How to break up with waste
I know the goal for many of us this year is to reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill from our homes, especially plastic waste. The rubbish we are generating each day is increasingly becoming pollution in our oceans, causing massive problems for marine wildlife. A hungry turtle can not tell the difference between a plastic bag and a jellyfish floating around in the ocean.
The good news is that you don’t have to take drastic action to make an impact. I’m going to share 3 simple swaps that you can implement in your home, or on the go, right now, to cut down your plastic consumption, and waste in general.
Ditch the Plastic Straws
It can be a habit to grab a straw every time you have a takeaway ice coffee, or a juice etc. It’s just one straw, right? Times that by a few million each day, and you can see the impact! Some places leave you with no option but to use their plastic straws, and who doesn’t love an ice-cold drink with a straw in Summer? (I hear you)! So to make it simpler to refuse the single-use plastic option, simply pop your own reusable straw(s) in your bag, carry them with you everywhere! There are some great options on the market, from bamboo to rose gold stainless steel, most come with cleaning brushes and pouches, to make taking them with you easier. Check out Hummingbird Sings shop for some super stylish eco-friendly options.
Use Cloth Instead of Paper Towels
This is one of my favourite swaps because I never run out of cloth unpaper towels! Paper towels may be convenient, but they are really wasteful and expensive in the long run. Reusable cleaning cloths are much more effective on spills, wiping surfaces, wiping little one's faces … the list goes on. Incredibly useful items to have in your zero waste kit. Unpaper towels look great in your kitchen and are super easy to keep clean, just pop them in the wash with your towels or sheets. You will notice a huge difference in your waste straight away with this swap.
This might be the simplest and easiest swap for everyone! As we begin to know more about plastic and where it ends up, we now know that billions of plastic toothbrushes hit landfills globally every year, only to stick around for at least a thousand years! Then there are the millions that don’t make it to the bin and end up in our waterways, polluting our oceans, harming our marine life. This makes bamboo a fantastic alternative to plastic. Bamboo is a fast-growing, environmentally sustainable timber, that regenerates itself naturally with minimal rain and without the need for harmful pesticides. The energy required to produce bamboo toothbrushes is a fraction of what it takes to produce the plastic alternative. Bamboo is also completely compostable. I highly recommend you make this switch for your next toothbrush.
Of course, there are so many other great swaps you can use to effect change in your own consumption: Solid shampoo bars, an excellent way to eliminate masses of plastic from your bathroom. Food wraps and covers are a great alternative to plastic wrap, and of course, reusable coffee cups and water bottles make a massive difference. And I think we all know – no plastic bags for supermarket shopping!