So, you’re thinking about living a plastic-free lifestyle? That’s great news! Plastic, although it can be quite a useful material, has shown that it’s doing more harm than good to our environment. Of course, anything that is used incorrectly can end up harming the planet, but plastic has been gathering some bad press for quite some time.
Whether your reason for cutting out plastic is helping wildlife, living a more sustainable life, or just wanting to consume less temporary items. Any reason is a good reason because your actions will have a positive impact on the planet. But if you’re wondering where to start, these 4 quick tips will help you.
Take note of where you use plastic in your home. This may take a while so it’s best to go around the house room by room. Make a physical list of everything you purchase that is plastic. You don’t need to include items that you rarely buy for example a TV remote.
Although it is made from plastic, it’s not something you buy regularly and it does serve a purpose - it often comes with the TV anyway. But add things to your lists like food packaging, plastic bottles, clingfilm and other items that you may regularly purchase in the supermarket.
Once you’ve successfully completed your plastic audit in your home, it’s time to look outside your home. It might be in your garden where you discover multiple plastic flowerpots, plastic garden ornaments, or plastic labels for your herb garden. Don’t forget that going out of the home also includes being on the go. What plastic items do you regularly see yourself picking up?
If you go to a cafe in the morning, are you purchasing items that contain plastic such as sauce sachets for a bacon bun, or a plastic lid on your morning cup of coffee? These small plastic items are small, but vital when it comes to creating a realistic plastic list.
After you’ve noted down all the plastic in your home, outside of it and on the go you’ll have a sufficient and probably very large list of items to avoid. Just being aware of where you buy plastic is a great starting point because it will prompt you to think twice before buying them again. What get’s measured get’s managed, so let’s start managing that list.
Simply saying ‘don’t buy that again’ isn’t sufficient enough to create a sustainable change. It’s time to find alternatives. Go down the list and see where you can substitute items. For example, instead of a plastic hand sanitiser for being on the go, you can use a refill solution from Purdy & Figg. When you have found a suitable plastic-free replacement for the majority of your items you’re onto the final phase.
There will undoubtedly be items on your list that you cannot find a suitable replacement for. As advanced as the consumer industry is, not all items have a non-plastic replacement yet. When it comes to those items that you regularly purchase but cannot find a suitable plastic-free substitute for, start to consider if they need to be in your life. For example, there’s a particular cleaner that you sparingly use, you can’t find a plastic-free or refill solution for it, so now is the time to consider whether you really need it. If the item disappeared would you miss it?
Follow these steps and you’ll soon be living a plastic-free lifestyle. Remember these changes don’t have to happen overnight. Take your time making new purchases to ensure you make habits you can stick to.