If you are thinking of going plastic-free or interested in reading why people are being encouraged to – then read on for 3 top tips from someone who’s made the changes bit by bit and can tell you how as well as the why…
The problems with plastics have been covered in mainstream news coverage more and more recently; from piled high dumps full of plastics that will take hundreds and thousands of years to decompose, to videos of animals tangled in plastic being set free. From David Attenborough’s netflix documentary ‘Life on our planet‘, to Governments and companies announcing their commitments to reducing their environmental footprint.
So it won’t be so much of a surprise why so many people are now deciding to become “plastic-free” or at least try to be more eco-friendly in their choices, life styles and purchases.
This post is to help you identify small changes that we can all start to make, but that can all add up together to make a bigger difference. Hopefully this post shows that we can all do something and to make a start – let’s be the change we want to see in the world!
The problem with plastic?
For me, it was alarming learning about the industrial chemical BPA and other cancer-causing or dangerous chemicals being used in plastic bottles and plastic tubs (plastic items labelled “PC” or recycle groups 3 & 7 usually contain chemicals BPA, BPS, BPF etc.) that can affect our estrogen hormone levels, lead to toxic-overload and have also been linked to some forms of cancer. Those industrial chemicals used in plastics seep into the food and drink we place inside them, as not all the chemicals are sealed in when items are made – but that’s for another blog!!!
Let alone the destruction plastic is bringing to our wildlife, oceans, beaches and landfills. The amount of animals that die from being full to the brim on the inside of our plastic waste is shameful. Even if your heartstrings aren’t pulled for the animals, I’m sure everyone enjoys visiting the beach or going for country walks etc out among nature – now so many beaches, fields, rivers, trails, pathways, landfills – all covered in our plastic rubbish.
3 TOP TIPS to reduce your plastic use and start to go PLASTIC-FREE…
1. Every small change counts!
Don’t be fooled into thinking you have to replace every single plastic thing in your house in 1 big mega sort out and throw it all out. We can start by making lots of small changes that in time make a difference to the amount of plastic we use. Whether it is using reusable bags for life over getting anymore plastic bags. Using reusable vegetable bags instead of the supermarket plastic bags for fruit and veg. Whatever you decided to change first – it is a step in the right direction and that is what counts.
I literally started off by taking a tiny step that would make a huge difference in the long run – I got myself a reusable eco-friendly straw! Now I was using plastic straws in my smoothies, as it helped me to drink faster tastes I wasn’t that keen on. However, say I used one everyday, this plastic-free replacement stopped me adding 365 plastic straws each year to the rubbish heap, with each individual straw taking 200 years to decompose! So you can’t tell me Tesco are wrong in using the slogan “Every little bit helps” because every straw not being used can count for a LOT!
2. Share your changes with others.
After all, it’s from sharing a picture on my personal social media about the plastic-free alternative items I was purchasing, that got people commenting and telling me to set up a blog to keep them posted on my changes. You never know who else you can inspire to make changes to their plastic use and improve their exposure to nasty chemicals etc. A hashtag I love to use sums this up perfectly #sharingiscaring
3. Don’t get overwhelmed by research and decide not to try at all!
This was a big thing for me, as at first when doing research and learning more and more worrying things about plastics and chemicals used in them, I got more and more overwhelmed. Once you realise how much plastic things you use in your home, esp in our kitchen’s, it seems like a daunting task to find alternatives to replace them all.
However, use tip 1 and realise that every little change adds up and before you know it you will be ticking off those items in what seemed a never-ending list of things to replace. You have to start somewhere, to get anywhere with it and as Nike say “Just Do It!”
How to reduce your everyday plastic use, by using reusable alternatives:
As mentioned above, one of the first things I replaced was plastic straws I used daily for my smoothies. I write all about it in my blog post: “Stop being a Sucker!” The best way to STRAW SWAP the ECO-FRIENDLY way…” I also include a detailed list of alternative straw options for you to look into; from paper to bamboo, from stainless steel to glass. There are so many different types to try. Click HERE to go and read all about this easy but empowering change and to find the right choice for you…
When it comes to single-use plastics, one of the worst culprits is hot drink cups and lids. Although many places have started to make improvements by using paper cups, many still use plastic lids. So I created a guide to the many options that are out there for plastic-free alternatives we can use as a reusable hot drinks cup. Click HERE to read: Top Choices for Reusable Coffee Cups! How to cut single-use plastics & enjoy your coffee the environmentally friendly & non-toxic way…
As well as on my instagram @helens_journey I will also keep doing blog posts to list the changes I’ve made, including information on the replacement items I’ve purchased in my quest of natural living. This information will be useful if you decide to look into making plastic-free alternative choices for your home – which is definitely something I would recommend and that I’m truly glad I did! I also share eco-friendly things on my social media channels (links at end of the post) and also on my Pinterest boards below you can follow:
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