In part two of my top tips for reducing waste, ill introduce you to the next two changes you can make to reduce your reliance on single-use items and ultimately your carbon footprint.
Hopefully over the last week you have introduced a re-usable water bottle and coffee cup into your life. Give them names, think of them as your children, whatever it takes for you to remember little caffeina the coffee cup or warren the water bottle on your way out the door.
A little update on my naked bin- we are still going strong, my husband thinks we wont last for very long (you think he would know how stubborn I am after 7 years of living together), but I am determined for this small change to become a habit. I am determined not to let the convenience of plastic bags deter me from dealing with a smelly container.
The price of convenience is starting to take its toll. On our oceans, waterways, beaches, marine life and bird life. This has a direct impact on the food we consume and the level of environmental toxins we are exposed to. If that isn’t enough to scare you (or if it is and you want to know the best place to start) read my next tips below to reduce your consumption. The image above was National Geographic magazine’s June cover. When I first saw this image I thought wow. It is such a powerful image and one that truly speaks a thousand words.
- Re-usable shopping bags- Traditional plastic bags cannot be recycled and regardless if you re-use them for something else, they will end up as landfill or in our waterways eventually. Hopefully with the major supermarkets ceasing use of plastic bags, you are already using re-usable bags. I urge you though to use recyclable material or fabric bags- not the heavier plastic ones the supermarkets have since introduced, even though these are recycled plastic they themselves are not biodegradable. I have seen heavy duty fabric bags for sale at Woolworth’s for 99c. I have had the same 6 bags for around 6 years now so believe me you will get your value for money when you spend $6 to buy them. Alternatively if you have old t-shirts, towels or sheets you could up-cycle and make your own, costing you next to nothing. There are some great online videos on how to do this.
- Re-usable produce bags- I would argue that you don’t really even need produce bags, unless you are buying 10 carrots or apples or baby spinach. It doesn’t take much longer at the checkout to place loose fruit and veg items up for the cashier to weigh and after speaking to my regular cashier I found that they don’t mind either! However for the items that I do bag, baby spinach and snow peas for example, I have these https://www.onyalife.com/product/reusable-produce-bag-8pack/. They come in a set of 5 or 8, hold up to 2kgs, are machine washable, dry super quick, are mesh and so produce can be washed in the bag before going in the fridge, only weigh 10g and the best part they are made out of 10 plastic drink bottles. I have had mine for 12 months and they are still going strong.
Remember- no need to implement everything at once, just doing the first four steps will already drastically reduce your waste. Then slowly work at implementing the more challenging steps.
The plastic waste we can see is just the tip of the iceberg.
You can do this! Pop back next week for Part three.
Disclaimer: I receive no payment/gifts for the products I recommend in these articles.