Many of us have watched documentaries over the last year which have shown us the environmental impact of our throwaway society. 2019 is the year to start making a difference, to start saving our oceans, wildlife and environment.
It may seem like a gargantuan task but if everyone made one change, the effects would be noticeable very quickly.
It doesn’t take much to make those changes, there are many ways to reduce your plastic use that take very little effort but can make a huge difference to our natural world. Here are 5 very simple changes you can make to reduce plastic pollution.
1 Takeaway coffee cups are one of the biggest polluters with very little option of recycling. For less than £10 you can purchase a bamboo travel cup. This is reusable and dishwasher safe (although not suitable for microwave use) and best of all it is ultimately compostable. If you like your coffee in the morning, this is an inexpensive way for you to make a huge difference in a very small space of time.
2 Plastic bottles are also an item produced in millions and thrown away in millions. Wouldn’t it be better to have a stainless steel reusable bottle? Especially one which can keep your water cool for hours. Even if bottled water is a necessity because of the water quality in your area, it would be so much better to buy it in big bottles and decant into smaller reusable bottles. Think of how many smaller bottles you throw away that would no longer be an issue if you decanted from a larger bottle. One person could save hundreds of bottles a year being required. When it comes to soft drinks, why not use cans rather than plastic bottles? They are easily recycled and can be used to make new items.
3 We have all seen the pictures of wildlife being caught or having eaten plastic bags. Make 2019 the year when you don’t add to your plastic bag collection. Use the bags for life you have bought over the last year and replace them with fabric bags when they are worn out. Fold up bags and put them in coat pockets, handbags, schoolbags and glove compartments in vehicles. Make sure you never leave home without a bag.
4 Food storage is another area where plastic is in high demand. Let’s face it, there are some areas where it seems very difficult to find a substitute for food containers and food storage bags. Why not start slowly with some beeswax wraps? These can be used to cover bowls, wrap sandwiches, cheese, cooked meats etc. A great way to reduce your plastic use in the kitchen. Totally natural, they are made from 100% cotton coated in beeswax. A great alternative to plastics.
5 Buying loose vegetables is really easy and stops multiple plastic bags being used every time you go shopping. Just take a cotton tote bag and put the vegetables in there as you do your shopping. When you get to the checkout, hand the bag to the member of staff and they can scan your veg whilst you are putting the rest of your items on the conveyor belt. There are so many options nowadays for plastic free veg and you don’t need a separate bag for each item. Let’s be honest, an onion is hardly going to contaminate a banana in the length of time it takes you to get home is it? Obviously if you have a larger family then more than one bag would be a good idea and would reduce your plastic use quite dramatically.
These 5 simple changes could do more to help reduce plastic in the environment than many of the Governmental plans which take years to implement. Let’s make 2019 the year the people make changes that made a difference to our environment.
The picture used is courtesy of the Edinburgh Greens and is of the Water of Leith in Edinburgh.