It's hard to escape plastic. It's everywhere and we are literally drowning in plastic! It is estimated that there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050. How did we ever get to this point? Did you know that every piece of plastic ever made is still floating around in some form or another.
Much of our plastic waste ends up in the ocean where it doesn't just break down. It breaks up into micro plastics, making it easier to be ingested by animals, and subsequently humans.
Like it or not we must do something… if everyone makes a small change, we can make a big difference! Try these small and simple swaps and you can save the world from drowning in tonnes of plastic waste.
So here are my easy top tips to reducing your plastic consumption.
1. Buy a stainless steel reusable bottle. Did you know the average person uses 167 plastic waterbottles a year, but only recycles 38. I don’t go anywhere without my waterbottle. It’s so handy, keeps my water nice and cold and saves tonnes of plastic bottles going into landfill. Choosing a stainless steel or glass bottle, saves you from also absorbing harmful BPA in plastic.
2. Buy a canvas tote bag or reusable bag and save the planet. It’s estimated that 1 trillion plastic bags are used each year. The biggest problem with plastic bag is that it’s generally single use. Plastic bags take up to 1000 years to degrade and are only used an average of 12 minutes!! Say no to the plastic bag!
3. Buy a bamboo toothbrush. Each of us will replace approximately 300 toothbrushes in our lifetime. Times that by 6.8 billion people on earth, and that’s a whole lot of plastic! Make the switch to bamboo – it’s a simple switch for you to save 12 pounds of plastic going to landfill in your lifetime. Make it even easier on yourself and sign up to a subscription.
4. Straws… again a single use plastic. Americans throw away approximately 500 million plastic straws each DAY! There are awesome alternatives to choose from like this little NZ company. #refusethestraw
5. Look for glass or cardboard packaging over plastic packaging and recycle. Each time you buy an eco friendly product, you're casting a vote for what kind of world you want to live in and showing companies what their customers want.
6. How many coffee cups do you go through a year? One a day? Two a day? Every time you take a sip remember ‘minutes on the lips, a lifetime in the tip’. Make a simple switch to a reusable one – looks great and makes you feel great!
7. I’m a total cup convert! You’ll never have to buy a tampon or pad EVER AGAIN or even throw one out when you switch to a menstrual cup. Better for your body, better for your wallet, better for the environment. It’s a no-brainer. They are actually amazing and work so well! Try this awesome NZ brand.
8. Make a trip to a farmers market. Not only is it a lovely day out, you get to support small, local businesses, buy spray free or organic fruit and vegies at a good price. Just don't forget your own bag.
9. Don't buy individually packaged foods. You're paying for plastic and convenience. But it's easy to get into the habit of buying a larger size and dishing out individual serves when needed. For example, change small yoghurt tubs for one large tub and use reusable tubs to dish it out in when you need it. Or small snack-size chips for the kids lunches. It's more economical and eco friendly to buy a large pack and dish out a portion to the lunchbox each day.
10. Make your own. Imagine how much plastic, and money, you'd save if you made your own bread, your own coconut milk, muesli, or anything really.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on going waste free and any tips that have worked for you.
Little Mango Team x