Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past few years, you should know we earthlings are in serious trouble with the amount of rubbish and pollution that we create every year. The main culprit? Single-use plastic! Those plastic straws and shopping bags we so carelessly throw out are rarely recycled and don’t biodegrade. The ocean is slowly being suffocated with huge floating islands of plastic garbage. Landfills are littered with plastic straws and bottles.
So what can little old you do about it? You can try to use less plastic! Seriously, every bit helps and the more people committed to reducing plastic consumption, the better the chance we have of making an impact.
Here are some ways for you to quit using plastic:
An alternative to plastic straws
Firstly, consider if you REALLY need to drink that soda with a straw. For more tricky beverages like milkshakes, many restaurants are now supplying paper straws that break down more easily.
You could also get yourself a snazzy metal or bamboo reusable straw. Keep it in your handbag for times when you really can’t sip that drink without a straw.
Get a reusable coffee cup
Every time you buy yourself a takeaway coffee, you’re adding to the problem of world pollution. There’s the paper that the takeaway cup is made from – and although this biodegrades more easily than plastic, it’s still not great. Then there’s the plastic lid and plastic stirring spoon.
Reduce your single-use plastic consumption and get yourself a reusable coffee cup for takeaways. Not only is this better for the environment, but sturdy insulated cups keep your coffee hot for longer.
Use a cotton shopping bag
We’re all so used to saying ‘yes’ when we’re asked if we want a shopping bag when buying groceries… but what if you said ‘no’? Get yourself a few cotton tote bags for shopping and keep them rolled up in your car, backpack or handbag. Imagine how much less plastic you will consume if you never use another plastic shopping bag again?!
Be aware of product packaging
Think twice before you buy something that’s totally encased in plastic packaging. It’s such a waste of plastic! Where possible, buy items in paper packaging that is more easily recycled, or reusable glass containers.
Fruits and veggies are often sold in neat little plastic boxes – convenient for you, but not so convenient for the environment. Really, it’s not that much of a hassle to pick out individual items instead of going for pre-packaged goods. Even better – shop at a local farmer’s market and buy healthy, organic food and take your cotton tote bags with you!
We’ve become so used to the modern world, where using plastic and then throwing it away is the ‘done thing’, that it may feel awkward and inconvenient to suddenly start cutting down on plastic. Honestly, though, it’s not that hard. It just takes a little effort and getting used to… but in the end, it’s so much better for the environment!