Small Changes to Reduce Plastic
Reducing your plastic use can be quite overwhelming, especially as it feels like it’s everywhere we turn. Here are ten suggestions for small, simple changes to reduce your plastic use. Some of these may be familiar, but hopefully, there are some things you’ve not thought about before, which can be useful tools for you to do some really easy things to help make a difference.
These suggestions may seem insignificant, and you may think that in the grand scheme of things they won’t make a difference, but by reducing your plastic and waste use, you’re making an effort and showing that we don’t need this much single-use plastic.
1. Bamboo Toothbrush
A bamboo toothbrush is a simple change to implement which makes a big difference. It’s scary to think that every plastic toothbrush we have ever used is still on the planet, as plastic toothbrushes don’t biodegrade. Bamboo toothbrushes are much better for the environment as the wood handle will biodegrade, and the handles are compostable. These toothbrushes are just one of the ways you can make your life more sustainable, and I highly recommend making this small switch.
2. Loose Fruit & Veg
When you’re buying produce at the supermarket, try to buy unpackaged fruit and veg instead of the typical pre-packaged items wherever you can. This switch is a small way to cut down your plastic use. It’s sometimes hard to find loose fruit and veg (which is why I prefer getting mine from my local zero-waste shop), so just try and buy loose when you have the chance.
3. Packed Lunch & Snacks
Making your own packed lunch and preparing your own snacks means you’ll be less likely to buy pre-packaged snacks when you’re out and about. If you need some snack inspo, check out my article on plant-based snacks which are quick and easy to make.
4. Say no to straws
This is perhaps the most well-known tip to reduce your single-use plastic, but it keeps needing to be said for as long as these plastic straws are being offered. If you get offered a plastic straw, say no! If you need to use a straw you can bring your own, there are lots of more sustainable options available to buy. If you really want to up your game, email the business after and ask them about when they’re going to be switching to more sustainable straws.
5. Say no to receipts
This may sound like a stupid change, but did you know that receipts contain plastic and BPA? Saying no to receipts when you don’t need them just means you’re not using resources that you don’t need. If you do need a receipt then get one, but for smaller, less important things, try opting to go without.
6. Opt for cards without plastic & can be recycled
Another simple way to reduce plastic use is to opt for plastic-free cards, as well as ones which can be recycled. This small change will reduce your personal plastic use, and is a really simple switch you may not have thought of. There are lots of options in typical card shops without plastic now, or you can find some independent places with designs from local artists (like these ones down below!).
7. Wax wraps instead of plastic wraps
Plastic wraps can be found in most people’s households, but there are many other ways to store your food. Try wax wraps as an alternative, these wraps are reusable meaning that significantly less waste and plastic is produced. They’re also easy to clean, and can come in colourful designs!
8. Opt for unwrapped/ plastic-free items when eating in a cafe
Another way of reducing your plastic use is to opt for unwrapped and plastic-free items when eating in a cafe. These items are also more likely to be homemade, and therefore taste nicer anyway. You can also bring your containers to a lot of places when getting food to takeaway, which is an additional way to reduce your plastic use. You can read about the Long Live The Lunchbox campaign which talks about this initiative in my article about it here as well as on Global Action Plan’s information page.
9. Chocolate in cardboard
Switch your chocolate from plastic packaging to cardboard packaging, this means you can still have tasty chocolate but minus the environmental guilt. My personal favourites are the Vego white chocolate bar as well as the Divine dark chocolate with raspberries bar, but any wrapped in more sustainable packaging will do!
10. Tawashi’s > plastic scourers
There are so many alternatives to plastic scourers, and plenty of natural scrubbers on the market. If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, check out my article on how to make Tawashi’s.
I hope you find these tips useful, and that they encourage you to make some small changes! I will be writing some articles in the future on swaps to make in different areas of your life, so keep an eye out for those! As always make sure you follow me on Instagram to keep up with all of my ventures!