20+ easy ways to reduce single-use plastic
Plastic free July is a global movement to reduce plastic pollution, where people all around the world make even more of a concious effort to reduce their plastic-use throughout the month of July.
Start by following the simple tips below. It is almost impossible to be 100% ‘plastic-free’ so just remember that every habit and action you choose adds up and can have a positive impact on the environment.
We all love food… but when it comes to buying, storing and eating food, we can all make more eco-friendly choices and say no to single use plastic.
Continue reading for some simple, affordable (and free!) ways to reduce your plastic-use this Plastic Free July
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Here we go…
20 ways to eat & drink without single-use plastic
- Bring a jar with you for takeaway smoothies juices etc.
If you don’t have a reusable cup, use your empty jars (from peanut butter, jam, pasta sauces etc.) wash them out well and bring them with you when you plan on buying drinks on the go! Just kindly ask the worker if they can use the jar for your drink instead of their takeaway cup. (Most places will even give you a discount for bringing your own cup!)
- BYO container or bowl when ordering food to takeaway
Same as above, most places will gladly let you BYO containers for takeaway food too. (I love bringing these natural coconut bowls, spoons, forks and knives with me everywhere to use instead of single-use takeaway containers – Click to shop coconutbowls.com *)
*(Thankyou for your support when shopping through the affiliate link above x)
- Ask for no straw in your drink & bring your own reusable straw instead
- Store your leftovers in reusable containers instead of using plastic wrap
This one is pretty self explanatory. You can buy reusable food wraps made from silicone or wax, to help keep your food fresh and prevent spoilage but it will last even longer inside an airtight food container with a proper lid/seal.
- Choose the loose produce at the supermarket instead of those wrapped in plastic packaging
Pick out your own single pieces of fruit and vegetables instead of buying the bundles of veg packaged in plastic. This also allows you to be particular with the quality of the produce you choose and will most likely be cheaper!
- Bring reusable produce bags when grocery shopping
Buy or DIY some reusable produce bags made from a lightweight material to put your fresh produce in at the grocery store (or you can always just put them straight into the trolley). You can find them in most health food stores, shop for them online or find a tutorial on how to make your own for cheap!
- Use the brown paper bags at the grocery store
If you don’t have reusable produce bags on hand at the time, opt for the brown paper bags provided (usually near the mushrooms section) instead of using the plastic ones for produce.
- Buy the whole fruit/vegetable instead of the pre-portioned wrapped produce
You may only want 1/2 a watermelon or pumpkin, but why not buy the whole fruit/vegetable without the plastic wrap. Cook it up and/or freeze it if you aren’t able to eat it all before it goes bad.
- Swap that tub of icecream for some homemade ‘nicecream’
- BYO reusable shopping bags
Always keep some in your car, at the back door, or in your handbag so you don’t forget to take them with you to the shops/grocery store.
- Shop at bulk food stores, or in bulk sections at the supermarket
Not everyone may have access to a bulk food store in their town. However if you do, make use of it, as bulk food stores allow you to use your own reusable bags, recycled jars, produce bags etc. to buy the specific amount of ingredients and produce you need without any packaging involved.
- Shop at your local farmers markets
Support your local businesses and farmers at the farmers market. Most of their produce should be plastic-free since they generally come straight from the farm.
And don’t forget your reusable bags!
- BYO reusable coffee cup
This is an easy tip that every regular coffee/tea drinker should be implementing these days. Bring a reusable coffee cup for takeaway hot drinks from cafes to avoid those single-use cups. You can even bring a regular old mug from home! (Also remember most cafes will even give you a discount for bringing your own cup!)
Those single-use coffee cups don’t breakdown and they soon add up, especially if you buy a coffee (or multiple) every single day. The amount of takeaway coffee cups that are thrown out every year is insane.
- Keep a reusable water bottle on you everywhere you go
Buy a reusable drink bottle that you can carry around with you so that you won’t be stuck buying plastic water bottles.
- Grow your own herbs & produce
Unfortunately it can be hard to find fresh herbs that don’t come in plastic at the grocery store so why not try growing them yourself! You could grow a simple micro-greens or herb garden on your kitchen windowsill or out the back door. Growing your own food will not only reduce the amount of plastic that’s involved in buying them, but you’ll also save money! win win
- Make homemade snacks, protein bars, treats etc.
It may be convenient to buy packaged granola bars, bliss balls, biscuits etc. but it can be just as convenient if you make big batches of them at home and freeze them, so you’ll always have them on hand.
Whip up a double (or triple) batch of tasty homemade granola, 5 ingredient cookies or these delicious Chocolate Protein Balls for week and freeze the rest for later.
- Choose boxed, canned or bottled over plastic packaging
Stick to as many fresh, whole plant foods as possible when grocery shopping, but when it comes to non-perishable items, opt for those packaged in glass jars/bottles, cans or cardboard boxes. For example: choose the pasta that comes in a cardboard box instead of plastic packaging; or a jar of olives, instead of those in a plastic container from the deli.
- Make connections with people in your community
Why not offer your friends & neighbours something in return for some of their homegrown fruits/veggies. Get to know the people in your community and get behind your local businesses that sell grow/produce locally. You could even seek out whether there is a community garden that you could get involved with.
- Dine-in instead of takeaway
Take a few minutes to stop, slow down and eat your food at the cafe/restaurant instead of getting it to takeaway (but if you’re really in a rush, make sure you are organised and complete Tip no. 2)
- Communicate with your local grocery stores
Encourage your local store owners to reduce unnecessary plastic packaging in their stores. The more concerns they hear from customers about plastic packaging, the more likely they are to actually make a change.
B O N U S T I P S!
- Bring a set of cutlery (like these beautiful natural fork, spoon, knife, chopsticks etc.) with you on-the-go so you can refuse all single-plastic, disposable cutlery.
- Switch to reusable, washable un-paper towel kitchen rolls and you’ll never have to buy regular paper towel over and over again.
Which of these have you already implemented in your life?
and which one are you willing to try next?
Share it in the comments below or on the Instagram post.
Going “plastic-free” is not about being perfect, it is about doing the best that you can with what you have and choosing to take the next step further.
and don’t forget to continue implementing these tips and tricks even after Plastic Free July is over…
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