Your Weekly Shop: Lots of food products come in polystyrene, plastic bags and those horrible black plastic trays. All of these are extremely hard to recycle and are best avoided. So what can you do to help?
Be conscious when you do your shopping and take a look at its packaging. Refuse pre-packaged food that come in plastic or polystyrene trays and opt for a more eco-friendly packaging. Better still, shop at your local butchers or deli, where they sell unpackaged items!
Support your local shops and supermarkets to offer unpackaged food. Or maybe to offer incentives to people who bring their own containers. They may even choose to stock re-usable containers to encourage people to take up the option!
Grow your own! Okay maybe not the fish and meat, but there are plenty of plastic-packaged foods that you can easily grow at home. You don’t even need a big garden. Just a window box or plant pots will do just fine. Here are some tips!
Take Away Treats: We’re not just talking about coffee and sandwiches here (although they are the easiest places to start), we’re coming for your Saturday night takeaways too!
Bring your own! Don’t fall into the trap of being unprepared when you eat out. Coffee shops, delis and take-away cafes often give you plastic containers, paper cups and disposable cutlery to eat your meal with. Take some reusable items with you. There small enough to pop in your bag and will mean that you’re always prepared.
Ditch the cling film. If you’re local sandwich shop likes to wrap your sandwiches in film or disposable paper, why not take your own reusable sandwich wraps with you. Just ask them to wrap it in there instead. It’s no skin off the café’s nose (in fact it saves them a bit of money) and it might inspire them to spread the word!
No more plastic trays! How many of you have a draw full of old Chinese takeaway cartons? Saving them for a rainy day? Whilst there are a lot of uses for them, the plastic is cheap and can be full of toxins so even that isn’t a great option. The best option is to do without them completely. Speak to your local takeaway owner. Tell them you’re are doing Plastic Free July and need their help. Then just turn up with your own containers and voilà! A new habit is formed!
Do the Basics
Get the Basics Right: Unless you’ve been living under a rock these past few years, you’re probably already aware of the evils of plastic bags, straws and bottles. If you haven’t already made the move then make a start with these three easy throw-aways!
Plastic Bags – It’s so easy to replace your plastic bags with reusable cotton or recycled bags. Pick one that’s easy to pop in your pocket so that you always have it with you … just in case!
Straws – With so many alternatives on the market you can have a stock of stainless steel, wheat or glass straws ready for your summer cocktails! With a UK-wide ban soon on the way the progress with getting rid of these useless items is starting to take hold!
Bottles – Invest in a high quality reusable bottle that you can use everyday. Try not to buy the cheaper plastic versions which contain BPAs and other toxins. They can be just as harmful to both you and the environment. Sign up for the‘Refill’ app and you can find places to refill your water bottle whilst you’re on the go!
Take the Opportunity: Unfortunately not everyone is an eco-warrior, but sometimes that’s because they think it’s too difficult (or expensive)! So spread the word every time you see an opportunity!
Local Change! Once you’ve convinced your local shops to let you use your own containers, why not suggest that they promote it to other customers? It saves them money and helps save the planet. Everyone’s a winner!
Share your Pledge! Share your pledges on social media and with friends & family. Tell them what you’re doing and give them a few easy things to start off with. Maybe even send them a gift to get them started? A drinks bottle, takeaway container, steel straws?
Make a Point! When you spot disposable plastic in a larger store why not write to their Manager or Head Office and ask them to consider their position? If enough people do this then this may spark them in to action!