Four Small And Easy Ways To Use Less Plastic

If there is one thing that I am allergic to using, it is plastic. This amounts to two things:

Firstly, I become brutally aware of how often it is used without being needed. Sometimes this is caused by yourself and throwing a plastic drinks bottle away after using it one time. Other times, it's not even your fault because super market insists that selling forks in bundles of 12 isn't enough but each needs to be wrapped into plastic individually.

Secondly, I know how long it takes for plastic to decompose - it takes at least 450 years*! Which is far longer than I would have guessed. This means that the plastic baggy that was carelessly discarded on the beach is going to swim in the ocean for almost half a century before it can't be bothered anymore.

Given that this is a well-known issue there are various initiatives. Last year, I ran for the ocean - which is a yearly event. However, this year I could have only cycled for the oceans. While trying to ban every type of plastic in your life is a nobel goal, it is also an unrealistic one. Furthermore, it often feels a bit extreme to stop using q-tips and start feeling guilty for having to use a plastic bag to buy your veggies.

Thus, I compiled a small list of four easy and simple ways to reduce your plastic usage that doesn't involve blue-sky thinking!

Use a bar of soap 

... instead of bottle soap or shower gel.

For one, the bottles are made from plastic and cannot be re-used in any capacity. Even if your soap bar is wrapped in plastic that is still less than the one used for bottles - even then you would reduce your consumption a bit here and there.

However, the biggest issue I have with bottle soap is the micro plastic in it. It is used to keep the it liquid and make it colourful or shiny. This then gets into the environment which is harmful to it. On top of this, you wouldn't want to eat this type of plastic, so why rub it into your skin?

This is not only going to make travelling by plane easier but it is one of the easiest ways to reduce plastic in your household.


Bring your own bag for shopping 


Instead of always taking a new bag when you buy a few groceries.

A paper bag is a really nice option, you can keep it hidden until the very last moment and it often feels more comfortable when you have to carry it through the train station. Furthermore, it is easier to store at home. Then you can proceed to use it as long as possible. If you have the option, you can also use your grandmother's shopping basket.

Sometimes you can't really avoid the small plastic bag - in Austria you have to weigh your fruit with it and sadly, there is no getting around it. In that case ...


... re-use plastic shopping bags as bin baggies


The plastic baggies you have to buy your fruit in is the perfect size for a pedal bin that I have in my bathrooms. This way the plastic is not entirely wasted and you do not have to buy an impossibly hard to find bin bag that can take around 5 liters of make-up wipes, tampons, q-tips, bog roll rolls ...

Re-use glas and/or plastic bottles


Glas bottles are your preferred friend, they can be re-cycled (cue: Pfand) and are easier to re-use. If you are able to drink the water that comes from the taps, then you can re-fill it as many times as you wish. Personally, I use one big bottle per week at home - then they return into the big halls of the Pfand machine.

In addition to this I have a few "on the go" bottles as well. Voss sells water in glass bottles that are easy to carry. If you wash it from time to time and make sure it remains clean, this bottle can be used for a year - and still counting. There are option a bigger 0,8ml one and a smaller 375 ml.

While Germany has Pfand on plastic bottles, Austria does not. I know that sometimes plastic bottles are more practical. I was never able to road trip with glas bottles because they just do not fit into the cup-holder. It is also a bit heavy to carry a 1 liter glass bottle to the lake side. Even then, you can re-use plastic bottles. For my road trip to Stuttgart and the Austrian GP I had collected a lot of plastic water bottles and I decided to use them later for the European Le Mans Series.

However, when it comes to re-using plastic bottles there is a limit. When you use them regularly, then I wouldn't do it longer than a week and I'd watch out for a distinctive smell - you know the one. If it sticks even after you washed it out, bin the bottle!

Re-using one plastic bottle for a week, still leads to less plastic consumption than always taking a new one!


These are the four ways how I reduced the plastic consumption in my house-hold! They're easy and do not require a lot of effort.

Do you have any other tricks? Then feel free to share them in the comments! 



Sources:
* https://www.thebalancesmb.com/

8 comments :

  1. I've actually started putting multiple bags in my handbag to make sure I don't have to buy other bags! I have amazing fabric bags too!
    Love, Amie ❤
    The Curvaceous Vegan

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    Replies
    1. I have one fabric bag as well but sadly it's not very big and I do my shopping only once a week. Thus I started to use a bigger made out of paper :)

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  2. Wow! I never knew it took 450 years for plastic to decompose, that’s crazy! This is such an important post with so many great suggestions. I always keep a canvas bag in my handbag in case I need any last minute shopping. Reusing plastic bags for pedal bins is such a great way to be resourceful. Thank you for sharing your ideas <3 xx

    Bexa | www.hellobexa.com

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  3. Some lovely ideas! I especially like the idea of using a bar of soap - there are some really lovely ethical ones out there and it really is a simple switch from shower gel! I read somewhere that using silver foil instead of cling film is much more eco-friendly as silver foil can be recycled!

    Milenka x
    Blushing Lately

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't know that! Thanks for letting me know :)

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  4. 450 years, wow. I knew it was a very long time but I had no idea it was that long. It's awful how much packaging is involved in things that you can't control. Supermarkets bagging fruits and vegetables, ordering something that comes in a box 10x bigger than you need then stuffed with plastic so the product doesn't break. It's something I'm becoming increasingly aware of. Thanks for the tips on how to cut down x

    Sophie
    www.glowsteady.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it's what annoys me the most if I am honest. Thank you for reading and leaving a comment!

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