You can tell that it’s collection day because your bin is full to the brim… with plastics.
Also, you heard about the low (and alarming) recycling rates and the impact of plastics on our environment. You become increasingly concerned.
Perhaps, you’re a mum and committed to creating a better world for your children and future generations.
But, where do you start? What can you do? It seems challenging and overwhelming!
Well, it doesn’t have to be. We asked responsible travellers, conscious bloggers and passionate individuals on how to get started one small step at a time.
When Eating Out
“Carry a reusable straw with you at all times and always say ‘no straw’ when having a drink out in cafes/restaurants/bars.”~Janine of Eat Green with Janine
“Bring your own reusable cutlery with you when you travel so you don’t need to use plastic forks and spoons at restaurants when you eat out. You can also bring your own to-go containers to avoid taking things home in styrofoam.”~Bret of Green Global Travel
“Take the time to sit in at restaurants and cafes so you can avoid any plastic takeaway containers. It’s a great way to slow down and enjoy the area you’re visiting and save some plastic waste.”~Rohan of Life with Less
“I take my own to-go containers to restaurants, rather than asking for one (whether it’s plastic or styrofoam). I also take my own bags to the grocery store.”~Charis of Being Charis
Toiletries and Personal Care Eco-friendly Swaps
“Invest in a plastic-free alternative toothbrush like bamboo. It’s an easy first step because it’s relatively inexpensive & you won’t forget to use it since it’s always in your bathroom. A traditional plastic toothbrush can take nearly 400 years to decompose!”~Abbie of Speck on the Globe
“Soap bar, shampoo bar, lotion bar for body, instead of those in plastic bottles! Environmentally and travel-friendly options.”~Inessa of ABN Dance
“If you’re a lady, try out a menstrual cup! Not only will you save money since they last for years, but you’ll also stop adding to the landfill with disposable menstrual products. They’re easy to use, and you won’t have to worry about all those unnatural chemicals that pads and tampons often leak into your body.
I love that I no longer have to remember to pack feminine hygiene items in my purse with me (which I used to ALWAYS forget to do – cue me running out to the nearest drug store while at a party). And since I travel full time now, it’s nice that I don’t have to add extra period products to my already stuffed to the brim suitcase – plus you can leave your cup in much longer than a tampon! I made the switch several years ago and am so happy I did!”~Kelsey of Sights Better Seen
“If you bring your own toiletries with you, ring room service (or find a maid) to return any disposable toiletries that you aren’t using so that they can be reused by other guests. (Often, travel-sized items in hotel rooms are thrown out even if unopened.) Better yet, stay at a hotel that vows to be plastic-free.”~Karen of Wanderlusting K
“I’ve been changing progressively my lifestyle. As regards reducing plastic, I started with beauty products and progressively switched to natural, and organic products, either packaging-free or made of recycled or recyclable materials. Switching to a clean beauty routine for me was a great way to start and now you can only find plastic-free products in my bathroom.”~Margarida of Daisy and Thyme
For Your Hydration
“Carry a water filter or a reusable water bottle and filter combination so you can consume water in locations that don’t have safe water without compromising on plastic usage.”~Ashley of Wild Hearted
“A glass or metal (my personal preference is glass) water bottle is a great place to start.”~Sarah Anne
For Your Coffee and Tea
“In addition to all the above suggestions, one of the easiest things if you’re a tea/coffee drinker, is to carry a reusable coffee cup.”~Kylie of Eco and Beyond
“Takeaway coffee cups are one of the top four most used single-use plastic items. They usually have a plastic BPA lining, plastic lid, and stirrer. Travel with a reusable collapsible coffee cup. It takes up virtually no space and can also be used for buying juice from street stalls.~Lola of Miss Filatelista
If you have the time, actually sit in the cafe and enjoy your coffee! Have your coffee and simply absorb your new surroundings. Only do this if the coffee shop uses reusable mugs and glasses. Sadly, so many cafes give all patrons takeaway cups whether or not they’re drinking in-house. If you really must get a to-go cup of coffee don’t use a plastic lid or stirrer.”
“Try shopping for your fruits and veggies at local markets and farmers markets as the produce will more likely be loose and plastic-free already! All you need is your own bag to carry them home in 🙂~Linda of Bamboo and Backpacks
We found in Europe a lot of supermarkets also have loose fruit and veg but in South America, for example, supermarkets sell far more imported produce that’s wrapped in plastic so the local markets are way more eco-friendly! Also, eating seasonally also means the produce is less likely to be plastic wrapped!”
“Always carry a bag with you so that if you stop off somewhere last minute you don’t need to pay for or resort to a plastic bag at the store!”~Tara of Silly Little Kiwi
Eco-Friendly Ideas At Home
“For those who are not ready to invest in quality reusables can repurpose items laying around the house. For plastic bags for veggies – one can use an old pillowcase. For plastic bags for dog waste – one can use newspaper.”~Drea of Vibra Eco
“Invest in some beeswax food wrap or reusable sandwich wraps. They are both great for keeping food fresh in the fridge and when you’re on the go. Using these stops so much unnecessary foil and cling film waste and they’re non-toxic!”~Anneka of New Shades of Hippy
Buy and Consume Less
“Remember that recycling is not a viable solution. Since plastic can be recycled only once or twice, the real solution is to consume less plastic. Better even, try to consume less in general: think twice whether you really need what you’re about to get. Besides the problem of plastic, overusing resources is a big issue nowadays.”~Anna of Green Mochila
Going plastic-free doesn’t happen overnight. It’s not a competition either. Please don’t beat yourself up if you make mistakes. It’s a journey and every small change counts. We’re all in this together.
So tell us, which one of the tips above you’re going to try out today?