If you got here, than you already know the impact of global warming, and trying to figure out what you can do to help. Do a “plastic challenge”: Try to not use plastic for 10 minutes around your office. did you succeed? I can honestly say I can do it now, but only after I have made a few changes first.
Here are a few tips on easy swaps you can do to reduce your impact, as an individual and after you master this skill maybe start helping others as well, and level up your effort.
First easy peasy swap is your hot cup at work. (hope you have a sink and some soap so you can wash it). There. You just reduce 4 plastic (aka paper cup which are worse than plastic cups) cups per day at least! In a week you reduced 20. That’s a lot. With just one simple action. Want more? let’s do this then!
With your coffee is ready in your mug now in your hand, what about your water? Just think about the amount of money and plastic you take on a water bottle! now think about a reusable one. if you don’t have any – you will have to buy one, glass ones are the least smelly, metal ones also works, plastic reusable ones need to be from a place who will recycle them at the end – like my Soda Stream bottle – I have visited the factory. If you have to buy, prefer one of these kinds. I agree this one wasn’t as easy b/c you need to do something, but once you have your water bottle in hand, you can honestly start your plastic diet.
Next to reduce is the use of plastic bags. Reusable bags are more common than ever, if you are crafty like me you can crochet or sew one for yourself as well. (If i am not too lazy there will be a link here soon!) there are a lot of issues now a days with replacing the plastic bags, but think about it, if you use a bag more than once – cool right? but how many times will you be able to use the plastic bag before it falls apart? with cotton option for recycle-ability, a plastic bag is much more harming to the environment, and TBH you will not use only the one right?? so.. reduce and refuse plastic bags whenever you can! no bag at all is the best. (sometimes I just put in my bag or pocket 😉 ).
Now for the smaller bags, the fruits and vegetables ones. At the beginning, me and my hubby dropped them completely, and didn’t use any! You can imagine the cashiers were not so happy about it, but they had no choice. Then we visited the amazing Amsterdam, there in the supermarket we found these bags, and we were just so happy so we bought 12… But you don’t have to buy anything. Just stop using them.
Next easy one is the straws. I already ask in every restaurant I order in to not bring me straws. But for my kids I have these at home since they enjoy it and sometimes they even drink their ? smoothies to the end. If you insist you can carry your straw in your bag… i couldn’t find excactly the ones i have, but these look the closest to what i have got – i got them over 2 years ago after deciding I don’t want to buy tons o plastic straws for my kids – it looked stupid to me even before my plastic diet 😀
Another restaurant related swap, come with your own Togo box. You can get them sometimes when you order food, or in the supermarket for products that don’t actually needs a box, or it can also be a product that was finished and the box is sturdy enough for it. no need to purchase it specifically for it.
I constantly take a reusable bag with me that has my Togo box, which is always ready in m work station and if I know the cutlery is plastic (like in malls) than I take a fork with me as well..
Another swap which was totally unexpected from my POV is the baking mat, so easy and so fast, instead of buying and tossing so much parchment papers, you have one or 2 and you reuse them all the time – this one also saves money..
For my own home made lunch i have my Systema lunch box which we bought before the plastic diet, if you have plastic boxes you can use over and over – use them! don’t buy anything new to replace it. If you don’t have a box yet and like the metal ones, these looks very good – once all of mine will fall apart, I will check it out myself – if you have it already – let me know how it is!
Brushes – I don’t but a brush every 3 months, I don’t think this is really nessecary it always seemd to me like another way to get us pay more money on things we don’t really need, only if a brush is really out of order, i will start using it to clean the sink 🙂 and buy a new one. The green option currenly is Bamboo brushes, i havn’t tried them yet b/c i don’t need new brush yet, again your comments will help me decide about my next move. do you have preferred ones?
If you do want to celebrate your changes with a purchase that will save you from other purchases, i have found this amazing little packages with everything you need on the go to stop using plastic cutlery and bags, depends on what’s more important for you or what your need is , you can choose your own stating point
This diet, like any diet, is hard at the beginning, but once you start everything will be easier! Of course there are a lot more things like bees wax wrappers, and soaps and what not, for the advance class, first you need to master the easy ones. Remember that if you start with steady small steps, you are more likely to succeed.
Hope you enjoyed your reading, and please let me know what helped you, or if you used any of my tips.
If you have tips of your own – please share them as well!