How to reduce plastic use in your daily life
On this blog, we talk a lot about the long-term detrimental effects of industrialisation on the ecosystem, and one of our biggest bugbears is plastic waste, that finds its way into the oceans and the stomachs of whales, dolphins and sharks, and that pollutes our cities and countryside with its non-biodegradable infinite lifecycle. Did you know that all those party balloons that are released into the sky to celebrate birthdays or weddings will never disappear? I mean, never ever. Whilst we don’t want to be killjoys, is a brief moment of delight worth that level of pollution?
But plastic is all-pervasive now. If you try going for just one day without buying or using plastic in some form, it’s almost impossible. It’s in everything: in the microbeads in your facial scrub and toothpaste; in the lining of your tins of food; in the packaging that keeps your sandwiches fresh, and the bags that you buy your vegetables in. It is in your phone, your carpets, your car, your shoes, even your mattress… So, how exactly do we reduce plastic from our daily lives?
Did you know that all those party balloons that are released into the sky to celebrate birthdays or weddings will never disappear?
On Treehugger.com they give some easy tips to reduce plastic waste, such as not buying bottled water, but investing in a water filter and a durable, reusable water bottle; saying no to straws in drinks; ditching the disposable razor for a traditional bladed one; and taking your own thermos of coffee to work. Some of our favourites are: using coconut oil instead of buying bottles of conditioner (works much better and because you don’t need much, is far less expensive); making your own toothpaste out of bicarbonate of soda, salt and peppermint essential oil; and ditching all those plastic bottles of cleaning fluids for one bottle of vinegar spray that will clean your surfaces, mirrors and windows to a sparkle and that isn’t full of chemicals.
It may take a bit of snuffling out to find these products, but every time you do so, you make a vote for change with your purse.
So those are some easy changes you can make to your everyday life. But what about on a bigger scale? Well, actually there are now some really innovative products on the market that don’t trash the planet in their production. You can buy drinking glasses that are made out of biodegradable cellulose; rucksacks and suitcases made out of recycled plastic bottles; plant pots and seed trays made from biodegradable woodpulp; toothbrushes and paintbrushes made from bamboo; shoes made from hemp and natural fibres… the list is endless.
The point is, it may take a bit of snuffling out to find these products, but every time you do so, you make a vote for change with your purse. You are saying, ‘I am putting my money where my ethics are.’ Not only that, but it feels so good to think that every time you frequent that take-away that sells its fish and chips in cardboard trays rather than polystyrene ones, you’re also supporting the livelihoods of people who feel the same way as you do.
Put your money where your ethics are.
As one supermarket is fond of telling us – every little helps: let’s not make it profit in their bank account; but natural capital in the earth’s account. Every time you make a conscious choice to consume more wisely, something good flows from that decision.