There is no secret that the world's attention is now more and more focused on the future of this planet. Understandable, this is our home, our sanctuary and our survival depends on it. News on top of news about not doing enough for the planet, about global warming, animal extinction, quality of air, bombards our brain every single day and it can feel quite overwhelming… Rightfully so. Every single day we digest negative information implying that we don't do enough, the planet is dying, there is no good in the world and it might feel like we truly lost the battle even before we started it.
But here is something to put you at ease: you don’t need to be a perfect environmentalist. Let that sink in: you don’t need to be perfect. The key is not to find one person to save the entire planet by doing everything right, but to start with small steps and give yourself credit for everything that you do that is helpful to the environment. And a good way to start is, of course, by using less plastic in your day to day life.
Here are a few steps you can start taking today:
1. Exercise “Loose” Shopping
When hopping for groceries, you can not only minimize the use of plastic by bring your own reusable shopping bags, but also you can save a ton of plastic by leaving the produce unpacked in your cart. If loose produce in your cart makes you nervous, bring smaller, reusable produce bags.
2. Store Leftovers In Dishes
If you cook at home often, you know that your fridge can be easily filled with leftovers. A simple way to minimize plastic when packing leftovers is to switch from plastic foil to reusable containers, or even better and less costly, use a plate as a “lid” for your leftovers dish.
3. Bring Your Own Containers to Restaurants
When you order food for takeaway at your favourite restaurant, make sure to bring your own reusable containers for the kitchen to use. Most times, restaurants use plastic and styrofoam to pack your food.
4. Have Your Own Coffee Mug Ready
On your way to work, or catching up with a friend at your favourite cafe, be sure to bring your own travel mug to coffee shops. Bonus: it will keep your coffee warm for way longer.
5. Consider Investing In A Water Filter
If you find yourself purchasing water in plastic containers on a regular basis, a water filter could be the right solution for you.
6. Go Bulk Shopping
Avoiding plastic wrapped essentials such as rice, cereal, pasta, peanut butter etc can be easily done by visiting a bulk store that supports zero waste practices. Bring your own containers and stock up on all of your favourites. Smaller, locally owned shops are more likely to be flexible on allowing reusable containers.
7. Use A Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Last, but not least, bringing your stainless steel water bottle will prevent you from saving lots of plastic. Lots of coffee shops and businesses will gladly fill your water bottle if you ever run out when out and about.
Small Changes Make A Huge Impact
Cutting back on plastic can be challenging and difficult, but taking small steps every day is a big leap forward. It’s not about doing everything perfect, it’s about trying in your own way and making a habit out of it. Your future self will thank you for it.