Can you cut 1 Tonne of carbon pollution out of your life?Take the challenge
Do you want to give up plastic but you're unsure where to start?
Don't worry it is e-a-s-y.
In June 2013, I made the pledge to take on Plastic Free July. It was a challenge. But by making small changes like the five easy steps to quit plastic I have outlined below it really was less demanding than I first imagined.
Whether you are taking on Plastic Free July or just want to lessen your plastic footprint, follow these five everyday simple choices and you will find quitting single use plastic seamless. The graphic I put together below shows how your first plastic-free choices can be integrated into your day to day life.
1. No lids
Does your morning not start until you have had your coffee on the way to work? Like to keep warm with a takeaway chai? Next time the need for a takeaway hot beverage comes knocking ask for no lid or take 10 minutes to sit in to have your coffee in a mug. You can also take your own coffee cup.
Plastic lids easily end up on busy streets creating unwanted pollution. If you are a daily takeaway coffee drinker saying NO to a lid each day could save you up 20 bits of plastic from entering your life and the environment each month.
Remember that paper coffee cups are not recyclable and go into a bin for landfill.
2. Ditch straws
Saying NO to plastic straws takes practice and if you don't remind the waiter you might end up with a useless plastic stick in your drink. Yuck! Here is a handy tip: when the waiter takes your order ask them to write down your request. Some drinks call for straws so why not invest in a reusable straw.
I carry one around with me (including a spoon, fork and knife).If you enjoy going strawless encourage your local cafe to put the straws under the counter. Then ask the cafe to only give out straws if patrons ask.
3. Move on from packaging
Packaging is one of the most frequent perpetrators of plastic in our lives. From the plastic bags in the vegetable section of the supermarket, the cling film on your meat to chocolate wrappers at the convenience store. The best way to remedy this is to take your own reusable containers and bags.
For collecting vegetables use an old pillow case or make a produce bag using old clothes. Or if you are not up to that reuse a plastic bag (the aim is to not use NEW plastic).
For meat and fish have a chat with your local butcher or fish monger and tell them your plan. I use different containers for my meat and fish each week and wash when I am done. The baker is also happy to put my bread into a calico bag.
Not only am I eating healthier (no more plastic packaged treats for me) but I am also supporting local business in my community. To find a local bulk food store for items like pasta and beans download the Bulk app locator.
4. Plastic bags are cruel, reusable is cool
Many supermarkets now offer their own reusable bags. If you don't already have some then I suggest purchasing a couple.
I also carry a fold up bag in my handbag for moments when I need a bag. Human beings have been living without plastic bags for hundreds of years. Reuse a bag and let's save our rivers and oceans from them.
5. Invest in a good water bottle
If you are serious about lessening the impact of plastic in your life then you will want to invest in a refillable bottle.
I have had no trouble asking for cafes and restaurants to fill up my bottle for free when I need it. With a bottle tucked away in your bag you will save money and realise how silly paying for bottled water is.
You can shop my plastic-free essentials kit here.
[All images from The Rogue Ginger]