The First 10 Steps Anyone Can Take Towards Living a Plastic-Free Life
- Shop with reusable shopping bags
Reusable canvas totes, backpacks or a messenger bag. Any of these choices is better than a single use plastic bag. If you have a car, keep your grocery bags in it and remember to bring them into the store with you!
Not only for groceries, use them for all your purchases. From electronics to clothing.
- Start using a reusable coffee cup
Having a reusable coffee cup in your bag or at the office gives quick access to an alternative to the single use cup. By having one on hand reduces the impact that Single use cups have on the environment.
- Switch to bar soap instead of liquid soap (especially for washing your hands but also for the whole body).
Sharing a bar of soap is not less sanitary than sharing a bottle of liquid soap. The bar of soap gets rinsed off every time you use it. The plastic pump? Not so much. Where do you think the most germs are accumulating?
- Replace your shampoo bottle for a solid shampoo bar and conditioner.
As we wrote in a previous post, Shampoo and conditioner account for about 80 billion bottles a year. The average shampoo contains up to 80% water, conditioner up to 95%. Shampoo bars are concentrated, you add the water in the shower.
- Learn to love the bulk bins.
Look for stores in your area that sell foods from bulk. They usually allow you to use your own bags or containers. You can get almost everything from there. Rice, Paste, Nuts, dried fruits.
(For example, Food for thought in Christchurch).
- Swap your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo toothbrush.
Plastic toothbrushes are made from polypropylene plastic (handle) and nylon (bristles) both sources from non-renewable fossil fuels. They are indestructible, which means that the first toothbrush we ever had when we were kid still exists in some form.
A bamboo toothbrush has a biodegradable handle and reduces the environmental pollution and plastic waste in our oceans.
- Bring your own container when buying deli meat and cheeses
The servers at the deli/prepared foods counter weigh the container and deduct the weight. Just ask.
- Buy your bread from local bakeries.
You can bring your own reusable bread bag or ask for a paper bag or no packaging at all.
- Use a reusable straw or no straw at all!
- Use a Dish soap to handwash your dishes.