The best 3 ways to go plastic-free at home
Moving to a more plastic-free lifestyle is not just important for the wellbeing of the environment, but also our own health.
Whether that means using a reusable coffee cup, saying no to straws or sending the kids to school with “nude food”, we can all do our bit.
The danger of plastic
While plastic is a monumental environmental catastrophe – with estimates by the 5 Gyres Institute showing there are now around 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean – it is not only the health of the planet we should be worried about.
A study by the University of Amsterdam suggests humans are being exposed to plastic particles and the chemicals found in plastic at an alarming rate.
Fragmented bits of plastic leech and spread through the air, soil and waterways and can be consumed through foods (particularly seafood), water and even air.
Scientists are now calling for plastic waste to be classified as hazardous.
But according to a study by the University of California, up to 91 per cent of plastic ever made has not been recycled.
Recycling is not a perfect option – and with current recycling issues in Australia, it should always be the last resort.
Instead, we should look to repair items when broken or worn out and remember to take our reusable bags with us when shopping.
Here are some other easy ways to incorporate more plastic-free habits into your lifestyle:
How to cut plastic at the supermarket
When shopping, look for products with as little packaging as possible.
Buy things such as rice and pasta in boxes rather than soft plastic.
Shop in bulk where possible and seek out shops that allow you to use your own reusable bags and containers to store produce such as deli goods, nuts and other dry foods.
This goes for food as well as cleaning products and toiletries.
There are also some great options to make your own cleaning products or soaps and shampoos.
Bring your own sustainable containers
Avoid buying bottled water, always use your reusable coffee cup (and if you forget it, take five minutes to sit in and enjoy your coffee in the shop), refuse straws and take own containers when you pick up take away.
Go nude (with food)
Kids lunch boxes don’t need to be full of pre-packaged foods.
Cut up your own fruit and veggies and store in containers, same goes for yoghurt, and bake your own treats.
- Get food smart: Tips to reduce food waste
Your wallet, the kids’ health and the planet will thank you for it.
Written by Sally Heppleston