If like me, before you leave the house you will utter the checklist ‘phone, keys, wallet’ (in whichever order suits you). If we ignore the usual holy trilogy of ‘phone, keys, wallet’ there are another three which I now check through which are important in reducing our plastic impact and overall demand.
1. My trusty backpack
It doesn’t matter what brand it is, if you’ve got one use it! Pictured below is my backpack which has travelled the world with me, across the beaches of South Africa and the mountains of Yosemite, as well as the long gruelling walks to Sainsbury’s and Tesco’s. No matter where I am going I always have it with me, meaning I never have to use plastic bags. It is important to remember that a number of ‘bags for life’ are still plastic and although they may last slightly longer, the plastic they are made from will be around for your lifetime.
2. My sturdy flask
As I’ve mentioned in other articles, plastic pollution, including that from plastic bottles is having a significant negative impact on our environment. Carrying my flask and filling it at every opportunity means I never have to buy a plastic bottle. I use a Hydro Flask, which I like due to its easy drinkability and its sturdiness. If you want to stop contributing to the plastic pollution created by plastic bottles, there are plenty of brands out there. Here are a few to quench your thirst:
Hydro Flask – https://www.hydroflask.com
Klean Kanteen – https://www.kleankanteen.com
One Green Bottle – https://www.onegreenbottle.com
3. A set of metal cutlery
This is a new addition to my check but necessary all the same. When getting food from a stall, often they hand out a plastic set of cutlery. Although these can be used again, and I have a collection in my draw, they are unnecessary. Similar to ‘bags for life’ although plastic cutlery can be used again they are more fragile than metal and more likely to break and when they do they will just become another piece of plastic waste.
4. BONUS: The re-usable coffee cup
I tend not to get take-away teas or coffees from cafes but if I did this would extend my list to four. Similar to the other items, this will reduce the number of take-away cups you use. Even though some take-away cups are recyclable it is better to have one re-usable cup you can use for years, rather than using take-away cups once and throwing them away. This is about reducing consumption where there are long term sustainable alternatives available.
The reasons I have looked to implement these changes is to reduce my overall consumption of plastic. These are not life-changing adjustments but they make a difference. It is a change we can all make to reduce the amount of waste we create and slowly start to improve the world we live in.
Let me know what changes you have made to increase your sustainability or reduce your waste footprint!