Reduce Plastic,  Shopping,  Zero Waste

Week 38: Avoid Single Use Items

It’s no surprise to anyone that our culture has become one of convenience. But it’s time to take a serious look at the cost of that convenience. One of the biggest mistakes we’ve made is the almost constant overuse of plastic and disposable single use items. Coffee cups, plastic straws, and plastic bags are the first few things that come to mind but once you start to take notice, you’ll start to see single use plastics everywhere in your day to day life.

The bad news is that this is a global epidemic that is going to be costly and painful to clean up. The good news is that you can stop contributing to the problem right now by making a few key changes in your daily activities.

  1. Travel mug: use a travel mug if you get coffee from a store. Coffee cups are one of the single biggest contributors to pollution around the world.
  2. Water bottle: for goodness sake, stop buying bottled water and carry a reusable water bottle.
  3. Cutlery, straw, to go container: for when you’re out at a restaurant. Get used to asking for no straw in your drink. It takes some practice!
  4. Cloth grocery bags: to put your produce in and also to carry your groceries home.

Ready for the next level?

  1. Buy in bulk: bring those amazing Mason jars to your local bulk food store to avoid plastic packaging.
  2. Consider cloth: diapers, wipes, paper towels… even toilet paper! This can save a bunch of money.

If you’re looking for inspiration or motivation, check out the hashtag #zerowaste on your favourite social media network. There is a great community coming together across the planet who are focused on reducing their waste as much as possible. The community on Instagram has been a huge inspiration for me and my family. Our garbage is now limited to a bread bag every two weeks or so and it’s become such habit that it doesn’t feel like a challenge at all. Once you’ve made the mental switch to avoid unnecessary plastic, you’ll never look back!

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