According to Greenpeace, 12.7 million tons of plastic are dumped in our oceans each year, choking turtles and seabirds and ending up in the stomachs of sea creatures such as whales.
I’ve made some small changes throughout this year to reduce my plastic footprint:
- Using a refillable water bottle rather than buying single use bottles of water. The only exception I can think of was during my week in Cuba where I didn’t have my water-to-go bottle with me. In Croatia last week I drank tap water from our apartment’s kitchen tap every time which was apparently safe to drink… well, I had no ill effects throughout the week 🙂
- I was annoyed with myself for recently buying a 3 small packs of pineapple chunks which were supplied in 3 lots of plastic tubs. What an idiot… I could have brought a single fresh pineapple for the same price and with no extra plastic used.
- I’ve finally got myself organised and have just ordered an organic fruit and veg box from Riverford Organics. Riverford have an environmental policy for their packaging and use cardboard boxes rather than plastic bags. I’m hoping this is going to be viable to do on a weekly basis… my concern is that I have to be at home to take the order so I need to fit around my ‘work at home’ days which vary on a weekly basis…
- I use soap instead of shower gel… sometimes…
- I buy chocolate wrapped in foil and paper and try to avoid plastic wrapped chocolate. For example, a few months ago I brought a large bag of Dime bars from an airport and it only occurred to me when I got home that each of the 80 or so dime pieces were wrapped in 80 small pieces of plastic…
I haven’t done any research but from my own memories of the 70’s and 80’s, fizzy drinks and milk were supplied in glass bottles, sweets were put into small white paper bags, chocolate bars were wrapped in paper, fish and chips were provided in newspaper (and not placed in a plastic bag), packs of toilet rolls were produced in a paper outer wrapping, parcels arrived wrapped in brown paper (rather than plastic bags) and fruit and veg came in brown paper bags.
I feel I still have a way to go before I confirming I have significantly reduced my plastic consumption but will continue working towards this…
The issue of plastic pollution, particularly in the oceans has become big news recently and this was the one thing which saddened me the most during our 2016 travels. Thankfully there is much greater awareness now so I won’t go into the full details here.
Chris and I are, however, committed to reducing our personal consumption of the dreaded P material and as I feel so strongly about it, I wanted to make it one of my 50 pledges for this year.
A short tour around our home is our first starting point:
- Packets of instant Microwave rice while convenient to pop into the microwave for 2 minutes, if we did this once a week there would be 52 pieces of rice bag plastic discarded in some landfill site. Our new alternative is to revert back to Uncle Ben’s boxed rice… while more fiddly and time-consuming we are trying to get away from such a convenience lifestyle at the expense of the planet.
- Individually wrapped dishwasher tablets similar to above… this would equate to 365 little bits of unnecessary plastic just from us! We will revert back to buying dishwasher powder in cardboard boxes.
- Plastic food bags we try to re-use these where possible. For example if I take my lunch to work in a plastic food box, I usually put this inside a large plastic food bag just in case it leaks… while this has happened on occasion, I now wash the outer plastic bag and re-use it.
- Fruit and veg in plastic bags at the moment we order our fruit and veg from Ocado, the online shopping delivery company. The drawback is that fruit and veg is delivered in plastic bags and single use containers. We are currently considering a separate weekly fruit and veg delivery from Riverford Organic and will shortly place an order. As a green company they don’t use plastic bags and supply fruit and veg in a box.
- Toothbrush Chris has just started using a bamboo toothbrush.
- Coffee-on-the-go last year we brought a Starbucks reusable cup-to-go each and try to take these with us when we are out and about.
On a recent holiday to Antigua we made a conscious effort to use zero bottles of water. We managed to achieve this with a Water-to-go bottle each. We filtered all of our drinking water from our bathroom tap and didn’t use a single plastic water bottle or indeed drinks bottle for the 10 days we were there.
We will continue to look for ways to reduce our plastic consumption and I’ll post regular updates throughout the year.