These are my eight R’s to get you thinking about how best to approach going plastic free and low waste this New Year.
Every year I add a new ‘green’ eco resolution (a couple of years ago my resolution was to start this business!!), and this year is no different.
Here are a few that I’ve banked over the years, to help you on your way to becoming a low plastic, low waste household for the benefit of yourself, your family and Mother Earth.
Don’t buy a plastic shopping bag ever again; even the bags for life! Just don’t! Buy a reusable shopping tote bag and take it round with you everywhere! I sell a cotton drawstring tote bag which, unlike the classic tote bag, goes over both shoulders and can be used for everything from shopping to carrying nappies or potties around without anyone being any the wiser as it draws at the top!
A top tip New Year’s resolution of mine one year, was to save all my jam jars (and all other glass jars from purchased foods, such as olives, tomato pasatta, yoghurts, tuna, mixed veg in oils etc). I have a fine collection on the go now, and have vowed to reuse each and every one before they reach the recycling point (if they do at all). Most of them end up in one of three places (1) as drinking glasses of all different sizes, which is good for all members of the family (2) as food storage for the cupboard, fridge and freezer, (which actually often increases their shelf life - particularly with fridge veg / fruit / salad -compared to other forms of storage such as plastic bags or foil wrapping) and (3) for general use around the house, as vases for cut flowers, water pots for painting, and so on.
… rather than replace. Try to buy good quality goods that will stand the test of time. Instead of replacing items, consider whether you or a family member or friend can repair it for you. I find that appealing to my various What’s App groups of friends and family members, I will get to the bottom of ho to fix a particular item without the need to rush out to buy a replacement.
Buy a water bottle that isn’t going to leach toxic nasties into the water, as disposable (and indeed reusable!) plastic water bottles do - such as a stainless steel water bottle. I have one for myself and one for my son, and they are absolutely brilliant and go with us everywhere we go. When shops, bars and cafes re-open, refilling water bottles is easier than ever with the Refill app which enables people who are looking for water to find thousands of local businesses where they can refill their reusable bottle for free.
Consider the ways in which you are consuming and buying; maybe this last year has forced you to change your buying habits to online shopping anyway, and in which case you’ve taken a step toward green consuming because online shopping (unless there is a culture of returns / sending items back, as can be the case with clothes shopping for instance), is considered to be more eco friendly as it can be a slicker and less wasteful shop model behind the scenes, plus you don’t have to drive to a shopping centre to make your purchase.
If you’ve found a good little eco hack or a plastic free living routine… just keep doing it! I have been gradually reducing and reusing and recycling and lowering my footprint over a great many years, but they are made up of little steps done repetitively! I only use reusable face and bum wipes at home for faces and fingers… and I repeat this all day, every day! Reuse, recycle, REPEAT! :-)
Tell your friends about what you are doing to make a positive difference to your family and your environmental impact. They may well tell you their plastic free tips and green hints to learn from, or they may well take on your tips and hints for their families. The more the merrier here! This will be the way that, together, we can make a real tangible change.
Don’t take on too much personal pressure to save the world. Use baby steps in your immediate environment that really make an impact on you and your family first; this in time will have dramatic effects. If we all made small changes every year, then this would build up to a pretty impressive positive environmental impact.
If we all made little steps toward green living, this would have a huge impact on Mother Earth.
What are your New Year’s Resolutions this year?