Many of us are frustrated with the progress of sustainability in our lives, and we grow concerned about landfill wastage and pollution. Many of us have not been able to use our keep cups in our local cafes and we notice a lot of plastic used around us.
“Due to waste mismanagement, one-third of plastic waste is estimated to have entered nature as land, freshwater or marine pollution.”- WWF Report 2019
Plastic is being produced at an accelerated rate these days and we should ask: do we as individuals need to hold ourselves accountable? As Russell Brand asks in a video discussing climate change, are we choosing convenience over durability at any given moment?
- Environment – The Policies of EU and Ireland’s Green Deal
- The shocking environmental truth of commercial holidays
Set yourself a plastic-free challenge that will allow you to think of and discover ways you can curb plastic usage. It’s common to do these challenges for a month but even setting a goal for two weeks will have you surprised with the amount of plastic that is around you daily.
You have probably heard ‘All the toothbrushes you once owned still exist today.’ This statement is probably true. Bamboo toothbrushes have been around for a long time and are now available in certain shops. Bamboo toothbrushes are a magnificent option being biodegradable, with less plastic and lower wastage.
Estrid is a sustainable women’s razor company that is also 100% vegan and cruelty-free. You can buy it when you want or through a subscription. With your first buy, you get the handle of the razor and the detached blades. What is great about this product is that it is of excellent quality, and once you have the handle, you only need to get the blades. Meaning less plastic is used! Estrid is a delivery service, and they also advertise their packaging as ‘climate compensated.’
Now that plastic straws are out the window; we still have a sustainable option. Metal straws are essential to have in your house as they are durable and reusable. The switch to metal straws will eventually save you money and the planet!
If you are ever concerned with the amount of paper you are purchasing but love reading, reading e-books or shopping for second-hand books are two great options. Bookstores such as Chapters in the city centre have a whole floor dedicated to offering second-hand books—an affordable and sustainable option. Charity shops will always have a selection of books, with one that may catch your eye. Another suggestion is e-books. Investing in the likes of a kindle can come in handy. It allows you to go paperless, and once you have your kindle purchased, each book you add costs less than a normal book.
Reusable Fruit & Veg Bags
Fruit and veg is something that is commonly wrapped in plastic in our supermarkets, yet they’re the products that need plastic the least. Investing in reusable fruit and veg bags will allow you to shop more plastic-free. There are plenty of options in stores to buy fruit out of plastic, and you can get these bags in Lidl also!
Not as common as they should be, but they certainly exist. Refill stores are a great way to reduce your purchasing of plastic packaging and reusing your own containers at home.
You can stock up on your cupboard staples such as oats, flour, sugar and pasta, to name a few.
If you have the desire to challenge yourself to a plastic-free month or week, finding glass packaging may make things easier. Go from buying coke cans to their bottled versions or any drink in a glass or cardboard rather than a plastic bottle. Something that came as a surprise to me is that many aluminium cans are lined underneath with plastic. Who would have thought?
Sick of heavy shampoo bottles that take up too much space? Shampoo bars are a great option that is long-lasting, cost-efficient due to the amount of use you can get out of it – and it’s plastic-free too. Shampoo bars are popular in the likes of Lush, the worldwide eco-friendly brand. Not only that, but now you can purchase shampoo bars from brands such as Garnier, who also advertise their products as vegan and cruelty-free.
Most of us like to take our make-up off using wipes, cotton pads, etc., but we don’t pay attention to how much we are using to take off our makeup. Opting for face-cloths and face wash for taking off your makeup uses less product, is more time-efficient and will save you money from buying packets of make-up wipes and cotton pads.
For a more sustainable way of living, having a reusable water bottle is essential. Having a good-quality water bottle is great for durability and practicality – and having a water filter is excellent too. Water filters help purify the water from our taps, making the water nicer to drink and can help with avoiding buying plastic bottles of water constantly. It will save you coins and, once again, plastic waste! As reusable water bottles come, Chillis water bottles are of fantastic quality and are a great investment for yourself.
Avoiding Wrapping Paper
Most wrapping paper we use for gifts usually contains plastic. Recycling old papers for wrapping is a more eco-friendly way of packaging presents. Or if you are gifted with something that was wrapped in wrapping paper, you can reuse it again.