I’ve spoken a lot on here before about my choice to live a cruelty-free lifestyle for the animals and the learning curve that came with it – but life has become even more complicated. The simple things we used to take for granted are stacking up against us and affecting the world that we live in. As heavy as it sounds, we’re facing a humanitarian and planetary crisis. The enormity of the issue seems so much greater than we are, so what impact could our choices possibly make in the grand scheme of things? The answer is – a lot. The little things we do, the little changes we implement right now can turn this around and accelerate the healing that needs to take place on Mother Earth.
You don’t need to make enormous changes right away, with the right education we’ll all get there soon. But you CAN make smaller decisions that will have a snowball effect and help you to contribute less to the ever-growing issue of plastic and waste. So here are a few changes I’ve made in my life to dial down my personal plastic consumption; maybe they will inspire you too:
Invest in Metal, Glass or Bamboo Straws
If you haven’t seen the video of the turtle with the straw up its nose, then you must live underground. It enraged people on a viral scale and helped to highlight the damage such a seemingly innocent tool we all use, can make. National Geographic estimates that 4.4 billion straws are used and discarded in the UK alone, with the majority ending up in our oceans or landfill. Many companies have made big leaps to eradicate them for good, but you can help the cause by switching to a sustainable and reusable alternative. Just one person can save over 500 pieces of plastic from ending up in the sea by investing in the alternatives.
Ditch The Facial Wipes
Approximately 60% of a facial/baby wipe is made from non-biodegradable plastics and in the UK, the BBC reported that 93% of blocked sewers in the UK were caused by wet wipes. With 5453 being recovered from a 116 square-meter radius of the River Thames in 2018. So it makes me shudder to think the actual total if they were to comb the entire river. We use them for convenience, but our options extend WAY beyond a cheap grab back from the drug store. Save yourself money and reduce your waste by switching to reusable, washable, sustainable alternatives such as these bamboo facial wipes by EcoPanda. Not only are they plastic waste-free and 100% eco-friendly, but they are anti-fungal, anti-microbial and a gentle exfoliator for the skin. What’s not to love?
Switch to Menstrual Cups or Washable Pads
Hear me out, because I know this one may take a little more persuasion than the rest. Feminine hygiene products are FULL of non-biodegradable plastics and chemicals. In fact, 90% of sanitary towels are plastic. And an individual will get through around 11,000 of these products in a lifetime (that’s roughly 125-150kgs worth of tampons, pads and applicators) that will all end up in landfill or the sea. If you multiply that by the total number of people who use these products and the numbers are absolutely huge.
I switched to a menstrual cup about 2yrs ago, and it has literally changed my life. The benefits far outweigh the initial “urghhh” thought I am absolutely positive you are having right now. A quick web search, a small investment and a little practice and you will save yourself a significant amount of money in the long run and radically cut your plastic waste.
Try Out Shampoo Bars
With only 9% of the plastic that has ever been made being recycled, cutting back where ever you can make all the difference in your carbon footprint. Truth be told, this is a recent thing for my household, and I’m absolutely loving them. Grüum very kindly sent me some of their products to try, and their hår shampoo bar was part of the package. It doesn’t look like much and having never tried them before I was a little sceptical. But I was pleasantly surprised to find they lather like a dream, made my hair feel amazing and lasts twice as long as a bottle with none of the waste. And, oh my word, the smell. It’s like rubbing chocolate all over my hair. It’s gorgeous. Even my husband prefers it and has agreed that they’ll become a staple item in our house.
Use Those Bags For Life
The average reusable bag has a lifespan equal to that of more than 700 disposable plastic bags. But with just one person switching to its friendly counter-part, they could remove more than 22,000 plastic bags from the environment! It’s the most simple and one of the most important changes you can make. Just remember to follow the words of that wonderful Tim Minchin song, and “take your canvas bags to the supermarket”.
There are tonnes of other ways to reduce your plastic waste, but these are by far the easiest ways to do this on a daily basis. If we all work together and take these baby steps into making more sustainable choices now our planet and the environment will thank us later.
I would love to hear about all the things you’re doing to cut down on your plastic waste. Please let me know in the comments below!
Until next time ♡