1. Never buy another plastic bag
They’re simply not necessary. Get in the habit of using cotton or string bags. Use reusable produce bags for your loose veg. They’re much more hygeinic, can be machine washed, are stronger and last a literal lifetime (unlike bags for life, which last like, a month).
2. Drink from cans instead of bottles.
Next time you fancy a fizzy drink, buy a can instead of a bottle. Cans are 100% recyclable, here in the UK. Plastic bottles aren’t, and may not be recycled even if you put them into the recycling bin. Also, water comes from a tap. If you’re lucky enough to live where the tap water is potable, take full advantage of it! If you don’t like the taste of your tap water, keep an open jug in the fridge overnight. The chlorine will evaporate off it and it’ll taste much better in the morning.
3. Rethink how much food you waste
Food waste is as much a plastic issue as it is an ethical and climate issue. Food that goes to landfill will not decompose like food in compost. There isn’t enough aeration and it decomposes anaerobically, giving of lots of methane and becoming an icky sludge. Imagine a cow, belching us into global warming just for half of it to be sent to landfill and contribute even more.
Seriously though, look at how much plastic covers all your food. Please don’t waste that.
4. Don’t flush wipes!
I get that some of you have princess bums that must be caressed clean with the goose feather softness of Andrex damp toilet tissue but for the love of turtles, do not flush them! The absolute golden rule: Do not flush anything that doesn’t dissolve within 10 seconds of agitation in water. It can’t be treated in our sewer system, ends up creating blockages, filling overflow pipes, and then ending up in the rivers and sea next time it rains heavily.
5. Stop using plastic tampon applicators
Yes, they’re super easy, I used to love them when I was a teenager… But you don’t need them any more. They’re so wasteful, and the amount I’ve seen washed up on beaches is genuinely gross. Use applicator free tampons, or the card ones, or better yet, a menstrual cup (hand down the best thing that ever happened to my periods). Explore your options!
6. Finally… Talk to people about the changes you’re making
You’re more influential than you think you are. Talk to your family, you friends, your internet buddies, your colleagues, local small business owners you know. A lot of them currently don’t even consider their plastic footprint. If you inspire one person to make a change, you’ve just kept a bunch of plastic out of the eco system. Imagine if you inspired 5 people, and then if they inspired 5 people. People copy eachothers behaviour, so lead by example.