If you take a moment to think about everything you have touched today, there is undoubtedly some form of plastic on your list. We can’t help it - we are surrounded by plastic and have this idea that we can’t live without it!
The impact on our natural environment is devastating in addition to the negative impacts on wildlife and ultimately, human beings. Have you ever wondered what your “plastic-footprint” is? Now that you have considered your plastic consumption in your day to day life, perhaps there are some simple changes you can make to reduce these habits. We’ve listed some below to help get you started!
Did you know? Only one in five plastic bottles are recycled meaning the majority of them go to landfill. A simple way to avoid single-use plastic bottles from going to waste is to carry your own reusable water bottle for all things hot and cold! Most public spaces, workplaces, schools and walking paths have water refill stations where you can easily refill your water bottle as needed. Plus, you’re not risking coming into contact with the harmful BPAs or micro-plastics leaking out of plastic water bottles.
A reusable grocery bag
Did you know? About 160,000 plastic bags are used every second worldwide and only 1-3% of them are recycled. Let this information sink in and then think about an easy solution which can make a huge difference! Carry your own reusable bags to do your groceries and be sure to have them handy in your car. You will reduce a significant amount of non-recycled plastic waste and keep these from ending up in our seaways where they cause the most harm.
Say no thank you to single-use coffee cups or smoothie cups. Even paper cups are lined with plastic inside, making them non-recyclable. A reusable cup is versatile and can be used for any of your beverage needs. The best part is, you don’t have to have just one! Keep one in the car, one at work, and a spare one at home - that way you always have one on hand. And if you don’t, perhaps you can borrow one from a friend, use a mug from the kitchen or it will be a gentle reminder that you will miss out on your coffee for that day. Trust us, you won’t miss out again!
A reusable produce bag
Have you noticed that most large supermarkets still offer small plastic produce bags? Maybe you’ve noticed that person who puts one or two pieces of fruit in a plastic bag that is definitely not necessary? (Please, don’t be that person). You can find cute and practical reusable produce bags that will easily replace this single-use plastic item. Our favourite produce bags are from local grassroots not-for-profit organisation Boomerang Bags, check them out and make the change.
Did you know? Chemicals are added to cling wrap to make it “clingier” which makes it harder to recycle. Not to mention, these chemicals risk contaminating the food you are wrapping them in. An effective alternative is to use Beeswax wraps, which are 100% recyclable, reusable and come in beautiful designs! PLus, the natural antibacterial properties of beeswax will preserve your food for longer.
Carry a reusable straw & cutlery
Millions of tons of plastic waste is generated by the takeaway food industry and not even 5% of it is reused or recycled. On the days when you do decide to treat yourself, try to take your own reusable container, straws & cutlery. A great idea is to create a travel kit to keep these on-hand in your car. Alternatively, you can support any of your local businesses which are minimising their use of plastic.
If you open your pantry or fridge, you might be overwhelmed with the amount of food items that are packaged in plastic. While some of these items may seem impossible to find without any form of plastic packaging, a surprising selection of food can be purchased from your local bulk store! Simply bring your own jars/containers with you or use the provided paper bags to shop for your staples, without any plastic packaging. Some bulk stores even offer common household products such as shampoo, deodorant and dish liquid. For food items such as meat, you can bring your own container to your local butcher, who can provide fresh meat without the plastic wrapping.
Easy DIY swaps
There are lots of swaps which can be made to plastic-free products that you can make yourself! This allows you to choose your ingredients, essential oils, what material it is made in and is super cost effective! Some examples are dry shampoo, natural deodorant, room sprays and so much more. Check out our recipes on our DIY blog section here.
Citrus peels house some of the most readily accessible essential oils that offer up so much aromatic goodness for repurposing. One of my favourite ways is to make a natural, citrus-infused all-purpose cleaner.
The eucalyptus oil industry is an important and colourful part of Australia’s history. Eucalyptus leaves have been used as traditional medicine by Australian Aboriginal people long before industrialisation made Eucalyptus essential oil a commodity.