In honour of it being World Ocean Day, I wanted to share my Top 5 Tips to reduce single-use plastic. This year, it has really become so apparent to me how much plastic that I was using in my day to day life and decided to reduce it down. I wanted to share the easy ways that I have started to use less single-use plastic in my day to day life. These are not groundbreaking or difficult but if we all did it then it would make a difference.
Buy a reusable water bottle
Every time I went into town I used to always buy a small bottle of water. Every single time. I always liked having one in my handbag and although I did recycle them it seemed a bit ridiculous. So a super simple change was to buy a reusable water bottle. There are SO many stunning reusable water bottles to choose from. You can choose from glass, BPA free plastic or stainless steel. And pretty much any pattern that you can think of is on a reusable bottle – I actually just ordered the Zanna Van Dijk x Chillys water bottle (here)! And TK Maxx also always has so many options to browse through.
Stop buying plastic bags
I am so guilty of always buying a new plastic bag when shopping, but I decided to stop. Just stop, I decided that if I didn’t have a reusable bag with me then either I put my food shop in my handbag or else just carried it. And it had two effects (1) I started carrying a small reusable bag in my handbag (one of the fold down ones) and (2) my food bill dropped down. You can buy super cheap ones on Ebay but please think of the air miles that they will need to go to get to you – not very carbon neutral.
An area where it really made a difference was stopping using those small plastic bags for my vegetable and fruit shopping. I now have an old school cotton bag and a cotton mesh bag as well. It feels better filling them up and then at the till just weighing them and putting them back in. Such a tiny difference, but easily I have stopped using 5-6 small single-use plastic bags per weekly shop!
Stop using plastic cutlery
When I used to buy a takeaway salad, I used to always get a plastic knife and fork and then dump them as soon as finished with. I hadn’t really realised how many I was using until one day I was talking to a friend while eating in Eyre Square and they took out a travel cutlery set! I had always just associated them with camping tbh, but her’s were stylish and easy to carry. So I ended up buying the same set as her, and now just have them in my handbag – they take up no space and I never have to use plastic cutlery!
Reuse Glass Containers
This was one that I don’t know why we didn’t do years ago. Every time we buy a pasta sauce we clean the bottle and then reuse it for storage. We store things like lentils, beans and couscous in them and since they are airtight the food stays fresh. They are also a free storage option as I was buying the sauce anyways. Before I used to buy plastic containers to store food, which was one expensive and two probably not good for my health.
A ban on all straws!
This was the biggest adjustment I had to make and probably the most important. I always, always use a straw if I am having any drink that isn’t water. I have for years and never really thought about it. Then I saw this video and I stopped. BUT, I needed to find an alternative for when I was at home for smoothies and drinks. That turned out to be much easier than I thought. I purchased both silicone straws and glass straws but to be honest I don’t like the silicone straws as there is an odd taste, but the glass straws are a winner. I don’t carry one with me when I go out but always refuse a straw now.
There are many other ways to reduce your single-use plastic and some are more drastic than others, I decided to take it slow and make it part of my lifestyle and to be honest don’t even think about it now. There are other things you can do like take your own containers to the supermarket for salads or for takeout, stop chewing gum, only buy foods that are not in plastic packaging etc..
Here are some options to what I have spoken about, there are no affiliate links, I just wanted to make it easy for people if they wanted to buy some things to stop using as much single-use plastic.