Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
PLASTICS. It’s everywhere. Like no matter where you look, there’s plastic. On your desk, in your bag, on someone’s face.
LOL, I had to…..
Don’t get me wrong, guys. I am not a recycling queen by any means. I am not pretending to be high and mighty on the plastic front ok?
Although, I’ve decided this year that I want to try to do a little bit more to reduce my plastic usage. They’re very small things that don’t cause an extreme inconvenience, but they’re very easy steps that I think you’d be able to fit into your life as well if you wanted to.
If you’re interested in doing your part, or making some small changes, check out the list below. Maybe you can try a few new things out to help reduce your plastic usage.
But before we get into that, I’m going to provide a teeny bit of statistics in reference to plastics. On the Surfers Against Sewage website, it states,
Yeah. That’s terrifying. So let’s see what we can do to help these figures….
FUN FACT: I’m obsessed with cups. If I see a cute cup, I will buy it. We have a billion mugs, a billion glass jars, and a bunch of different types of wine glasses. Like we are bursting with the amounts of cups we have. And we have started collecting reusable coffee mugs as well.
This is a big one. I can’t tell you how many plastic water bottles I have bought in my life, but there have been a lot. Thankfully, in the UK they have bins that separate rubbish from food and plastic so you can recycle it there on the street if you’re in a lurch or need to buy one. But in general, there are ways around it.
I personally bought a Corkcicle tumbler that I take with me to work every day. That is how I drink my water throughout the day. It keeps it cold forever which is important to me because I love cold water. P.S. I’d highly suggest a Corkcicle tumbler. I love mine and would love to buy more. Check them out here, they have so many fun colours.
If you’d rather a canteen, try this one. I think I may get one like this for when I’m out and about in London so it can easily roll around in my bag. Or could use this for coffee as well.
If you don’t want to use either of those for coffee or hot drinks. get a reusable coffee mug. You can even bring them with you and get coffee refills at coffee shops now for less of the price. Or even better, make your own coffee at home. It’ll save you money doing it that way as well. I found one that locks and won’t leak all over everything so it’s easier to carry from place to place. Check it out here.
Reusable Storage Containers
I’ll be honest. Most of my meal prep containers are plastic. I try to buy BPA free and microwaveable, freezer, and dishwasher safe ones so we can reuse them often, but they’re still plastic. I would love to eventually switch to glass containers but they take up so much more space and D and I would probably break them all the time. We’re both quite clumsy people.
I have bought mason jars for my smoothies and shakes as well as glass straws that are dishwasher safe and I’ll drink those at home or take them with me to work. I even put my overnight oats or chia puddings in the jars for my breakfasts. Check out the mason jars here, and the glass straws here.
I’ve recently bought two Stasher bags that replace Ziploc bags, shown in the above photo. They can be put in the fridge, freezer, dishwasher, microwave, oven, and even boiled. They’re extremely versatile and I love using them. Honestly. I only bought two just to try them out, but I plan to buy a few more in other sizes eventually. You don’t have to use them for food, you can put makeup in them for the plane or whatever you fancy. I’d highly suggest buying some of these to have in your home. They’re a tad pricey, but they’ll last ages and can end up saving you money in the long term. And of course, they’re good for the environment. Check them out here.
Reusable Grocery Bags
We have about 5 or 6 bags that we have accrued over time to do our weekly shopping with. And D and I both use a reusable grocery bag to bring our lunch and other goodies to work with us. I would love to get a lunch box eventually, but haven’t found one that’s big enough and not ugly.
PRO TIP: As soon as you’re done unloading the groceries at home, put the bags next to the door so that the next time someone goes outside, they put the bags back in the car. It decreases clutter in your home and you’ll never forget to bring the bags with you when shopping as they’ll always be in your car. And if you hate clutter in your car, buy the foldable ones that can be tucked away easily.
If you’re out shopping for clothes or other things, I always bring a big purse with me that I can put my products in. If I know I’ll be buying a lot, I’ll bring one of our reusable bags so that I don’t have to ask for plastic bags all the time. I love the shops that use paper bags as well, like Holland & Barrett or Primark.
Buy in Bulk
This tip may be more for my US friends because it’s very difficult to buy in bulk here in the UK. One, because there aren’t many bulk shopping stores around like Costco or Sam’s Club. And two, that’s because people don’t do it because there is the teeniest amount of storage space in people’s homes. So it’s incredibly difficult to store bulk products, hence why people tend to do small shops here in the UK.
However, if you have the space and access to bulk shopping, it’s great. Not only will it save you money, but it saves a lot of time, and reduces your plastic usage.
I try to buy our toilet paper, paper towel, and other things we use often in bulk. Like I said, we don’t have an enormous amount of storage space so I try to do what I can. Do what you can. And if you have access to a Costco or a Sam’s Club, use it. They are the absolute best, especially if you have kids. Bulk chicken nuggets and french fries = happy kiddos. Also, free samples.
Don’t Use Disposable Cutlery
I mentioned the glass jars and straws above. I’m including the straws as cutlery here because it basically is, right?
I make a lot of smoothies and shakes so when I prepare it, I put it in a mason jar because I can put the lid on it and then I bring a glass straw with me which can easily be put in the dishwasher to clean and use again.
I prefer glass straws to stainless steel because I can see inside them and I know if they’re clean or not. It gives me peace of mind – LOL. If you prefer stainless steel straws, check these out.
Bring cutlery from home to work with you for your lunches. Don’t use plastic unless you absolutely have to.
I even know people who keep a reusable straw with them when they’re out drinking. I mean if you can keep up with that – go for it. Just try and do what you can.
I could continue this list and even get into the nitty gritty of things you can do to reduce your plastic, but I’m not going to go that far because I don’t even do it. However, I will suggest additional resources below where you can read about other things you can do to help if you want to do even more than the list I provided above.
But if you’re like me, and you’d rather start small than go all out, then feel free to use some of the links above to get started. Just buy a few reusable cups and storage containers and make an effort to reduce your plastic in small doses. It may be annoying and you may not be able to justify the costs right now, but it will pay off eventually. Having things in your house that you can use over and over again versus using once, throwing it away and then having to buy more just makes more sense in the long run, doesn’t it? And it’ll actually save time and headaches later on if you run out of something.
More Resources to Check Out
- 10 Tips Reducing Your Plastic Waste, BBC Good Food
- 100 Steps to a Plastic Free Life, My Plastic Free Life
- Ten Steps to Reduce Your Plastic Footprint, WWF
- When the Mermaids Cry: The Great Plastic Tide, Plastic Pollution
- 22 Facts About Plastic Pollution and 10 Things We Can Do About It, Eco Watch
Just find something small and do what you can to make this a better place and better world to live in. Just think of the turtles.