I’ve always felt quite pleased with myself when it comes to recycling and looking after the environment. I always looked at our fit-to-bursting recycling bin and feel chuffed that I was doing so well. Have you been the same?
But is recycling enough? Should we be so pleased with ourselves?
I’ve realised recently, with all of the documentaries that have come out, that no, we shouldn’t be so smug at all. In fact, we should be downright disappointed in ourselves for creating all of that waste in the first place.
Damn. Damn and double damn.
You must have seen all of the news recently, with plastic oceans spreading far and wide and the realisation that much of the plastic we use isn’t recyclable at all.
It made me feel so sad seeing it all. I just didn’t realise how bad it had become.
And I can’t contribute to that any more.
Not one minute more.
And the I’m guessing the fact you are reading this means you feel the same?
It isn’t easy going plastic free
I made a bold decision a few weekends ago, rolling over in bed to announce to my husband that I wouldn’t be buying plastic anymore. The next day I took myself down to the supermarket to get our weekly shop and had a shocking realisation.
Plastic is everywhere.
Biscuits come in plastic. Pasta comes in plastic bags. Drinks come in plastic bottles.
Everythingggggg comes in plastic!
And once you see it, you can’t un-see it.
It is time to go old-school.
But that is quite a leap for those of us who are used to buying and consuming everything we want, when we want. Right?
We’ve been trying our best and I wanted to share what we have been doing so far so that it might inspire you to try it too.
7 easy swaps to get started with straight away
- Swap plastic bags for a canvas tote.
- Swap packaged bread for a loaf from the bakery (or bakery aisle) and ask for a paper bag.
- Swap packaged fruit and veg for the unwrapped pick-your-own section.
- Take your Tupperware to the butchers (or meat counter) for your weekly shop.
- Use a reusable coffee cup instead of the cardboard/plastic takeaway cups they provide.
- Buy second-hand. Reusing is the new brand new, didn’t you know?
- Stop using bin bags
And when you are ready for more…
- Make your own. Make biscuits, chips, pancakes… anything you like!
- Switch to reusable nappies and save 2000+ nappies from ending up in landfill every year.
- Buy bars of soap/shampoo/body wash instead of the liquid in plastic bottles.
- Use washable sanitary pads or a cup each month. It isn’t as gross as it sounds I promise.
- Use washable wipes instead of baby wipes. They are soon to be banned anyway so get a head start now!
- Swap your Sellotape for some masking tape or washi tape.
- Instead of using clingfilm, try some beeswax wraps.
- Buy from bulk bins as much as possible. See if you have any zero waste shops near you and take your jars and bottles down and fill them up from large bins.
Here is a video I have done if you’re a more visual person…
I have been documenting my journey on Instagram Stories and so many of you have mentioned the money side of things.
I hear you.
Buying from greengrocers and butchers may well cost more. But for me it is simple. I would rather spend a little more and know that I am not lining the pockets of the supermarket giants who couldn’t care less about the planet. But, I have also realised that a lot of frozen (and cheaper) food comes in cardboard so there is an alternative.
Something I have been doing is spending 10 minutes a week doing a meal plan, meaning I buy exactly what I need. Some of the food may cost more but I won’t be so quick to waste any of it.
I have also just decided that for many things, I would rather go without completely. Because let’s face it, most of the prepackaged food is junk anyway. The money I save by not buying junk can go towards quality meat and veg.
So who’s with me?
I would love to hear your experiences so do comment below or message me on social to let me know any great shops you’ve found or any tips for making the swaps necessary to be plastic free.