathing sponge and a soap on a metal holder. Funnily enough, this is exactly what I use now however the sponge is replaced with organic cotton flannel. My favourite brand at the moment is Primal Suds, they do male and female version and they are completely plastic free, even their delivery is wrapped in paper! What’s even better, it is a family business so by supporting them, you make someone’s life just a little bit better.
7. Replace your make up removed with coconut oil. Coconut oil is the most amazing product out there. I use it to whiten my teeth, nourish my hair and as a make up remover. It also allowed me to stop using cotton pads too! All you need to do is rub a little bit on your finger tips and use your hands to gently massage your eyes. Use a flannel to gently rub it off. I usually use a dry flannel, then follow with a wet one.
These are just a few tips that will significantly help the environment pretty much immediately. You may think that one person can’t change the world, but there is 7 billion of us here and imagine if everyone thought the same.
If you have any questions or need advice, do not hesitate to drop me an email. I will be super happy to help!
P.S. I was in no way sponsored by any of the brands mentioned in this post. The recommendations are purely based on my own experience and products purchased personally, not gifted!
Love & Light,