*this post contains a gifted item
So last month I was invited by Global Wake Cup to take part in their challenge to go single-use plastic-free for 24 hours, and in all honesty, I thought it would be pretty easy.
Boy was I wrong!
Sure I already use reusable cups (even when I’m in the house and not going anywhere) and have more tote bags than I can be bothered to count, including this one that they kindly gifted me with.
But what I didn’t realise was how much of the food I eat comes in single-use plastic packaging!
Short of tinned products, almost nothing we had in the house wasn’t single use: chocolate wrappers, crisp packets, pasta pots, bread, cheese…even the fruit and veg are in bloody plastic wrappers!
I know that sounds quite naive, but until now I’d not really paid much attention to what my food came in.
Of course, I’ve always made sure to recycle anything I can, but somehow it hadn’t quite sunk in just how much unnecessary plastic we all use every single day.
I’m quite lucky that our village still has a local market, where you can buy fresh fruit, veg, savouries and how made bread, and we try to buy from there as often as we can.
Not only is it supporting local traders and farmers, but there’s no plastic involved.
The only problem is it’s only available once a week, and if the weathers bad they don’t turn up at all. When that happens you have to rely on the bigger supermarkets, where everything is in plastic.
It’s been a real eye-opening experience doing this, it’s made me a lot more mindful about the products I buy and where I get them from.
Every little change counts, and I’d encourage everyone to try this for a day to see how much plastic you actually use – even if you don’t think you use that much!
It can be hard to know where to start when trying to cut back on the amount of plastic we use, so these are some of the things I’ve been trying to do more of recently to give you some inspiration.
I’ve been using tote bags for quite a while now, and I’ve built up a pretty big collection.
But one of the things I always make sure to do is have at least one tote bag in Chris’s car for when we go shopping and another in whichever handbag I’m using that day.
So even if I end up doing some unplanned shopping, I’ve always got a bag with me and I hopefully won’t need to buy any plastic ones.
Another item I have a huge collection of!
I have a ton of different sized ones, from a full-sized Starbucks cup to my mini-sized KeepCup. I have different sized ones to make sure that I can still carry one even if I’m only using a small bag that day.
Plus I love using them when I’m in the house too; my Cath Kidston one is amazing at keeping drinks warm and since I’ve got a bad habit of forgetting about my drinks when I’m working, it’s a lifesaver!
I try to buy as much loose fruit and vegetables as I can these days, but even then that isn’t easy as the bags they give you to put them are plastic too!
I’ve actually just ordered these cotton mesh fruit bags off Amazon to take with me in future, which means I won’t need to use any plastic what so ever.
They were only £8 and are eco-friendly and reusable, which is actually really good value.
Grow Your Own
I’m not necessarily talking about growing your own fruit and vegetables here.
While that is something I want to do once I have my own house, I know it’s not going to be possible for most people; especially if you don’t live in the countryside.
But something everyone can grow themselves are herbs.
No matter how small your kitchen is, you can grow a few pots of herbs such as basil, coriander, mint, chives, sage, rosemary; which you can then use while cooking!
Anyone should be able to grow them – and this is coming from a girl who somehow managed to kill a cactus!
Try Naked/Packagless Products
I recently decided to try Lush’s packages shampoo bars a try and I’m not officially hooked. I’ve been using one called Jason and the Argan Oil and it’s perfect if you already love and use Rose Jam, as it smells exactly the same!
I was really worried about them to lathering well, falling apart or being used up too quickly (especially for the price!) so I was really surprised when it ended up lathering better than my normal shampoo.
They last for a long time too, although I would definitely recommend getting a metal tin with it as it does stick to surfaces after use if not.
The first one I bought (without a tin) only lasted a few weeks before falling apart and it felt like a bit of a waste.
But my second one (which I use a tin to keep it in) has lasted nearly two months now and it looks like hardly any of it has been used.
Although keep in mind that I have very short hair…
Even if you can only change one little thing about your plastic use, you’re still doing something to help.
I see a lot of people on social media being quite aggressive and nasty to other people for not doing absolutely everything, but the truth is not everyone is able to make huge changes straight away.
Being mindful about plastic waste, the environment and your own personal footprint is a great start, and we should be helping and encouraging everyone to do whatever they can to make a difference!