When you start trying to reduce your waste it can be hard to know where to start. To help, here is a round up of my seven deadly waste sins, and how you can avoid them. Where I can, I’ve given links to some of my favourite products and resources*.
There has been so much press about coffee cups, yet for some reason the message doesn’t seem to be getting through. Invest in a lovely reusable coffee cup, carry it with you and don’t be shy to ask for your coffee in it – believe it or not, a lot of coffee chains will even give you a discount if you do.
It’s amazing that bottled water is still a thing – especially in parts of the world where we are lucky enough to have clean tap water. Again, invest in a reusable water bottle and keep it on you. I have a small stainless steel one that fits in most of my handbags and I just keep it topped up wherever I can.
This is one of my personal pet hates. It’s a single use product that will be on our planet FOREVER as it does not decompose! It can be tricky to avoid. I generally steer clear of takeaways but get to know which ones don’t use polystyrene and stick to them. Of course it’s also used in packaging which is even harder to avoid when you don’t know what your product will be sent to you in. I try and buy second hand where possible and always ask the seller to post without polystyrene (or any plastic at all if possible!).
Plastic straws are getting a lot of well deserved bad press at the moment. Get in the habit of saying ‘no straw’ every time you order a drink. If you just have to suck, invest in some stainless steel or bamboo straws and carry one with you when you’re out and about.
There has been so much progress with plastic bags in recent years, with countless countries introducing charges and even bans. Yet some people just can’t seem to kick the plastic bag habit. It’s so easy, just keep a small reusable bag folded up in your handbag and keep a collection of them in your car. Just get in the habit and you’ll never need a plastic bag again. Plastic bags pop up in other guises; bagged salad and other food packaging, postage and packaging, bin bags and so on. Just try to reduce, reuse and recycle where you can.
Aim for bags made from hemp or organic cotton and get a variety of sizes for bread and vegetables etc to further avoid plastic, or you can even have a go at making your own!
Female Sanitary Products
One for the ladies, but gents, it’s good to know! Tampons and sanitary pads hang around for AGES, they block up drains and they contaminate our oceans. But ladies, there is a solution! Invest in a cup! They’re safe, environmentally friendly and last for years. I’m a true convert and can’t rate my Mooncup highly enough.
Literally anything plastic and disposable is bad news. Plastic cups, plastic cutlery, plastic plates, plastic wrap (cling film), plastic sandwich bags, plastic toothbrushes, all of the above, anything plastic that is designed to be used once and thrown away is BAD! Yet every ying has a yang and for every horrible disposable plastic item there is an alternative. Bamboo is a super sustainable product and it seems that you literally can get anything in bamboo these days. I also love the look of these reusable food wraps made organic cotton blended with beeswax, tree resin and jojoba oil, but they’re only currently available in New Zealand.
The important thing to remember with each of these deadly sins is that you can be redeemed by renouncing the plastic devil! There is an alternative and that alternative isn’t necessarily just ‘don’t buy it’ (unless it’s polystyrene!!). Do your research, shop around, fall in love with bamboo and do what you can to avoid these seven deadly sins.
*All product and resource links are unsponsored, they are simply products that I love and resources I have found useful 🙂