Time to choose the ECO WAY – 14 easy zero waste swaps!

It’s 2019 and the world needs us to CARE about our daily habits and consumption behavior more urgently than ever before. When you become really aware of the problem you start to see plastic everywhere you go, in everything you do from the moment you have your morning shower to cleaning the kitchen before you sleep. Plastic has a huge part in our daily lives and it is causing major problems in our beautiful planet because where does all this plastic go once it is used?

Yes, it goes to landfill, out of sight and therefore out of mind. But don’t let it out of your mind because it takes a whopping 1000 years to decompose and that fact alone is terrifying!! It is time to do something about it and change starts from each and every one of us. There is no point in waiting for government policies or bans, of course, those will help, but starting today, change also needs to come from you.

As a challenge to help our beautiful planet, why not try to eliminate plastic out of your life as much as possible? And why not make a promise to yourself that the plastic you may HAVE to consume is at least disposed of properly and recycled. There is so much rubbish on our streets, we need to end this mess!

Here are 14 super easy things you can do to reduce plastic use in your daily life for good starting from today:

Say goodbye to clingfilm and hello to Bees wraps

Stop using cling film to wrap leftover food or sandwiches. There are plenty of alternatives – bees wrap being one of them. Cling film is plastic wrap you can literally stop buying/using and therefore sending to landfill.

Replace plastic containers/freezer bags with colourful silicone Stasher bags 

Stasher bags are 100% pure platinum food-grade silicone. They feel incredible to touch but more importantly are safe, reusable, versatile (they can be frozen or boiled) and are helping the world get rid of yukky plastic containers and freezer bags. Most plastic containers have a super toxic compound called bisphenol A (BPA). BPA is an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics and resins since the 1960s. A lot of controversy and discussion surrounds this topic however in our opinion harmful chemicals should be avoided as much as possible. There are already so many harmful chemicals in the air we breathe or the clothes we wear, why should we keep taking in more chemicals in our food containers as well?

Replace liquid soaps with bar soaps

Is your shower/bathroom full of plastic bottles? Why not replace liquid soap with bar soaps? You can find some lovely stores that sell organic, naturally made bar soaps or there are plenty of other bar soaps available on the market.

The best part is they are usually distributed in paper boxes that can be recycled and absolutely zero plastic is used. You can also replace shampoos and conditioners to bars but we get how that is a little harder for some people. If you are looking to make these changes have a look at Lush for lots of different package free alternative toiletries…even deodorant can come in bar form completely package free! The most you can do is try them out before you judge!

Replace your plastic toothbrush with a bamboo toothbrush

And feel guilt free every time you throw it away. There are many available on the market including local suppliers Rebels with a Cause. They are still great quality but at least you are not contributing a new plastic toothbrush to landfill every 3 months or so. We roughly use 4 or 5 toothbrushes a year. Multiply that by 500,000 people living in Malta and that’s 2,000,000 toothbrushes a year going to landfill.

We share this planet with another 8 billion people, can you imagine the amount of rubbish we are creating on a daily basis? When you stop to really think about it, you will find it much harder to ignore and unfortunately, we are living in a time where ignoring this problem is detrimental to us, animals the earth as a whole and our future generations.

bamboo toothbrushes

Oh and don’t forget your earbuds too! 

This is another super easy and basic swap, just like the toothbrushes – simply change your plastic cotton earbuds to bamboo cotton earbuds.

Replace take away coffee cups with re-usable coffee cups or enjoy your coffee sit in

This is mainly for coffee lovers here. Why take your take away coffee in a paper cup with a plastic lid? You may be really craving a coffee and feel like it on the go but why not keep a Stojo collapsible cup on you at all times and then your ‘problem’ is solved?

It is super easy to clean and store and you avoid creating that extra waste that does not need to be created in the first place with just a little bit more planning. If you happen to forget your cup at home, which happens, why not skip the takeaway coffee and take 5 minutes to drink it in the coffee shop. Think about it, these small efforts and choices make a huge difference…

Always, always say no to plastic bags at supermarkets

Take your fabric/reusable bags to the supermarket and use those instead or if you happen to forget them, use a cardboard box that will be lying around the supermarket, there are usually many lying on top of each other waiting to be thrown out. There is really no need to take plastic bags from a shop, especially when we use them for such a short period of time.

plastic bags

Refuse plastic bags for your fruit and vegetables

When it comes to your fruit and veg, our suggestion is to shop from smaller stores where they will weigh everything for you and place it directly in your fabric bags, no plastic bags required AT ALL. Alternatively, take your own fabric bags with you to the supermarket such as our reusable fabric fruit and veg bags which are a great alternative to all those yukky plastic bags. And think about it, when buying fruit like bananas that have their own ‘packaging’ you do not need a bag at all, the sticker can be stuck directly to the bananas.

BagAgain fruitvegetable-bag-Large

Carry your own reusable water bottle

Keep a glass or stainless steel water bottle on you at all times so you can avoid buying plastic bottles of water. There are so many stylish alternatives available on the market. If this isn’t possible, hold on to the plastic bottle you bought until you get home and can recycle it properly.

Swap tampons & sanitary pads with the menstrual cup 

This one is for the ladies! Apart from being eco-friendly, silicone menstrual cups are more hygienic, convenient and cost-effective. From our experience, it may take a couple of periods to get used to, but once you do, you will unlikely go back to sanitary pads and tampons. We won’t go into too much detail here but you can find lots of information online to read more about it and we highly recommend you do. We highly recommend checking out the OrganiCup brand for your menstrual cup. They are an award-winning brand, we have used them, our friends have used and so far they have passed our tests!

Menstrual cup

Avoid using plastic plates and cutlery – fantastic alternatives exist

Biotrem plates and cutlery are one such alternative. Made from wheat bran they are an excellent swap to disposable tableware. They are fully decomposable and will decompose in just 30 days! They can be used for serving both hot and cold meals and can be safely used in classic ovens or microwaves. They are robust and great to take on picnics or for summer BBQs etc.

Enjoy your ice cream in a cone and don’t bother with the cup and spoon

Really, what’s the point of the cup and spoon? A cone is so much better anyway! And once again zero waste created.

Take your own water bottle to conferences, events, festivals & parties

The number of plastic cups you will use and waste is astonishing, simply avoid it by taking your own. There are usually water points where you will be able to refill your own bottle.

Take care of what you have and create that mental shift

This is so important. It is time to become mindful of our consumption behaviour. Avoid buying extra things when unnecessary, recycle always, dispose responsibly and always seal your garbage bags properly, otherwise, everything will fall out with some wind or will be carried away with an animal that comes to visit.

Also, PLEASE never say I am just one person it doesn’t really matter because with all of us making an effort the impact WILL be felt. Always try your best, share your efforts with friends and family, and most importantly don’t give up!

Let’s BELIEVE we can change and BE the change we want to see!

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