Want to feel like you have the power to make a difference? That's great, because you do! We are 8 billion people on this planet and so if we don't think our daily choices and habits matter, we got it all wrong. How you choose to live your life matters and it's the tiny choices every day that add up. Here are some of my tips of how to reduce your plastic waste and become that empowered, awesome, Eco-Warrior You!
Why do we need to reduce our plastic consumption? Learn more about it here.
Skip the Straw
You've probably seen the hashtag #stopsucking go around and it's incredible how fast this movement of skipping the plastic straw has spread across the globe. A lot of countries and cities are installing laws that will ban the plastic straw from restaurants and bars, but we're not fully there yet so make it a habit to say "no straw please". Because, honestly, do you really need a straw? And if you do, make it another habit to bring your own, reusable straw with you!
BYOB - Bring Your Own Bag
Similar to the straw movement a lot of countries and cities are banning plastic bags or introducing an adding fee if you want one. But what is better than grabbing a week, crappy plastic bag to bring home your goods? You guessed it - a good old textile bag that you can use over and over and over again. If you want to take it a step further you can invest in reusable bags for your fruit and veggies too, or, if you don't have any - at least look for the green compostable bags in your store.
This is a Swedish company selling reusable shopping bags, and I'm sure there are lots more!
Party like an Eco-Warrior Rock Star
Common guys, how sexy are those red cups, really? All they scream to me is "PLASTIC!!!" So, join the cool squad and bring your own cup to the party. I usually choose some kind of jar option that I can screw the lid on top, super convenient for parks, festivals or, well, any party if you think about it. :)
Buy in Bulk
Bringing your own jar to the grocery store and fill it up with your favored goodies at the bulk section is honestly a lot of fun. And, what I also recently learned - a lot cheaper! It took me forever to start doing this and now I'm obsessed. I feel like the coolest Eco-Warrior every time I walk over to the local market and get my beloved oats in this glass jar!
You can either repurpose an old jar and just ask them to tear weigh it for you before you fill it up. OR you can invest in a jar from Goods Holding Co that comes with the tear weight printed on them. How smart?!
Coffee To Go
Did you know that Americans throw away 25 billion styrofoam coffee cups every year and that Styrofoam cannot be completely recycled. Most of the Styrofoam disposed of today will still be present in landfills 500 years from no. Say woooot?
Ok, let's stop right now. Invest in your own, personal coffee cups and make it a habit to bring it for getting coffee on the go. And, if you happen to forget it at home... Well, truly, how much do you actually need that coffee? Be a trooper and come back tomorrow when you haven't forgotten it! :)
It wasn't until I moved to NYC in 2015 that I realized how much food is actually ordered to go. AND how many plastic utensils are always offered with it. Seriously, I don't know how many times I had to say "No, thank you, I don't need the plastic fork" only to have the guy at the counter say "Are you sure?". No offense to the guy, he's just trying to do his job but common - WHY would we use something one single time to then just through it away?
If you know you eat lunch out a lot then make it a habit to bring your own utensils with you. Or simply wait to eat until you get to your office or home. And if you order online, remember to add the note "no plastic utensils needed, thank you" to your order!
Get Your Water Right
Just as shocking as the coffee cup facts are will you find the ones about bottled water. Because guess what - Americans throw away 2.5 million plastic beverage bottles every hour!! And that is just in America, do you even want to know what that number is on a global scale?
There is no reason for buying bottled water when, for most places in our world, it's safe do drink the water coming from a tap. So invest in a bottle you like or repurpose a glass bottle you got from a store. My favorite right now is this CO2 negative bottle made from sugar cane that you find at Yuhme.se. And if you need help with finding clean tap water, check out Find Tap.