An article in Positive News inspired me to write about some of the ways I’ve reduced single-use plastic in my life. A quote from an interview in Positive News with Christiana Figueres stuck with me after reading. Christiana is former UN climate chief, head of Mission 2020, and tireless advocate for curbing carbon emissions. She says to save the planet from global warming ‘we must be relentlessly optimistic’.
Climate change is often reported as doom and gloom. With scary predictions for the future and massive impacts on the world’s weather, it’s hard to remember that our choices count and we can make a difference. I’ve been challenging myself to make a new environmentally friendly change in my life every month this year. Ditching plastic shopping bags, and buying loose fruit and vegetables when possible have helped alongside the following ways:
1. Chilly’s Bottle for cold water on-the-go
I’d been trying to avoid buying single use plastic bottles of water, thinking that I could get away with just drinking water at home and at work. But after some very thirsty commutes and day trips, I knew I needed a reusable water bottle. The trouble was, with so many reusable bottles on the market it was hard to decide which one to get.
I love the pretty pastel colour, the simple stylish design, and that fact it keeps my water cold for hours
My husband, who probably saw how dehydrated I was, solved my dilemma and gave me a Chilly’s stainless steel water bottle for Christmas (thank you!). I love the pretty pastel colour, the simple stylish design, and that fact it keeps my water cold for hours. (I’m going to be so refreshed and smug in summer!)
I’ve saved so much money on drinks refilling my bottle, and I definitely drink a lot more water than I used to. Chilly’s also sell sleek yet similarly rugged reusable tumblers and food pots with some awesome designs – only decision left to make is which colour to get!
2. Mooncup for environmentally friendly periods
Apologies if this is a bit TMI, but using a Mooncup feels like it has changed my life and I want to spread the word!
I’ve been using my Mooncup for nearly a year. It’s transformed my period from 6 days of feeling uncomfortable, unclean, and a bit awkward ducking out to go to the loo with my bag, to an absolute breeze. Nowadays I don’t need to remember to stock up on different absorbency pads and tampons; do a last-minute run to the shops; or worry about leaks. It took a bit of practice to begin with, but now using a Mooncup feels natural and so comfortable I forget I’m even using one.
I never thought I could be so passionate about my period but just knowing I’m avoiding chucking a load of plastic into landfill every month feels incredible.
The environmental benefits of a Mooncup are undeniable. Tampons and pads create a crazy amount of waste and cost £1,200 on average during your life. Mooncups are reusable, cost £20 and last a lifetime! I never thought I could be so passionate about my period but just knowing I’m avoiding chucking a load of plastic into landfill every month feels incredible. The words ‘menstrual cup’ still makes me shudder; I haven’t turned into a massive hippy, but I can’t imagine ever going back to disposable sanitary products. In conclusion, Mooncups are better for our bodies, our bank balances and the environment!
3. Beeswax Wraps to reduce kitchen waste
As I’ve been trying to reduce my food waste, I’ve been storing more leftovers. I can’t fit loads of Tupperware in my small fridge. The freezer compartment that basically only has room for a lonely bag of peas! So I end up popping cling film over little bowls, or putting things in resealable plastic bags. Not ideal for reducing waste! My mum introduced me to Beeswax Wraps a couple of months ago. Now, I’ve nearly waved goodbye to single-use plastic in the kitchen completely.
The colourful designs of the Beeswax Wraps brighten up clearing up after dinner, and there’s no more faffing around trying to find the end of a roll of cling film.
Beeswax Wraps are a frankly adorable alternative to clingfilm. Made out of 100% cotton, coated in beeswax and pine resin, Beeswax Wraps do everything cling film does and more. They cover bowls and plates; they can be made into pouches and boxes to store and keep food fresh. You can even use them as a piping bag (not something I’ve been brave enough to try yet!)
The colourful designs of the Beeswax Wraps brighten up clearing up after dinner, and there’s no more faffing around trying to find the end of a roll of cling film. The only downside is that they’re opaque, and I can’t peer through to check what’s inside like I used to. The wraps feel slightly sticky and seal themselves with the warmth of your hand. They are really easy to rinse quickly in the sink, and dry out fast. I’ve been lusting after some of the pretty patterns on their online shop. In fact, I see myself cooking bigger meals as an excuse to buy some more soon!
Inspiring people who’ve shared ways they reduce plastic:
Lucy from Shiny Thoughts wrote a magnificent post about ways to reduce your environmental footprint from food waste and packaging.
Rosie from Cider with Rosie wrote about her experience of switching from disposable nappies to reusable cloth nappies for her daughter.
Easy to do ideas to reduce single-use plastic in The Guardian article, ‘Is it possible to live without plastic?’ article. I like the idea of taking along an empty container for the butchers/deli rather than have food specially wrapped in plastic. A real easy win!
What ways have you reduced plastic in your life? I’d love to hear in the comments.