Quick wins to eliminate plastic in the home
Few of us failed to be moved by last year’s The Blue Planet II and its disturbing scenes of the ocean. Jam-packed with discarded plastic, it served as a wake-up call for all of us.
We don’t want to put our planet in peril, thanks to our actions. Plastic is everywhere. Unfortunately, the stuff lasts forever. Those shopping bags will outlive all of us.
The consumer can help by choosing long-lasting products that are natural, such as bamboo. In your garden, for example, bamboo can be used for planters, fencing and screens instead of plastic.
But what else can we do to keep plastic out of our homes?
- Check your food packaging. Plastic containers, wrapping and bottles are everywhere. Choose products in recyclable materials if possible and store leftovers in bowls and tins instead of plastic boxes.
- Don’t buy bottled water and forgo fizzy drinks if you can.
- Give up your takeaway coffee habit. There are some coffee shops which will provide cheaper coffee if you bring your own cup.
- Buy fresh bread in paper bags.
- Treat yourself to an ice-cream cone. Instead of storing tubs of ice-cream in the freezer, buy yourself a cone from time to time. This helps keep your consumption of the sugary, creamy stuff down too!
- Keep plastic off your face. A Spring Watch investigation a few years ago revealed that otter excrement contained plastic beads. Where do they come from? Body and face scrubs use plastic beads as exfoliants. Choose products that use natural ingredients, such as apricot shells, instead. A home-made version is to use brown sugar and olive oil as a body scrub.
- Give up frozen convenience foods. Almost all of them come in excessive plastic packaging.
- Drink wine in bottles which are stoppered by a proper cork. Plastic corks contribute to waste and screw lids contain BPAs. The website Corkwatch keeps a list of wine companies that use cork from sustainable plantations.
- Rethink the products we use. Did you know you can now buy bamboo toothbrushes? Yes, instead of plastic, a bamboo toothbrush is 100 percent compostable and biodegradable.