How to reduce the single use plastic in your life
Plastic, plastic, everywhere. It's around the food we buy, the UPS delivery you receive and super sadly, it's in the food we eat.
Unless you've been hiding under a rock, you'll have seen the headlines... Floating trash islands, a seahorse clutching onto an ear bud, a turtle that's literally grown around a set of beer rings. As sad as they are to see, we're glad to feel there is some awareness being brought around the issue. We're particularly stoked to see the amount of people in Falmouth - and the whole of Cornwall - getting involved in the movement to eradicate single use plastic from their lives.
Plastic is a fantastic material - it keeps medical supplied sterile, it's an essential building block in many of the electronics we use daily and in the right forms, it lasts for years and years being used over and over again. But, plastic water bottles? Pre peeled oranges in plastic clam shells? A single pod of coffee, enjoyed and gone in a second, but in a landfill for millennia to come? Not so fantastic.
Kernow Adventure Park have made a pledge to rid our company, where possible, of single use plastics. We've become a hub for Plastic Free Falmouth and while we've always had these values in mind, we're going to be shouting about it a whole lot more. Anything to make this movement snowball.
So, what can you do on a personal level to reduce the single use plastics in your life?
Say no to straws
A real easy first step is to get into the habit of asking for drinks without straws. Many establishments (us included), have long banned the straw, but there's just as many that will automatically stick one (or two!) into every drink you purchase. Get into the habit of saying no straw when you order and learn how to make the request in a few languages for when you travel.
Buy a refillable water bottle
Single-use water bottles are an ecological nightmare. Even if you fill it up again, you're risking harmful chemical components leaching into your water and doing who knows what to your insides. Purchase a refillable glass or metal bottle and get in the habit of taking it out with you.
Say no to single-use plastic bags
We get it, it’s annoying carrying about canvas bags, bags for life only seem to get one use. And it seems to be nearly impossible to remember to put them back in the boot of your car after you bring your shopping in. But just like nearly everything else on this list, once you get into the habit of carrying your own shopping bags, you won’t be able to believe you didn’t do it before.
Buy fruit and veg that’s not plastic wrapped
Sadly, it’s a little more expensive, to shop this way, but supermarkets want to be the place you choose to shop, so I’m confident it won’t be long until they climb on board and make this the way to shop if we show them that’s what we want.
Carry your own cutlery
I bet if you look in your pockets, your handbag, backpack or laptop case, you’ll find all sorts of stuff you don’t need. Replace it with something you do need and make a pledge to keep a set of cutlery on you for eating on the move. Wooden chopsticks are a great option, keep them after that cheeky takeaway, or if you’ve already got some plastic knives or forks floating around in your drawer, pledge to make them your out and about utensils – just make sure you wash them and replace for next time.
Bulk buy things like grains, pasta, sugar and cleaning supplies and store it in more usable Kilner jars or recycled jam jars. If storage is an issue, get together with some friends and put an order in together – it’ll probably work out cheaper too.
Think about things like loo roll
‘Who gives a crap’, is a company that you can order boxes of loo roll from, with absolutely no plastic wrapping. They also donate 50% of their profits to help build toilets for those in need. Give a crap and get involved.
Pack lunch different
If your daily lunch is full of plastic wrappers, sandwich bags and crisp bags, have a think about how you’re wrapping up your food for the day. Use reusable waxed clothes or containers to store food and leftovers, buy or make bigger portions of treats so they can be chopped and stored in reusable containers and don’t forget fruit often comes in a handy natural wrapping of its own.
Return reusable containers
If you shop at farmers markets or get your eggs from a local farmer, return the containers once you’re done and they can be used over and over again.
Skip convenience food
Supermarket sandwiches, single portion snacks and fast food restaurants are sometimes a necessity. However, they’re a big no-no if you’re trying to reduce the plastic in your life. Where you can prepare and pack your own food and snacks, for tastier sustenance without the packaging.
Whether you’re a smoker or you need to light a fire, when it comes to getting lit, choose matches over disposable lighters. These cheap tools sit in the landfill for years, so consider replacing them with their friendly wooden counterparts instead.
Bring your own container
Where possible bring your own containers for anything you might want to take away. By all means, treat yourself to that slice of cake at home, but try to bring your own glass wear to take away. There are all sorts of travel mugs on the market these days and a lot of hot drinks companies now offer a discount to those who bring their own mug. Save some pennies while you help save the world!
Have you got any other great ideas for getting rid of single-use plastic in your life? We’d love to hear them 😂Š