The topic of single-use plastics is always one that calls for some thought, and we did some of this thinking. We’re not revolutionary, but we try to make our lives as plastic free as possible. Modern convenience means that this is actually a little hard, and sometimes, we don’t do our best, but some of the ways we do it daily are here in this very special blog post.
Some people may not think this is a big issue, but the amount of single-use plastic that is ending up in the oceans and then our food chain are pretty grim. 8 million pieces of plastic globally find their way into the oceans where they harm sea life both on the surface and on the seabed. These pieces can be bigger, but then can also be tiny, and studies have found that the situation is so bad, plastic has found it’s way into our food sources. That’s right, when you’re eating your fish or any seafood, the chance is you’re also ingest small pieces of plastic.
It’s a man made issue that has only really been created within the last century as we found a way to create plastic for a more convenient life. Our house is nowhere near completely plastic free, and things like food tubs are often consider to not be so much of a problem, it’s the single-use, throwaway pieces, the pieces our food comes in, or our drinks or even just every day items. If they don’t end in the ocean, they end up in landfill, where they can also poison the soil and wildlife around that way.
We recycle as much as we can, and we are diligent over purchases – if something comes in a glass container over plastic, we are more likely to buy that instead. Like I said, we are not perfect but the 4 ways listed are our major efforts in being less damaging to the world around us.
1. Bamboo Toothbrushes
Okay, so, full disclosure, not every bamboo toothbrush is good – some still contain plastic and tell you to throw it into your composting, where it actually just pollutes it, but we did our research before buying the perfect bamboo toothbrush for us. Bamboogaloo is completely biodegradable, and over the last year have formed a plant based wrapper for their brushes to keep them hygienic before use. The bristles are firm enough and the handle is comfortable to hold, and they look pretty nice together in our bathroom.
Other ways you can cut out plastic with just brushing your teeth is switching to electric toothbrushes where the head doesn’t need replacing as often or at all depending on brand and price, but for around £10.00 for 5 brushes, we find that the Bamboogaloo brushes are just as good and look nicer.
2. Ecoffee Cups
We like our hot drinks. From a plain black coffee to chai lattes, we do drink a fair amount, and sometimes that is out of the house. When it is out of the house, we try to make sure we have our reusable cups handy. We often go to Costa, which offer 25p off your drink if you’re using a (clean) reusable cup. We chose Ecoffee cups after a recommendation by someone else, and we bought them and have used their worth already. Again, they’re around the £10.00 mark each but they’ve been worth it either for the 25p off or the fact we are not adding to plastic waste.
3. Reusable Drinking Bottles
If it’s not coffee, a lot of the time, Ted will be drinking water. We invested in reusable aluminium bottles which also keep the drinks at the temperature they were put in at. There’s a selection of colours we have because of outfits and also purposes. Ted often takes his to work, JK will often have his in the car but it cuts down on buying a bottled drink which is easily the biggest form of single-use plastic we throw without thinking. There’s also no need to worry whilst out – a lot of places will supply you with fresh tap water as a refill at no extra charge depending on their policy or there’s sometimes public drinking fountains available too.
4. Metal Drinking Straws
This is something we’ve done for quite a while for aesthetics rather than the environment, but they fulfil both roles. We invested in a selection of metal drinking straws a while ago rather than having plastic straws we would throw away. We entertain a fair amount, and that often includes cocktails or drinks of some sort, and a lot of people will want a straw – so we got some that we don’t have to throw and that also look nice. Our picks include gold, silver, copper and black and there is two of each – one straight and one bent.
We also get asked the most about these whilst entertaining, and then have to send links to people so they can buy their own, so it does pay off. We don’t particularly have any loyalty to a brand, so we will just find a link for some that are similar to ours and send that link instead. And for those that complain about paper straws at various fast food outlets or bars, just buy a metal straw and add it to your bag when you go out. It may seem you’re carrying lots of things to cut down on other things, but it’s honestly worth it in the end.
And those are our four key ways to cut down on plastic around the house. There are other things that we do, but it would be no fun making this post any longer, just for you to give up reading it and never discovering our other tips and tricks. So, stay tuned? We’re sure there will be more posts on this topic in the future.