I am writing this post for those of you who are wondering how you might make a difference in 2014, or are perhaps thinking of making some New Year’s Resolutions.
Below you will find some suggestions on how to reduce the plastic that you use. Some of them are really really easy – yet every piece of plastic that is saved from landfill makes a difference to the environment and ultimately to the future of our planet.
Why not take a look and maybe choose to do the actions in 2014 that will be of the least effort for you? Or, if you are looking for a challenge, why not do more, or even tackle all 20!
Level 1: totally easy!
1. Swap that plastic bottle of liquid soap for a bar, wrapped in paper, cardboard or unwrapped. Read more here.
2. While you’re at it, ditch the bottle of shower gel in favour of the bar of soap too!
3. Refuse plastic carrier bags and instead, carry your own – a fold-away bag attached to your key-ring or handbag can make all the difference. Read more here.
4. Take a re-usable cup out with you when buying coffee on your way to work, for example. These are widely available. (Tip, I bought a silicon cup, but it smells weird – glass or ceramic will be more pleasant!)
5. Carry a (non-plastic) bottle of water with you if you buy water in plastic bottles.
6. Ditch cling-film. Read about here.
7. If you have a choice between products – anything from ketchup to toys to gifts – go for the one with the least plastic content.
8. Stop buying fruit & veg in pre-packed plastic bags. Buy loose or take your own produce bags. Read more here.
9. Use cloth hankies instead of paper tissues from cardboard boxes that have that annoying plastic panel. Read more here.
10. Ditch disposable straws.
If you’re starting to believe that this is a challenge that you’re up to, then maybe you’d like to progress to the next level!
Level 2: a little more effort may be necessary
1. Bake and cook from scratch – this will allow you to control how your finished product is stored and often will automatically reduce the amount of plastic consumed while it’s being created. If making everything is daunting, choose to replace one shop-bought item for homemade every time, such as biscuits.
3. Instead of using baby wipes – either for changing infants or quick hand/mess clean-ups – swap for a reusable cloth or flannel, where practical.
4. Find a bamboo toothbrush that suits you and use toothy tabs or a toothpaste recipe instead of a conventional plastic toothbrush and toothpaste. Read more here.
5. Prepare a plastic-free packed lunch rather than buying food at work. Read more here.
6. Swap conventional shampoos, conditioners and body moisturisers for bar shampoo, conditioners and moisturisers. Lush sells these and readers on my blog have also recommended Make Scents (website is being upgraded this week) and The Edinburgh Natural Skincare Company.
Still sounding manageable? Read on further…
Level 3: not difficult, just more time consuming in the short-term
1. Find a local veg box delivery scheme and request that your order comes plastic-free. Read more here.
2. Instead of buying DVDs and CDs, sign-up to film subscriptions (eg. Love Film) and Music Apps (eg Spotify or Deezer).
3. Find out where you can buy milk locally in glass bottles. Contacting farms or veg box schemes may be a good option. Read more here.
4. Contact companies that send you mail wrapped in plastic. Request that either they stop sending it or that they use more sustainable materials.
For more information about reducing the plastic in your life and about the Plastic Free July challenge that I’m ‘in-training’ for, please see this post.
Finally, in the hope of encouraging more people to stop using unnecessary plastic, please consider reblogging or retweeting this post. Let’s give everyone the chance to actively choose whether or not they consume plastic!