Tips for living plastic free in 2018
By: Garry Knox
1 – Bring your own shopping bag
Even though in some countries there is a charge for getting a carrier bag from your store, many people bring their own bags JUST for groceries. Start bringing a bag for clothes and other products too. A great way to achieve this is to take a back pack everywhere you go, and store a couple of fabric bags in there too!
2 – Carry a reusable water bottle
Again, most back packs have a place to store a bottle securely. And keep an eye out for water fountains wherever you are, so that you can top it up easily, and you’re not tempted to buy a bottle whilst you’re out… you’ll be saving cash too! Add fruit or a sprig of mint and place the bottle in the fridge for an hour before you go out, to make it more refreshing.
3 – Bring your own coffee cup
You can buy reusable coffee cups quite cheaply now from stores and coffee houses and again, can be stored in that back pack. You can either make the coffee before you leave the house but also, lots of coffee houses now offer a small discount if you use your own mug.
4 – Pack your lunch in reusable containers
Depending on what you have for lunch, most plastic containers are great for keeping your food fresh. Most say that they are dishwasher proof but make sure they are on the top rack, so that they keep their shape. Alternatively wash them by hand.
5 – Say no to plastic straws and cutlery
Unless you can use plastic cutlery time and time again, say NO. I do have a spork (spoon and fork) that I was given in a food store in Amsterdam and have used many times but generally, plastic cutlery breaks easily. Have your own cutlery ready and reduce the demand for plastic.
I hate straws in drinks anyway but, always look to see if they have them in the bar when you arrive and just say “No straws please” when you place your order. You’ll soon get into the habit.
In most fast food places, straws are optional now, so just lift the lid off and sip away!
6 – Skip the plastic produce bags
Most fruit and veg is easily weighed or scanned without a bag. If not reuse the bag for as long as you can. If you go to a local fresh food market, the store staff can just put it into your bag for life for you when they’re done!
7 – Slow down and dine in
If you stay in, you are of course going to avoid plastic a bit more easily. Save money and eat more fresh and organic food.
8 – Store left overs in glass jars
Firstly, it’s great NOT to waste food, so try to cook just the right amount. But if you want to store left overs, have some glass jars of different sizes handy or some ‘microwave safe’ glass dishes.
9 – Buy a backpack
It’s been a recurring theme amongst these tips, of how useful they are. Get yourself one for shopping and storing. And perhaps walk to places a bit more, stopping for water and coffee along the way, to enjoy the view!
10 – Share
Last but not least, is to share these tips. We as individuals can make a difference by making small changes to our lives but educating other people on how to live plastic free by sharing the article or social media posts can have an EVEN bigger impact. Why not do it now?!
Happy New Plastic Free Year!