5 easy ways to reduce plastic consumption
Over the past few years, we’ve been warned about the devastating effects that plastic overconsumption, amongst other things, is starting to have on our planet.
But plastic, in particular, seems to be having a widespread effect on our planet - negatively impacting our oceans, aquatic life and human health.
Throughout the past year or so, we’ve all been encouraged to use paper straws, reusable shopping bags and reusable water bottles, serving to reduce our daily use of plastics.
But there’s more we can do, collectively, to help restore the planet to a state of equilibrium.
Avoid frozen foods wherever you can
This may seem counter-intuitive, since we can rely on frozen foods to last us several months without perishing. However, frozen foods tend to be packaged tightly with plastic - even within their exterior cardboard boxes.
If you can, try purchasing fresh foods packaged in biodegradable/recyclable packaging - or better still, choose the fruits and vegetables that are sold individually.
If the ability to do so is available to you, you can work wonders for the environment by growing your own vegetables at home. Not only will you be reducing the need for plastic packaging; you’ll also be reducing air miles, thereby minimising the impact of air pollution.
Try some at-home DIY
One of the most effective ways we can reduce our plastic consumption is by incorporating homemade items into our daily routines. By doing so, you’ll not only be reducing the demand for plastic consumption within the retail industry; you’ll also be creating products from natural, authentic ingredients that are beneficial for your health.
You could try, for example, hand crafting your own soap from home-grown herbs, or you could make your own fruit juice and keep it in an eco-friendly container.
Many of us are also becoming increasingly aware of the health risks associated with shelf-bought cleaning products. They can often contain harmful chemicals, and of course, are often sold with non-biodegradable packaging.
Luckily, there’s a wide array of tutorials online, which show how we can make our own cleaning products at home with natural, safe ingredients.
Carry a reusable coffee cup
Whilst reusable water bottles have most definitely become more popular, many of us are continuing to use disposable cups for hot beverages.
There are many great alternatives we can use, and many coffee shops now offer discounts to those who bring along their own coffee cup. So, next time you venture out to order your usual Flat White, remember to take a thermal mug with you - and better still, your coffee will stay hot for longer!
Switch to loose-leaf tea
Drinking tea has become such an integral British tradition, that we don’t really think about its effects on the environment. As a nation, we drink a lot of tea; roughly 60 billion cups a year. And whilst tea leaves themselves are biodegradable, many of us use shop-bought tea bags within our homes. The plastic packaging surrounding them, of course, is damaging to our environment - yet it’s something we can easily change.
If we all switched to loose-leaf tea, we’d still be able to enjoy the taste and comfort tea brings, without contributing unnecessarily to plastic pollution.
Avoid glitter and microbeads
Often, glitter and microbead plastics are so small that we can barely see them. However, many of our daily products are littered with them - from our facial exfoliators, to wrapping paper.
Although they’re visually tiny, ironically, these small microbeads have devastating effects on our ecosystems. Since they’re so easily and commonly washed down our drains, they end up in our water systems - and eventually, our oceans, posing a threat to aquatic life.
There are a few ways we can try and reduce our consumption of microplastics. From educating ourselves on damaging ingredients and carefully checking products, to making our own products at home, it’s often the small everyday changes that can have the largest impact.
At Cotswold House, being surrounded by the picturesque Cotswolds means that we’re always thinking about how we can make positive contributions to our environment. For example, Our ‘zero-to-landfill’ policy means that we prioritise recycling and reusing items - and we’re always looking to avoid non-biodegradable products.
To discover more about sustainable living, please do take a look at our previous blog.
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