There’s lots of little things we can do in our day-to-day living to help make the planet smile by reducing our waste and packaging so the pile going into the tip doesn’t get bigger and bigger. We have a one-use culture where we buy a bottle of drink, drink it and then throw the plastic bottle out. This one plastic bottle will never break down and will be on our earth forever. Seems silly right? All that effort gone into creating the bottle and it might only be used for 10 minutes and disposed of. I wonder if in the future our planet will just be one giant rubbish tip? Lets hope not. Because we share our earth, our rubbish has far-reaching effects as far as the dolphins in the ocean, the birds in our skies, and the koalas in the tree-tops.
I’ll let you try and pick a few things that you reckon you could give a go to get on board the train… these are the things that work for us:
1. Reusable shopping bags.
They’re easier to carry – I can fit our whole shop in 2-3 reusable bags and then they fit over your shoulder so you’re not lugging a million plastic bags around that dig into your hands.
2. Shopping at local farmers markets or the butcher / grocer
We can pick exact amounts and there is no packaging as everything is loose and we skip the mini plastic bags completely. The food is better quality and you can chat direct to the farmer and ask any questions. The farmers are friendly and keen for a chat, and their profits go back into the community that we live in instead of making some giant super-market businessman richer and richer.
3. Reusable drink bottle (non-plastic)
There’s heaps of funky designs now, so get into your water-bottle fashion and strut your stuff. Save your pennies by refilling your good-looking water bottle with filtered tap water instead of regularly buying a $3 bottle of water that may have been stored outside in the heat causing the BPA to leach into the water. YES, this is that gross plastic-y taste/smell.
I’m also going to squeeze under this one the reusable straws. I’ve just been gifted some stainless straws for my b'day and LOVE them and now my friends at work don’t think I’m crazy for washing and reusing a plastic straw. Makes me feel pretty good knowing a regular straw takes 400 years to break down!
4. The pretty reusable coffee mug
So you can take your hot drink in the car with you without it being an absolute disaster. Plus – save money by using it at the local coffee shop where some places will even give you a discount. Also makes a great gift.
5. Food storage
Jars, jars, jars, wash them and resuse them until your corner cupboard is overflowing with them and your hubby thinks you're the crazy jar lady! If you're a neat freak head to Ikea or The Reject Store as they have a great range of glass jars with the flip lids (keep out our bloody pantry moths too!) and we use a label maker from Office Works (see pic from our kitchen). Stainless steel are great options for lunchboxes and ice-trays. We scored some great Pyrex glass storage with plastic lids from the IGA that work a treat. If you’re using Tupperware or plastic containers just be aware that when heated the BPA leaches more so avoid using them to store food that is still hot or in the microwave. BPA has been BANNED across Europe in all baby products, choose glass instead for baby bottles.
6. The reusable ‘monthly lady thing’
The first time I heard of this I was definitely freaked out but have been using one now for over 5 years and will sing their praises. It is a reusable silicone cup (that comes in all sorts of pretty colours with a pouch. I report it is fully serviceable and not that difficult to use once you get the swing of things. It is better for our own bodies (no pesticides or bleach like other products), the environment and our wallets. Perfect when travelling, camping or at music festivals where there is a lack of proper toilets. Grab them online (there are various products on the market now)http://www.lunette.com/au/
All these 'little things' add up and over a lifetime and as a collective together we can make a huge difference. Do it for the dolphins. Do it to support ‘local’. Do it for your own health. Do it for your wallet. Find your reason, there’s no time like the present.