5 easy and cost effective tips to help reduce plastic in your household.
Recently I participated in a 3 month challenge, I wasn’t obligated to do it, I just wanted too. You could pick from either 3 months of no coffee cups at all or no plastic straws. Me being me, I chose to do both. Let me tell you now, it was hard and I definitely fucked up a couple of times. Particularly the straw challenge if you had one given to you it obviously still has to go into the bin according to health and safety regulations, so the key was to remember to say it as you ordered. This was harder than I thought and was a real eye opening couple of months. Going to a random place for food and a straw would just magically get handed to me. I accidentally left my take away coffee mug at home and I had committed to a drive through coffee place. I went to a Burger place, asked for water and it came to me in a plastic cup and straw.
But also a couple of amazing things happened, I caught up with friends for coffees and a couple times when I told them what I was doing they went and purchased their own takeaway coffee mugs after. One girlfriend purchased some metal straws on a random market adventure after me telling her the story. I had a meeting to go to and the cafe didn’t have cups or mugs, I just couldn’t bring myself to order I quickly told the person I was about to have a meeting with to which he replied, “right, well let's leave.” As we were walking out he said to me, “that is great, i’m going to do that this myself now.” I even went out to drinks one time during this challenge and had a girlfriend show up with her own straw, how good!
As we all know we need to take a stand and try help cut out plastic in our daily lives in order to help save the planet. Here are some easy long term tips:
- Buy your own take away mug. I now have two, one goes back into the car, for when I forget and one at home with me. According to the ABC news it is estimated 1 billion coffee mugs get used in Australia a year. Try not to get any take away coffee mugs at all, even if they are biodegradable the lids aren't and usually there is a thin layer of plastic on the cups to keep them together. They create a massive amount of landfill and take about 50 years to decompose. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-03/takeaway-coffee-cups-piling-up-in-landfill/7136926
- No more plastic straws. Enough said, they are pointless and unnecessary, they take 100 years to decompose and are literally smothering our marine life. There are an epic range of metal straws are available everywhere now. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=4wH878t78bw
- Mesh produce bags, usually available from your local health food store or markets. Yes we’ve banned the bags from supermarkets but what about all the other plastic bags that are around. Check out https://compostapak.com.au/ you put them in the compost when they start to wear and perfect if you are looking for an eco way to pick up dog poop!
- Beeswax wraps and reusable cotton sandwich bags.They are well priced, reusable and saves money on plastic cling wrap. Cling wrap is getting manufactured in billions of metres, It barely breaks down, goes into small plastic pieces and ends up in our oceans for the marine life to eat http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-06/plastic-recycling-supermarket-plastic-bags/9723780
- Try bamboo toothbrushes, you can cut off the bristles off and legit throw them in the garden afterwards. There is extra plastic and cardboard that goes into normal plastic toothbrushes and their packaging. The manufacturing process for these toothbrushes consist of dangerous plastic by-products like crude oil and petroleum. The average life expectancy for a plastic toothbrush is about 75 years. Each of us will replace 300 toothbrushes during our lifetime (4 toothbrushes per year) A single conventional toothbrush weighs approximately 18 grams. Each of us will throw away about 5 kgs of plastic toothbrushes in our lifetime As we know there are billions of people on the planet. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-31/plastic-garbage-covering-caribbean-waters/9099188
Give it a try, you can only do the best you can and remember no one is perfect and every little bit will help, it is said it takes just over 30 days to break a habit, so stick to it. Even if you try a challenge yourself, get a group of friends, family or co-workers on board and just try it for a couple months and see how easy it actually is. Good luck and please message me how you go!