12 Easy Steps For Living With Less Plastic

Life without plastic, it’s fantastic.

Afternoon, guys! Shall we exchange some fun facts to count down the hours until we’re all in the safety of our favourite bar ordering a glass of TGIF-endorsed wine? Okay, cool! I’ll start! My fun facts today revolve around our dear friend, the environment, and in particular the relationship us humans have with it.

Actually, if I’m being completely real, these facts aren’t so much ‘fun’ as they are ‘disturbing’ and ‘sad’. Sorry to bring the mood down! Here goes!

> Currently, it is estimated that there are 100 million tons of plastic in oceans around the world.

> More than 50 percent of sea turtles have consumed plastic :’(.

> On average we only recycle one plastic bag in every 200 we use. Each year, an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide. That comes out to over one million per minute.

> It takes about 450 years just for one plastic bottle to break down in the ground. 

> Every single piece of plastic made still exists today.

Sorry for sufficiently bumming you out, and so close to the end of day. How dare I! Don’t worry though—by the end of this list, you’ll feel super ~uplifted~ I promise. If Woolworth’s recent banning of single-use plastic bags has taught us anything, it’s that we as consumers do have a voice. (ICYMI, they’ve banned all free single-use plastic bags and replaced them with reusable bags made from at least 80% recycled plastics that can be purchased for 15c). Now, let’s continue to put our money where our mouths are (i.e. screaming that we love nature) and give the environment the TLC it deserves. 

Below, a guide to living your life with less plastic in it, because what’s cooler than caring for the environment? Nothing!

Take an eco bag with you when you shop

What’s cuter than carrying your groceries home in a netted bag? Nothing! Say N-O to plastic bags for good, in style.

Use fabric bags for fruit and veg

Using plastic bags for fruit and vegetables is perplexing at best, and infuriating at worst. Considering plastic takes up to 1,000 years to degrade, and vegetables already have a protective layer, there’s really no excuse for using single-use plastic bags to transport your veggies in (especially because unlike plastic shopping bags—that you can use as bin-liners etc—they don’t have much use for anything else). This is especially pertinent if the produce in question is one singular potato. Why you need a bag, tho?

If you find loose veggies in your trolley/eco bag annoying, then you can buy some cute organic cotton muslin produce bags for cheap. I like these!

Make your own beauty products

This is not my area of expertise, admittedly, but lucky for you and moi, our contributor Sian has got you covered with these three easy DIY natural products. Your body, your bank account, and the environment will thank you.

Invest in a chic keep cup

Australia alone uses 1 billion disposable coffee cups per year. Pretty effed, right? Lucky for coffee drankers the world over, the keep cup market has recently been infiltrated with heaaaaps of cute keep cups of late. My favourite vibe when it comes to reusable coffee cups are ceramic ones (this one rulez, as does this one).

Swap out your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo one

I’ll tell you what looks chicer than a plastic toothbrush sitting in your brush holder: a bamboo one! And I’ll tell you what looks even chicer than that: an unpolluted earth!

Here’s a cute one

Ditto your broom/dust pan and brush

See above for argument, and here and here for cute ones to shop!

Significantly reduce your takeout consumption (or say bye, bye for good)

Ideally, you’d eschew ordering takeout all together, but we live in an imperfect world and sometimes Uber eats is the only way forward. If you absolutely must, try and order food that requires the least amount of packaging (from me to you, pls don’t order things like takeaway Pho that arrive deconstructed in a million different plastic receptacles).

Make your favourite salad instead! Or, live your best life by taking half-an-hour to go and dine in at your favourite restaurant.

Say ‘laters to straws

I must admit that for years I was a straw devotee (#sinner). “There’s just something way nicer about sipping a beverage out of a straw,” I’d proclaim like the self-centred young twenty something that I was. Watching a four-minute clip of a straw being dislodged from a distressed turtle was enough to snap me out of this abhorrent habit. Google ‘Sea turtle with straw up its nose’ if you don’t believe me.

Replace glad wrap with beeswax wraps

Every time I wrap something in glad wrap a little piece of my soul dies. I was at a bit of a loss as to how to remedy this, but my work pal Georgie pointed me in the direction of these beeswax wraps. Cute and functional! Also, storing things like avocado halves in glass tuperware containers also works wonders.

You can make your own beeswax wraps if you are so inclined! Find out how to here.

Say no to plastic water bottles

Why buy a plastic bottle of water when you could use old glass bottles to transport your H20 around instead? Water should be free, after all. If glass isn’t your vibe (I get it, the clumsy among us could encounter some srs drama with a glass bottle in our bags), then you can pick up a stainless one like this for super cheap. Carrying a water bottle around with you will mean you’ll be more inclined to drink lots of water (leading to glowing skin, among other benefits), so it’s really a WIN-WIN sitch.

Buy laundry detergent in boxes rather than plastic

Boxed powder detergent is the bomb! My fave is this ecostore powder, which is free of chemicals, and which smells like a glass of lemonade on a balmy summer’s afternoon. Mmmm.

Buy bread from the bakery

Find your fave bakery that packages in paper instead of plastic. Not only will you feel so frenchy, so chic carrying your bread around in a bag, you will be supporting local AND supporting the environment. Look at you, you certified breadwinner!

See? Not so depresso after all! Raise your glass of TGIF-endorsed glass of wine, and let’s toast to making incremental changes for a better future. I’ll toast to that!

Words, Madeleine Woon 

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