Last year Ben and I tried our hand at Plastic Free July. That is, we tried to cut our use of plastics to zero for a full month, alongside tens of thousands of other counter-cultural, environmentally-minded souls. And… it was a bit of a bust.
We tried our best but the truth is that we were vastly unprepared. We hadn’t really thought through our daily needs or systems, and we hadn’t gathered the required replacements for many of our plastics, which meant we were left high and dry when time came to go food shopping. Or buying takeaway. Or grabbing a coffee. Or living, really.
We learnt a lot though and the past 12 months has seen us make vast improvements in our plastic reliance, to the point where our regular Monday morning garbage pick-up consists of one small bag of rubbish as opposed to the multiple big ones we used to throw away. There have even been a few weeks where we haven’t put our bins out at all because they’ve been empty. (And that is a damn good feeling.)
Over the next four Mondays we’re going to take a deep dive in to the issue of excessive plastic use and what small changes we can make – starting today – to reduce plastic use over time. In part this series is timed to coincide with Plastic Free July, but also because I can see that there is a mainstream desire for change that wasn’t apparent even this time last year. I think we’re all just overwhelmed at the enormity of the problem, unsure of where to start. And that’s where we want to help.
Inspired again by Plastic Free July, today we offer you some simple ideas to stop using the Big 4 single use plastics altogether, with just a few easy swaps and a couple of habit changes.
The Big 4 single use plastics we’re looking to cut out are:
- drinking straws
- takeaway coffee cups
- plastic water bottles
- plastic shopping bags
After listening to today’s episode, hopefully it becomes clear that these are four products we really, really don’t need to be using at all. Ben and I give you a few re-useable solutions for each of the above products, and also encourage you to flip the script when it comes to plastic. Sure it might feel a little annoying in the beginning, but nowhere near as annoying as oceans choked with plastic bags.
I’ve also created a list of resources below that should help you get a head start on saying goodbye to plastics for good.
Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:
- Biome eco store online This is where I’ve bought most of my reusables:
- Plastic Free July
- Plastic Free July #1
- Plastic Free July #2
- Slow Home: Minimising Cleaning Waste
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