If you’re like us, and you feel a big twinge of remorse every time you put a piece of plastic in a bin, it may be time that started making some changes to start living a plastic-free life.
You may find that these small changes make a large impact on your satisfaction and happiness levels. Not only will you be replacing plastic with lovely reusable alternatives that you’ll no doubt enjoy using, but you’ll get a kick from not polluting the environment everytime you need to purchase a product or buy lunch.
Here are 5 easy tips to help you move towards a plastic-free and environmentally friendly lifestyle.
1. BYO vessels
This includes coffee cups, containers, glass jars, or whatever tickles your fancy. If you’re buying lunch on the go, ask the store if they can serve it in your own container. Most stores and cafes are very accommodating. Some shops (like the Bare Blends Smoothie Bar in Byron Bay) even offer a discount if you bring your own vessel.
2. Grow a veggie garden
Growing your own produce helps the environment by reducing the emissions and fossil fuel pollution used to transport foods to the supermarket, and if you grow your plants organically, without pesticides and herbicides, then you’re ensuring that the earth will return to it’s natural state without damaging the soil and making it harder for plants to grow in future. It also means that you don't have to buy herbs and vegetables which are packaged in plastic.
3. Reduce plastic at home
Using things like beeswax wraps instead of plastic wrap can actually go a long way. There’s anywhere between 30 meters to 300 meters of plastic in your standard roll of plastic wrap, which is enough to cover most backyards. Instead of lining your bin with plastic bin liners, use old newspaper instead, or no liner. You can even make your own cleaning products to avoid the plastic packaging.
4. Opt for fresh
Make simple changes, like buying your bread fresh from a bakery instead of a supermarket where it’s sold in plastic. Farmers markets and greengrocers are a good place to start, as well as bulk food stores such as The Source Bulkfoods or Scoop Wholefoods. Just remember to take your own bags and jars to fill up!
Things like toothpaste and shampoo are usually sold in plastic containers. But most of these things can easily be made yourself. For example, toothpaste can be made with things like coconut oil, baking soda and peppermint essential oil. There are many of these recipes on the internet, and although using coconut oil as toothpaste may take some getting used to, the fact that you won’t be polluting the environment by using these alternatives makes it all worth it.
6. Buy A Bare Bottle
We’re not joking when we say that this bottle is the only drink bottle you will ever need. It is made from eco-friendly stainless steel and bamboo, and it will keep your drinks cold for up to 24 hours, or hot for up to 12 hours. It’s lightweight, durable, and stylish, and will help you say goodbye to plastic water bottles for good!