Cut down on your single-use plastics in favour of reusable alternatives this month, because nobody wants to work hard for that beach bod only to get to the beach and have it be covered in a plastic litter that people just ‘forgot’ to dispose of responsibly. When you take the time to think about all of the single-use plastics that make their way through your life on a regular basis, it really is mind boggling.
We have compiled a list of easy to find, and easy to use alternatives to your everyday plastic needs.
Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Reusable Waterbottle (£12-£20 on Amazon)
The plastic that is used to make single-use water bottles that you use on the regular are slowly killing you by leaching toxic chemicals from the plastic manufacturing process into your drink. You can easily find a stainless steel or glass alternative that will save you money in the long run and with proper care should last forever. Although the bottle suggested above is by KleanKanteen, most local supermarkets in the UK, camping outlet stores and places like TKMaxx will provide a very similar product that will likely last just as long. KleanKanteen however also do a series of Growlers for any of your home brewers out there, perfect to keep your newest batch of beer or wine fresh.
Bamboo Travel Cutlery (£5.99 on Amazon)
Did you know that bamboo is the fastest growing and most sustainable plant we have on Earth? It can make so many amazing things such as fibres for clothes as well as the hard wooden things you’d expect. The next time the person at the bakery, salad bar or take out type place asks you if you need something to eat your food with you can tell them to fork off cause you’ve come prepared. Bamboo is also a naturally antibacterial, antifungal and odour resistant fibre. The travel bamboo cutlery set I’ve linked above includes a fork, spoon and set of chopsticks all folded into an elegant pouch. Keep it in your bag and you’ll never need you use a plastic fork again. You can also buy in bulk from Amazon sets of ‘disposable’ bamboo cutlery to be used by guests at BBQs, parties and picnics that can be thrown into a compost bin after use rather than making their way to landfill since they are completely biodegradable.
Stainless steel straws (£5-£10 on Amazon)
For some reason you’ll find, if you frequently go out drinking, that most bartenders will make you the drink you ordered and throw 2, 3 or even 5 unnecessary straws into your drink, without you even having the chance to say that you don’t want one. You’re not a child, you don’t need these stupid little pieces of plastic that end up in the ocean, and more famously, lodged up the noses of unsuspecting turtles. If you really do want straws in your life, however, you can get ones made from stainless steel or even highly durable glass. Don’t worry they come with a little brush to clean them if the dishwasher doesn’t do the trick first time round.
Reusable food produce bags (£8-£10 for between 8-11 on Amazon)
We didn’t know things like this existed until recently, but here we are. Refuse the little plastic bags at the loose fruit and vegetable isle and take your reusable ones straight to the checkout. Maybe you’ll inspire someone else to get their own too, and thus the cycle continues. These things can be washed out easily and keep your food fresher for longer. If you did some more research you could also find a version made from 100% organic cotton on sites like Etsy, that would be even better for the environment.
Reusable Coffee cups (£10-£25)
There are a lot of people out there that couldn’t live without their coffee fix, but with 100 billion single-use polystyrene and styrofoam coffee cups being thrown into landfill slights every year, the waste included in this habit cannot be ignored any longer. You might feel foolish bringing your own up to ‘insert popular coffee house here’ with you, but in some places, they have a rewards system for people who bring their own cup, so if you can’t do it for the environment, do it for the rewards. There as some beautiful coffee cups available out there so you don’t have to get ones as ugly as the original packaging, some of our favourites are KeepCup, their most eco-friendly cup on offer is a glass cup, with a cork heat-proof grip sleeve, very classy, very minimalist, an alternative however would be the Ecoffee Cup, made from naturally organic bamboo fiber, that currently have a limited edition range on offer with print designs by William Morris that are so beautiful you’d want to use them even if you didn’t drink coffee.
So take the pledge to a plastic free month over at www.plasticfreejuly.org and make a difference in the amount of plastic that ends up in the ocean and landfills this month. You can take the pledge for a day, a week, the whole month or even forever. If you don’t then we are looking at living in a world where there will be more plastic in the ocean than there are fish by 2050.