A guide to living with less plastic
Living a completely zero-waste or plastic-free life may seem like an insurmountable task and can prevent you from starting to make changes at all. We’ve put together some tips on how to reduce your plastic consumptions, instead of falling victim to plastic-free paralysis!
The key to success is to start small and gradually introduce changes and to not “go without” but rather “swap out” by finding alternatives to switch to.
Start by making a few of these small changes;
When out and about
- Use reusable shopping bags
- Take a reusable coffee cup if you want a takeaway drink
- Refuse straws or carry a stainless steel straw
- Use your own water bottle when heading out
- Take your own container if getting takeaway and carry your own set of cutlery
- Buy at farmers markets and bulk food store where you can take your own container
- Use a bamboo toothbrush
- Choose bamboo earbuds
- Buy products in glass rather than plastic
- Make your own personal care products and makeup
- Use a menstrual cup
Armed with just a few essentials like bi-carb and vinegar, you can clean almost anything in your home. Try some of these Chemical-Free Cleaning Recipes.
- Take your own earphones
- Use your own shampoo and condition rather than those supplied by hotels
- Remember to pack your water bottle, reusable cup and cutlery
- Take a reusable light-weight cloth bag for shopping
- Choose more environmentally friendly party decorations like paper bunting rather than balloons
- Use paper plates rather than plastic
- Give an experience or another waste-free gift
- If you do give a gift, use twine instead of tape or try another form of plastic-free gift wrapping.
- Ideally, choose products which are packaged in alternative packaging and not in single-use plastic. Sometimes this is tricky so if you do buy products in plastic remember almost all plastics can be recycled
- Recycle plastics which spring back into shape when scrunched
- Save up soft plastics like bread and pasta packets and recycled them at your nearest REDcycle drop off point
Adopting just a few small changes will make a huge difference over time and don’t forget you don’t have to throw out all of your existing reusable plastics like containers just because you are reducing your plastic consumption.
If you persevere and stick with it, before you know it the small changes you make will become part of your lifestyle.
Looking for more inspiration?
Check out these sites;
Plastic Free July to take the plastic-free challenge in July (and beyond)
The Rogue Ginger has been living without plastic since 2013
Treading My Own Path shares her journey to living a zero-waste and plastic-free life
The Inspired Little Pot for homemade beauty recipes, products and chemical-free living
My Plastic-Free Life for research on plastic-free alternatives