I’ve been making lots of little changes over the past year in an attempt to reduce my impact on the planet. There are lots of little things that we can all do in our every day lives to reduce the waste that we produce. A few changes that I’ve managed to incorporate into my daily life are:
1. Carrying a reusable water bottle
I bought a reusable water bottle last year and I can now count on one hand the number of single-use plastic bottles of water I have purchased in the past six months. Doing this means that I’m not contributing to plastic waste, and also saves money.
2. Avoiding plastic straws
We now have some lovely metal straws (which come with a little brush to wash them) for smoothies and milkshakes we make at home. I purchased mine from Zephyr Eco Market and they are really reasonably priced. When out and about, you can avoid asking for straws, although since the latest Blue Planet series, I’ve noticed so many bars and pubs are now only offering paper straws which is great – clearly the public mood on this has dramatically changed quite quickly.
3. Using a safety razor
Another great way to reduce plastic waste is by using a safety razor instead of plastic disposable razors. I recently bought a safety razor and am really happy with it. It’s really easy to use, should last forever, and the only element you need to throw away at some point are the metal blades which only need to be replaced pretty infrequently. No plastic waste! The initial cost of a safety razor is more expensive (£20-£30), but given it should last for life, it quickly becomes cost effective.
4. Avoiding disposable cutlery
Another way to easily avoid plastic waste is by carrying a little cutlery set around with you, so that you don’t need to use plastic disposable cutlery when eating out.
5. Using ‘bags for life’ / tote bags
We have had the same ‘bags for life’ for our weekly food shopping since we moved to London five years ago. They last so long and are easier to carry than standard plastic bags. There’s really no need to use standard plastic bags anymore. If you end up with any plastic bags because you forgot your tote, re-use them as bin-liners for the small bins in your house.
6. Buying items without plastic packaging where possible
Although the majority of products we buy every day are covered in plastic packaging, more products are coming onto the market in recyclable and bio-degradable packaging (such as the lovely deodorant from Earth Conscious).
7. Buying fruit and veg loose
Again, most fruit and veg in the supermarkets is covered in plastic packaging, but a way to reduce the plastic you consume is by buying fruit and veg loose where available. We just put items like bananas and carrots (where we’re going to peel the outer layer off) straight into the trolley, no need for any plastic bags. For other loose items, you can buy produce bags (instead of using the plastic bags provided at the supermarkets). I got mine from Zephyr Eco Market, again really reasonably priced.
8. Using muslin cloths to take off your make-up
Rather than using make-up wipes, a great option when taking your make-up off at the end of the day is to use a muslin cloth and cleanser. Muslin cloths are also great for gentle exfoliation and you can wash and reuse them for years.
I hope these tips are helpful and you can start incorporating some of them into your daily life. There are definitely other ways that I can become more zero waste, but these are some of the easier initial steps that I have taken.