Did you know that the world produces over 300 million tonnes of plastic every year? Even more shocking is the fact that 50% of this will only ever be used once 🤯
This holiday season, and in support of #NothingNewNovember, we want to take a moment to spotlight the importance of being a conscious consumer and buying only what you need. So, let’s kick things off with a list from Team Ethique of things we no longer buy for a greener planet.
1. Takeaway coffee in a disposable cup
I love a barista made coffee more than anyone else (bets off) but have made a hard rule - if I forget my reusable cup, I either have to dine in and have a coffee in a proper cup, or skip it altogether!
Takeaway cups are often unrecyclable and non-compostable due to the plastic liners inside. Opting for a reusable option is better for the planet and for you since you won’t be ingesting all those micro-plastics. Ick!
But, I also know how tricky it can be to remember your own reusable cup! Aside from my daily mantra "I must remember my reusable cup, I must remember my reusable cup", our top tip would be to keep it somewhere you will remember to grab it before you head out the door. Don’t be afraid to get creative with what your reusable cup of choice is. Ceramics, glass, a thermal tumbler or even jars work a treat. If your workplace is using disposal cups, why not take your own cup to work? Pro tip: the most sustainable reusable cup is the one you already own.
2. Prepackaged herbs
Dust off those gardening gloves and get planting! Save time, money and level up on your gourmet dishes by planting fresh herbs in your garden or small plant pots for your apartment. Not only that but you’ll also be saving on single-use packaging. My favourite herb to grow is parsley or rosemary – it's like the peace lily of herbs and you'll have green thumbs in no time!
If you do find yourself reaching for dried herbs, opt for ones from the bulk food store where you can bring your own container to fill or opt for dried herbs packaged in paper/cardboard (with no sneaky plastic liners!).
3. Plastic in the bathroom
It's crazy to think that only 9% of all plastic ever made has been recycled! Once you #giveupthebottle with our plastic-free range of conscious and concentrated bars, you won't look back.
4. Packaged dog treats
Instead of buying packaged dog treats, I’ve simply started baking my own! I can buy most of the ingredients from the bulk food store to cut down on packaging waste and I know exactly what goodies I’m giving to my dogs, Nando and Murphy.
I use this recipe from ‘The Great British Bake-off' but there are loads of recipes online to keep our furry pals happy 🐶
5. Reusable bags!
Help! In a bid to stop buying single-use bags, I seem to have accumulated far too many reusable bags!
Much like the 'no reusable cup, no takeaway coffee pledge’, I’ve made a hard rule never to buy another reusable bag ever again. After all, the best bag is the one you already own. To help, I try to always have a reusable bag on hand, keep a spare one near my front door, in my car, bike, or my bag.
6. Baking paper
Silicone baking sheets which last ages and can be easily washed/reused are a fab option. Otherwise my favourite alternative is to simply wash my dirty pans between each use – easy!
7. Wet Wipes!
I’ve declared “death to sheet masks and wet wipes!”. They’re made from non-compostable, un-recyclable, non-biodegradable materials and most of them are also made from cotton, that great super-polluter.
8. New magazines and books
Magazines and shiny catalogues commonly contain a plastic coating that prevents them from being compostable. Instead of buying new magazines or books, I borrow from my local library, read them on an e-reader or shop second hand. It’s an easy switch that means I can enjoy reading while lightening my impact on the planet.
9. Single-use decorations
Reusable decorations that can reuse and repurpose for years to come are an easy swap. Other options of course include compostable decorations or busting out your DIY skills and getting crafty.
10. Individually wrapped lollipops & candies
And any other lollies wrapped in single-use plastic which often end up in landfill (if we’re lucky that is, otherwise they end up in our oceans). Instead, I’ve started buying candy in bulk from my local bulk food store or baking up a storm to satisfy my sweet tooth 😋
What are some things you have stopped buying recently?