Plastic-Free Living has been propelled into the spotlight in the past year because of the awareness of plastic pollution harming the biodiversity and natural balance of life. Plastics have become a part of our everyday lives and have played an important role in keeping products and food safe and clean. Yet it is possible to replace most of the plastic found in everyday living by changing the way we consume products and switching to eco-friendly alternatives.
You can switch to a plastic-free life by changing your lifestyle with the help of the following tips:
- Reuse your Fabric-made bags: Grocery bags and shopping bags made with fabric are an eco-friendly alternative for plastic bags. These bags can be washed, some can be customised, and they have a longer shelf-life, thus they are also cost-efficient.
- Use refillable steel bottles: Other than being pollution-causing and resource exploiting, plastic and aluminium bottles leach fibres and other contaminants into the water. They have been touted as being toxic for health and they are also expensive given they should not be used more than once. You can buy a stainless steel mug, bottle, or any container, and keep it with you anywhere you go. These can be refilled and reused for a long time.
- Carry small bamboo-made utensils: Keeping small-sized utensils made from bamboo in your purse or your go-to places is another step in reducing your reliance on plastics. These utensils are reusable, biodegradable, and you can buy them in easy-to-carry holders.
- Say ‘No’ to plastic gifts with purchase (toys) when buying fast food: Many food chains offer gifts with kids’ meals and customer behaviour can drive food chains to rethink these practices, such as the recent decision by McDonalds to phase out plastic toys in Happy Meals.
- Switch to fresh juices rather than preserved beverages: Preserved beverages, with their plastic holders, also contribute to plastic pollution. You can always switch to fresh juices that are more hygienic and reduce plastic waste. The fast food giant hopes the effort will save more than 3,000 metric tonnes of plastic at its UK business from 2021.
- Start buying fresh bread, fruits and meat from nearby markets: You can always treat yourself with healthy and fresh food by buying from local vendors and farmers’ markets. This reduces plastic waste naturally.
- Start buying in bulk: you can team up with your friends or family and start buying your grocery and other items in bulk. This is not only cost-effective but reduces plastic packaging.
- Use scrubbers and cleaners made from clothes: Clean your floors, furniture and general household with reusable clothes rather than one-time use plastic scrubbers.
- Prefer rubber gloves: Rubber gloves are a perfect alternative for you to choose over plastic gloves, as the former are reusable.
- Discontinue using products that come in plastic packaging: Almost every product we buy comes in plastic packaging. You can change that by preferring tinned and metallic packed products from eco-friendly brands.
- Switch to natural detergents and home-made spices: Freshly produced things at home are always the most hygienic, cost-effective, healthy, and fresh eco-friendly choice as you go plastic-free in 2021.
- Stainless steel cookware: Prefer cookware made of stainless steel that is more durable and cheaper than the non-stick and glass cookware.
- Plastic-free cosmetics: Buy your cosmetic products from reliable eco-friendly brands that provide enough information about the organic ingredients added to the product.
- Cloth wraps for food: Wrap your food in clean cloth wraps that are reusable and plastic-free.
- Second-hand electronics, toys, etc.: You can always buy everyday products, where sustainable alternatives are not easily available, from second-hand sources to help to reduce plastic pollution.
- Buy from eco-ware markets that sell recyclable products: Prefer sustainable markets and brands, such as ecowaremarket.com, over other markets and say no to anything that constitutes plastic, wherever possible.
- Learn to DIY: You can prepare some eatables and products like soymilk, condiments and snacks for yourself as such practices are healthier, cost-efficient, and more sustainable.
- Repair when things break: You can always repair products when they break or reuse them for certain other purposes. The Internet is filled with many such ideas of repairing and reusing almost everything!