Going plastic free is a journey that doesn’t happen overnight. Let’s face it, we live in a plastic fuelled world and it’s pretty hard to avoid it completely. So don’t be too hard on yourself if you leave your keep cup at home or forget to refuse the straw in your drink. None of us is perfect, and you should feel proud of yourself for making the effort and being mindful of the environment. Unfortunately, there are still many people who don’t give a s**t.
So why is it so hard? Because it means we need to sometimes change our habits and opt for a less convenient or even more expensive option, which doesn’t come naturally to us. But once you get into, it becomes easier. Like everything else in life…
It seems that Australians are finally waking up from their oblivion and realising how much trouble this planet is in. Thank you ABC for producing War on Waste and making this issue a mainstream concern. The public pressure has been steadily increasing to the extent that both Coles and Woolies banned the single-use plastic bag earlier this year.
This just shows how much power we collectively have as consumers. So let’s keep using it and push corporations, manufacturers, and resellers even further to consider their environmental impact.
We’re not going to talk about the obvious plastic bags, straws and coffee cups today, you all know the drill by now. Instead, we looked at some more unexpected ways you can reduce your environmental footprint without necessarily changing your habits or breaking the bank:
1. Join the #WarOnWasteAU facebook group
Spending more time on facebook probably isn’t something you consider to be a great way to reduce your environmental impact. However, this group is a little piece of gold. There is a real sense of community among the members and you can learn so much from other people sharing their tips and tricks on reducing waste and living a greener life in general.
The group responds to the ABC War On Waste documentary series and is focused on Australian specific information. I personally found it super useful and have been recommending it to everyone since I stumbled upon it the other day.
2. Buy in boxes instead of bottles
One of the easiest ways to reduce the amount of plastic in your household is to stop using big plastic bottles of liquid laundry detergent and softener. A whopping 1 billion detergent bottles are discarded each year in the USA only! And only about 30% of these are recycled.
This one is really simple, just switch from your liquid detergent to powder and you’re sweet! Btw watch out for those nasty plastic handles on the carton boxes.
3. Take away food only
Well, the most sustainable and economical option is to prepare your own meals at home, just sayin’. But that’s not how many of us nine-to-fivers live. In fact, the food delivery market in Australia is rapidly growing and people cook less than ever before. Now imagine the amount of boxes, straws, and plastic cutlery that comes with all the delivery food.
If you’re one of those food delivery lovers, just ask upfront for no cutlery with your meal. Surely, you have plenty at home so no need to be using plastic forks and knives. If you buy your lunches out, just bring a lunch box to the office and take it with you to your favourite fast food joint. And if you need the takeaway box for some reason, at least refuse the plastic cutlery, simple as that.
4. Ditch your plastic toothbrush
In Australia only, over 30 million toothbrushes are used and disposed of each year, amounting to approximately 1,000 tonnes of landfill each year. That’s roughly the distance from Brisbane to Perth along the coast.
Plastic toothbrushes aren’t biodegradable and they just keep piling up and contaminate our environment. Not to even mention their packaging! By switching out your plastic toothbrush to a bamboo compostable one, you’re making a better choice for yourself and our planet.
5. Grow your own herbs
Not only will you save a lot of money ($3 for a bunch of coriander, seriously!) but you’ll also get a plastic-free evergreen source of herbs instead of buying those small bunches of herbs in copious amounts of plastic.
It’s really not that hard. Just visit your nearest farmers market and get a variety of little plants to start with. They taste much better and you’ll get a great sense of satisfaction from growing your own food.
There are definitely many more ways to reduce your plastic waste so please feel free to send us your latest tips and tricks to firstname.lastname@example.org or simply share them on our facebook page. We’d love to hear from you!