There are many ways to keep an eye on our trash production while being at home. But do you know how to behave once you're spending time outside of your apartment?!
Plastic is killing our wildlife, our coral reefs and polluting our planet, permanently. We, humans, have to become more conscious of what our single-use plastic dependency is doing to our environment. Therefore in honor of our environment, Feb 21st was declared a plastic free day by BroadReach. I'm so excited to jump on this train and help raise awareness about a plastic-free day. Now I'm encouraging everyone, to do it with me. The hope is that one day of deliberate decisions can lead to a lifetime of smarter choices!
To help you make it through one day without purchasing anything plastic. I prepared top ten items that can keep your day plastic free.
Are you up for the challenge?
10 Easy Steps to get through one plastic free day.
#1 BYO SHOPPING BAG
• Do not use any single-use plastics grocery bags
For any spontaneous grocery shopping have your bag in your hand bag, backpack, laptop bag or simply use a larger bag that can store some extra products. If you hold on to this habit for more than a day, you can help prevent the environment from more than 500 billion single use plastic bags that are consumed every year, worldwide.
SHOP LINK ⇨ @ecoba
#2 BYO COFFEE CUP
• Do not use any single-use plastics like cups
The easiest way to have a low waste coffee is to order one to stay. Help your cafe produce less plastic trash. Your own reusable cup is a great solution in case you don't have an extra minute to spare and you really only have time to grab your coffee and go. Just test it out next time, bring your own reusable thermal cup along and save one of the 100 billion single-use coffee cups that go to landfill each year. What an unnecessary waste.
SHOP LINK ⇨ @ecoffeecup
#3 BYO REUSABLE UTENSILS
• Do not use any single-use plastics utensils
In our fast paced work environment, you often don't have any time to prep food. You end up going to the closest fast food spot. Where you're most of the time forced to use plastic utensils. So why not bringing you own, which are reusable. Your new silverware in crime is light, sleek, always by your side and comes in handy whenever needed! This way you can stop the single use, non-biodegradable, plastic utensils from cycling.
SHOP LINK ⇨ @togoware
#4 REUSABLE FOOD WRAP
• Do not use any single-use plastics wrappers
Aluminum foil it's such a good element of leftover storing and you may find it hard to give up. Fortunately there are reusable products that act like foil or cling wrap. Companies like beeswrap sell a compostable waxed fabric used for preservation. You can also make your own at home when you click here. This technique was first used in ancient Egypt.
SHOP LINK ⇨ @beeswrap
#5 BYO REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE
• Do not use any single-use plastics bottles
It is very important to stay hydrated during the day. The health authorities commonly recommend at least eight 8-ounce glasses, which equals about 2 liters, or half a gallon. Most of the time a casual tap water is the best source of hydration. Carry a reusable water bottle or a travel mug with you to avoid plastic bottles from getting to landfill. Think outside the box and don't rely on getting a new one each day in a corner deli.
SHOP LINK ⇨ @swell
#6 REUSABLE STRAW
• Do not use any single-use plastics straws
When ordering a drink always ask for no straw. The safest way get a straw-less drink is to order it at the bar. Usually when you ask your waiter, the message never gets delivered to the bartender.
If you haven’t already started carrying stainless steel straws instead of the single use plastic variety, there are many great brands and marketplaces selling these. Some of my favs are:
SHOP LINK ⇨ @caliwoods_eco
#7 BYO GROCERY BAG
• Do not use any single-use plastics grocery bags.
Some produce is very hard to get without plastic packaging. Spinach comes in plastic bags or boxes, some fruits come in mesh and stickers are stamped on every loose item. The best place where you can avoid this packaging is at the farmers market. If you don't have access to a any, try to bring your own produce bags and avoid prepackaged goods. It's very simple to sew your own, or you can purchase them online or in various stores.🌿
SHOP LINK ⇨ @lifewithoutplastic
#8 LUNCH BOX
• Do not use any single-use plastics containers
Lunch Boxes are great for every day and so universal! Use them to store leftovers, pack your lunch in, or even bring one along with you when you're out to eat for a zerowaste to-go container. There are various brands that offer big variety of boxes - from tiny enough to fit in your palm, to big enough to store a week's worth of food, there's a size for every need. You can fin one of my favorites here:
SHOP LINK ⇨ @planetbox
#9 BYO HANKERCHIEF
• Leave less "sorrow" behind.
Do you also think carrying a handkerchief rather romantic than functional these days? Since I started going ZW, I find it less sentimental. It's great for drying your hands in public restrooms, unexpected tears, wrapping up treats, and of course the sniffles. There are many brands that offer organic cotton hankies, just like Coyuchi. If you're still not warming up to this idea. Just roll a few sheets of bathroom tissue in your pocket and avoid regular napkin packaging.
SHOP LINK ⇨ @coyuchi
#10 DITCH MICROBEADS
• Stay clear of microplastics and plastic microfibers.
Washing your face or brushing your teeth can harm the ocean, yourself and your children. Next time you run out of your beauty products make sure you stay away from products containing micro-plastics and plastic microfibers.
SHOP LINK ⇨ @zeromicrobeads
• SHARE THIS ARTICLE to help us get the word out about Plastic-Free Day. Tell your family, tell your friends, tell your mailman, tell that Facebook friend you went to high school with but haven't seen in five years. The more people participating, the more plastic that isn't used.
• USE #PLATICFREEDAY when you share a plastic-free decision on social media on Feb. 21st so we all can follow along on everyone's day and share!
While one concentrated day of plastic-free decisions is a good step in raising consciousness and reducing the amount we use, keep in mind it's just One Day. I think it's a great starting task that everyone can manage to complete and hopefully, after seeing that it's do-able you will turn it into a habit. Start small, couple times a week and always add more and more plastic free days. If you're one of those who are already very conscious of our plastic consumption, your participation goes a long way in encouraging others to do so!