Welcome to my new blog! I’ve been unsure of delving into the ‘blogging’ world, but today it seemed like a fun idea so here we are! This blog will be all about how to live a life that is in tune with you and the environment - ways to be happier, deal with stress, yummy healthy vegan recipes, and today’s topic about how to expel plastic from our lives.
Plastic is insidious in so many ways. I feel that my generation (I’m a 90’s kid fyi) grew up surrounded by plastic EVERYTHING, and even though I have been aware of its environmental impacts for a long time, it has taken me a while to really realize exactly how much I use every day. From plastic bags, to cling wrap, to drink bottles, it’s EVERYWHERE. And the ocean thinks so too!
With 50% of plastic being used only once before being thrown away, the level of plastic in our environment is now catastrophic. Google the ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’. Shocking stuff. If you need a visual representation of where our plastic ends up, check out this video:
Now to the less depressing, action-y part - every single person uses plastic (except for those ‘Zero Waste’ geniuses), so every single person can reduce their plastic use! I’m not going to say “throw out every plastic thing in your house immediately!”, there is a purpose to the order of the well-known slogan: ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’. There are some things you can choose to do right now if you’re ready for it, and the rest can happen later down the track, when funds allow or the cling wrap has run out.
I have mentioned a few products below, which I personally use and love, and I am in no way affiliated with any of the companies mentioned in this post.
EASY WAYS TO SAY GOODBYE TO PLASTIC
1. Reusable Water Bottle
I promise it’s not gross. You can wash them you know! If plastic is not bio-degrading, and if everyone uses one or more plastic ‘disposable’ drink bottles everyday…. you can do the math of how many are out there. There are plenty of reusable drink bottles on the market, from glass to stainless steel and more. I take my drink bottle with me everywhere, it is very easy and will have a huge impact in reducing the number of plastic disposable water bottles.
2. Reusable Coffee Cup
Discounted coffee/chai AND a cool cup? Well yeh – I received a personalized ‘Keep Cup’ as a gift years ago and never looked back. Keep your eyes peeled for environmentally-minded cafes that offer discounts when you bring your own coffee cup!
3. Revolutionize Your Grocery Shop!
You are going to look like a raging hippy at the grocery store, I’m not going to lie. But it’s for a good cause. And maybe now that you've started reading this post, you already are a raging hippy? Who truly knows. Here are some options:
Reusable Produce Bags:
I have recently purchased some of these by ‘Onyalife’, and they are amazing! How have I been using those rectangular, single use, supermarket plastic devils all this time without realizing there was an alternative! Well I can’t slap myself in the past so it’s all good. They are strong, plentiful (I have a pack of 8), and I felt pretty cool filling one up with loose cherries I admit.
Side note: if you have an obsession like me, that everything in the fridge needs to be in a bag or it will go off, check out ‘The Swag’, which can be purchased from the amazing people at ‘Nourished Life’. No joke, my strawberries lasted 4 times as long in one of these things. Great for waste, fridge organization, and downright freshness!
Reusable Shopping Bags:
All you need is a few (or 5+ if you’re shopping for a family) and you’re set. Sturdy bags that I always overfill, and they still never break. They come in so many lovely designs, you will never want to touch those dreadful plastic bags, that cut into your fingers, again! Just Google ‘reusable shopping bag’ and you’ll find your soulmate bag.
Say no to stupid Supermarket packaging:
2 capsicums. Do they need to be packaged on a foam board and then smothered in cling wrap? What? Not only is it a waste of time, for whoever does this as a job, but it is such a waste of plastic that I can’t even…..simple solution – don’t buy them. Go on a journey in search of those ‘free’ capsicums and never turn back. Pop them in your reusable produce bags, and you will have two new friends for life (or until you eat them).
4. Bulk Buying
Yep, you may need some extra storage space but it’s worth it, trust me! Not only will you save money, but think of all the small plastic bags you use regularly at the supermarket just for a tiny packet of dates or nuts! Besides buying online, there are also many local shops that offer ‘bulk bins’ these days, take a container, or even a paper bag, and fill away! Saving your old jars (like those tall passata bottles) is a huge help as well, they are ready to be reused and filled with yummy staples. I realise it is easier for me to buy in bulk, having a food business and all, but there are so many places that offer bulk dry good for retail customers!
5. Wax Wraps to Replace Cling Wrap
‘Wrappa’ have recently launched their new ‘Vegan Wraps’. All you need to do is use the warmth of your hands for a second to mould the wrap around whatever half eaten item you need to save from oxygenation and put it in the fridge - like the half avo, half pineapple or half demolished block of vegan cheese I have wrapped up in the fridge currently.
6. More Fresh Produce!
Anything that isn’t fresh, is going to be packaged! We all know this! Try and eat as much fresh veggies, salads, fruit etc. and both your body & the environment will send you a thank you card! I have recently developed some easy recipes to replace staples in the home, aiming to reduce packaging and increase nutrition. Things like almond milk, tomato sauce etc. I’m sure I’ll post some recipes in future blogs. But it is SO EASY.
I think that is enough of a read for now! I know some of these things need to be purchased, but you crafty people can come up with ‘do-it-yourself’ versions if need be (i.e. stitching some mesh material together to create DIY reusable produce bags). The money you will save by buying in bulk, buying fresh instead of packaged, and long-lived veggies (i.e. via ‘The Swag’ = less produce thrown away) will more than make up for this initial investment. I would like to live in a world that is not over-run by plastic, swim in clean oceans and go to bed knowing that our wildlife, whether they live on the land, in the sea or in the air, are not being suffocated by my plastic choices. How about you?