Plastic sucks! - Our guide how to make a difference
It is generally well known, that we earthlings have a huge problem in our hands. Approximately 8 million tons of plastic waste end up in to the ocean every year killing birds, marine life and poisoning the earths water resources. Since most of the plastic is non-biodegradable it will slowly break into micro plastics that find their way back to our plates and even drinking water. If we continue this way there will be more plastic than fish in our Oceans by 2050.
How to reduce plastic waste?
Everything starts from evaluating your buying habits. Where do you use plastic? What do you use it for? What could you do to differently? We have collected a 16 point list how to reduce plastic waste and micro plastics to get started. The key solution to the problem is to re-think and find alternative and sustainable options to plastic.
1. Say NO to a plastic bag
To be fair, with the current knowledge we have, these things should not even exist anymore. Always carry a shopping bag with you.
2. Refuse the straw
Plastic straws are one of the most common single use pieces of plastic. When a plastic bag might get used once or twice the straws go straight to the bin. Most of the drinks can be enjoyed without one anyway and there are lot of alternative options made from stainless steel or bamboo available.
3. Use reusable bottles
In countries where the tap water is safe to drink, there is absolutely no reason to buy water in plastic bottles. As a matter of fact, in many countries the quality of tap water is way higher than its bottled sisters and brothers. If the tap water is not drinkable, carry your own reusable bottle and fill it on refill stations when possible.
4. Drink your coffee at the cafe…
Or if take-away is needed it take with you a reusable cup.
5. Be smart when shopping for food
Luckily there are constantly growing amount of “no plastic” stores where you can bring in your own containers. Shopping in fruit markets, buying meat, eggs and dairy from the counters with your own containers can reduce the amount of plastic waste at you household dramatically.
6. Sustainable take away food
Same as when shopping for ingredients: You can bring your own containers to the restaurants when fetching that delicious Chinese take-out. If you order food home reuse the containers. Many restaurants are happy to take the washed plastic boxes back to serve the next person ordering.
7. Micro beads in cosmetics
Avoid buying products that contain micro beads. Quite often facial- and body scrubs are full of these. Choose the natural options instead or even make your own out of sugar, salt or ground coffee.
8. Soap it up!
Cleansing products as shampoo and body wash are mainly water packed in a plastic bottle that often travels thousands of kilometres around the world before reaching you. By using shampoo bars, quality soaps and house cleaning products compressed to a bar you do not only reduce plastic waste, but also make your carbon footprint smaller due the less weight of the product traveling.
9. Drive smart
One of the major sources of micro plastic ending to our oceans are car tyres made out of synthetic rubber. One more reason to car pool to work or choose an alternative transport.
10. Save the ocean with what you wear
Another big source on micro plastic is what we wear. Every single time you wash piece of garment that is made from synthetic materials millions of microfibers are released into the water. Buying natural fabrics can obviously reduce this to zero, but for the synthetic materials already in your closet there are few easy tips to reduce the microfibers entering the oceans: Wash the clothes in colder water and for shorter time in a special made bag that collects the tiny fibres.
11. Use cloth diapers
Disposable diapers create sixty times more waste than cloth ones. It might feel a bit tricky at the beginning, but as said at the beginning of this blog post: It all starts from re-thinking your habits.
12. Ladies, make your period plastic free!
Have you ever thought about how much trash you create every month with tampons and pads? This can be history too! Menstrual cups are made of medical grade silicon and can be used up to five years! And thing that often worries many mermaids: Yes, you can use them while Scuba diving!
13. Support businesses that reuse and reduce plastic.
Vote with your feet! Choose to support businesses that do not use plastic packaging materials and produce their products in eco-friendly and plastic free manner. Shopping local is always great way to reduce plastic waste and carbon footprint as well. If the product does not travel long distances it needs very little wrapping and packaging.
14. Fix what is broken
Repair rather than replace. Holes in your clothes can easily be repaired with needle and thread, servicing broken electronics give them longer life and most of old furniture can serve many more years by refurbishing. Think before throwing things away since at the end of the day there is no such a thing as AWAY.
15 Sell or give away goods you no longer need
One person's trash is another person's treasure. Social media is full of freecycle groups to give away things that you no longer need or use. Shopping in second hand stores or websites gives a new life to products! When you need something instead walking to a store, check if someone is selling or even giving away the stuff you need second hand.
16. Reuse what you have bought
Did you accidentally forgot the reusable shopping bag home? Well, make the best out of the plastic one and keep on using it as long as possible! This applies to everything. Think before you buy and take care of your goods to give them as long life as possible. ***