Plastic, zero waste, single use, world falling apart, all these words we keep hearing about these days. Why? What’s going on?
Well, we are at an environmental crisis and it’s down to our generation to implement change and to do it now.
Over the past few generations we have created a culture of convenience and quickness. Things we can use fast, get rid of and never have to think about again. But this has come at a huge cost, not only will purchasing things multiple times over our lifespan come at a pretty huge cost to our own personal accounts but its also costing us the planet. There is only so much recycling that can happen, we are filling our oceans with rubbish, we are digging holes to hide our waste. When will it stop, where will it all go? How much more rubbish can our planet take?
Also what’s the deal with Plastic you may ask? Well, unlike natural materials some plastics can actually take 1000s of years to decompose and even when they eventually begin to break down they just break into smaller particles (micro plastics) meaning that the plastic items that aren’t being reused or recycled are actually just sitting or floating somewhere on this planet. Think how many plastic things you have disposed of in your life as just one person, lets multiply that by everyone and you can only imagine the amount of stuff we are sitting on or in fact trying to hide. Everything is beginning to come out of hiding, bottles, lids, toothbrushes you name it are floating up on our coastlines, Ocean life are filling their bellies with plastic, piles of landfill getting higher and higher, and this is only the stuff we can see, a fact from Netflix ‘A plastic ocean” states that 70% of the plastic dumped in the ocean is sitting on the seabed. it’s got to stop.
We need to return to a slower more intentional way of living. Appreciating good quality items that we can love and look after for life. Ones that aren’t going to end up in our oceans when we are done.
I am aware that some of us are luckier than others and are able to reduce our waste easier, due to having local refill stores or local delivery services etc. However there are small changes that we can all make regardless that will make a huge difference and as more of us demand change and show change, society will have no choice but to follow, the change is coming, be a part of it.
“Its only 1 straw” – said 8 billion people.
Below I have listed a few simple ways that I think should be accessible for us all to implement into our lives.
You’re New Best Friend
First and foremost and probably the easiest thing to change is to stop buying single use plastic water bottles. Not only are you spending a considerable amount consistently buying water (?!) but it’s one of the biggest causes of plastic pollution. How often do you see bins filled to the brim with single use water bottles, bottles & bottle caps lining beaches, fields completely coated after a festival.
Invest in a reusable water bottle, this is something that you will have for a very long time, I personally recommend a stainless steel one – for duration, health & taste and not only will you look cool AF 😉 but you’ll be saving the planet & your purse strings in the process. I find I actually drink so much more water too; having my new best friend always by my side, so win, win.
Hot Drinks on the go?
There is nothing quite as nourishing as heading out to work on a cold morning or walking outside on a chilly day with a hot drink in your hand. Well, It tastes even better from a reusable coffee cup 😉
Single use coffee cups are a real issue, even though they are made from card, they are often lined with plastic (to keep the drink hot and from seeping through) making them more difficult to recycle.
When I worked in the city I actually stopped buying tea on my journey and would fill up at home for my walk to the station. Again I was saving my purse strings as well as doing my bit. However if your local coffee pit stops makes your favourite ever drink I promise you they will be more than happy to fill up your reusable (many places also give you discount!)
Cutting out disposable Cutlery
The other day I was in a restaurant, eating in and the cutlery was plastic… to eat in?!? What the hell? Not only does eating from crappy plastic forks feel horrible, it’s just so completely unnecessary that it breaks my heart.
I always carry a little wrap bag of bamboo utensils when I’m heading out for the day, which sits nicely in the bottom or my bag and was a beautiful gift from My Yoga Factory family. However I’m sure these can be easily found online. and I will find some links for you to have a look at. We also sell some pretty awesome ones @ The Refill Room.
Razor for Life
Ditching the on going purchase of reusable plastic razors and investing in a quality stainless steel razor that you’ll have for life. A lot of parts of the plastic razor can not be used for recycling so of course they end up finding their way into landfill to sit for 1000s of years, most of them also come in a ridiculous amount of plastic packaging, its very dramatic.
The initial purchase will be a little pricier than you’re used to when buying razors (around £30-£40) however, this one is for life. So once you have one, you will always have it! Buying extra blades are also very cost effective (we’re talking around £1) but a single blade will actually last you a fair amount of months, depending on how much you shave. So considering we may buy new razors every month or so, the cost per use isn’t even comparable, not to mention the huge impact you will have on saving the environment.
A swap I notice a lot of people getting on board with is switching their plastic toothbrushes for a bamboo/wooden brush. Personally (even from an aesthetic point of view) I really love my wooden toothbrush. Toothbrushes much like razors are being washed up on oceans due to the sheer amount of these going into the trash. Bamboo brushes can go into your compost bin and they only take a few months to break down.
Changing your washing up utensils, so things don’t wash… up… 😉 (I tried) A couple of years ago I purchased a wooden dish brush with changeable heads from Ingredients Ldn and I just love it, I order new heads when they get old (even though they last a really long time) I have a bottle brush for my reusables, a bamboo scraper for my pots and pans and one of those round coconut bristle things for tougher stuff. All natural, all last a really long time and all that I love and enjoy using.
Well, what’s wrong with sponges? – Not only are they gross (we’ve all seen that manky sponge by a sink at some point * sick face * ) they don’t last very long so they are consistently being replaced (probably every few weeks/month?) Most of them are made from plastic or unnatural materials so take a long time to decompose & I also think a lot of the packs of them come in plastic too & come on lets be honest they look like s**t.
Totes up for this one
One of the most heavily advertised & so easy to change. Plastic bags! As you may have seen/heard a lot of plastic bags end up in the ocean that get caught up in the wildlife, around their necks or even mistaking them for food (can look a lot like a jellyfish in the water) we are losing and damaging the beauty of this world with something so unneeded that was truly just made for quick convenience.
Get yourself a cotton tote bag that you can keep in your bag at all times for that impulse purchase, or if you know you are likely to stop for a food shop after work keep a bunch in your car or a couple rolled up so you’re always prepared. Stylish, useful & ocean saving.
The above is only a few changes that we can do, there is of course so many more, changing from bottle shower gels to package free soaps, for girls -changing our menstrual products to cups, using cloths and napkins instead of packaged wipes, bamboo/steel straws, the list goes on, making small everyday life changes. But the best thing to do, is to start, start the journey and one thing I’ve really found on this journey is that I’m really starting to love and look after the things I have, I appreciate them, the job they do and the place they have in my home, its less about cheap convenience and more about investing in something beautiful I can really care for that will care for me.
None of us are perfect and we not yet living in a complete zero waste world, a lot of things are not accessible to everyone and things WILL happen, that is OK. There is still certain veggies or foods that I can only seem to find in plastic which is annoying but I make the changes that I can today and hope that I can continue to modify as I go on, it also takes time to change our habits, don’t head into a complete melt down as it can get overwhelming, we are all on this journey together and we can all make small changes, which inevitably leads to huge change. A lot of it comes from awareness, a lot of people aren’t aware of the issues or even how much single use they have in their every day lives, so letting your friends and family know, showing them how easy these small changes are, setting the example and most of all trying our best, that’s the best we can do. But lets try our best from today.
I have added some links below of some places to look for products mentioned above or take a google on plastic and oceans and you’ll be surprised by what comes up, also check out the documentary mentioned below & generally educate yourself on what effect this is all having on our oceans, our earth and our health.
All my love.
On Netflix please check out – A Plastic Ocean. – Absolutely heartbreaking, very informative.
Some links of places to buy products mentioned above – https://www.kleankanteen.co.uk/ |https://www.ingredientsldn.com/ | https://elephantbox.co.uk/ | https://www.organicup.com/ |https://www.refillroom.com/
Also if you just search plastic free shop, so many small businesses doing great things, selling a full range of stuff, will come up. Enjoy! x