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8 things you can change today to use less plastic

Carlotta Cerri

We hear it and read it everywhere: if we keep feeding the plastic business, by 2050 there could be more plastic than fish in the sea. It’s a real possibility, one that will still affect us (not just our children) in our lifetime.

And it’s true—if this is what you’re thinking—the effort of a single person or a small community might not be enough to promote a change… but it might just as well be. On the other hand, if nobody ever starts, it’s 100% sure that the change will NEVER happen.

So let’s start it, let’s make small changes in our daily life, let’s spread the word, let’s educate our children and, who knows, maybe all together we’ll be lucky enough to be able to make our earth a better place for the future generations.

These are just some EASY ideas you can start implementing TODAY in your life and household. Please feel free to add more in the comments below.

  1. Stop buying plastic water bottles. We started by getting the Brita filtering system, but we didn’t like it much. On top of that—even though it was less plastic—it was still plastic. We then found the amazing Black and Blum Eau Good glass bottle with charcoal filters, and we absolutely love them: the filter takes away the unpleasant taste of tap water (not much else) and the bottles are simply gorgeous! You can also buy the filters separately to use in different bottles or water dispensers.
  2. Stop buying plastic bags at the supermarket. We bought three or four recycled bags and try to always have them at hand when going to the grocery store. I keep one in my backpack, one in the pram and one in the car. The more, the easier it is to create the habit.
  3. Stop putting veggies and fruit in plastic bags. We started weighing fruit and veggies, and sticking the price on them directly: if I buy pears, for example, I weigh them all and then stick the price on one of them. Some cashier might complain, but it’s nothing that can’t be solved by putting up a good fight ;-)! UPDATE: I started using reusable veggie bags.
  4. At the cafe, ask for your drinks WITHOUT a straw. Sometimes, it’s the tiniest details that make all the difference in the long term. My sister spent three months in Costa Rica studying turtles, and she had to free them daily from straws stuck in every part of their body. Let’s boycott the straw business—we don't need them!

UPDATE: I’ve been carrying around reusable straws for the kids for a while, but in general I prefer my kids not to use them, as they can drink directly from a glass.

  • You can use disposable paper glasses and plates at birthday parties or when packing for a picnic. You can use a simple piece of paper to wrap your sandwich, or get a few reusable sandwich bags (I like these ones from Roll’Eat).
  • You can (and should) avoid plastic bottles—it’s better for your baby’s health to use stainless steel or glass, and the water also tastes better for longer. The best bottle we've had so far for Oliver and Emily is this one by Thermos.
  • You can use reusable diapers for your baby. I admire my friend mums who only use cloth nappies, but to be honest, I’m not in for extra challenges on this mummy journey. What I could easily do, though, was switching to reusable swim diapers for our swimming classes (that’s already a bag of diapers a month between Oliver and Emily). It’s all about the tiny changes. UPDATE: Not long after writing this post, I did decide that switching to cloth nappies was a necessary step in my plastic-free journey. And so I did it, and it wasn't that hard: now I'm a proud mom of a cloth bum and I couldn't imagine EVER going back to disposables. If you want, read how I switched to cloth nappies after three years of disposables.
  • You can use a menstrual cup. I’ve decided that when I get my period back, I’ll say goodbye to normal pads and try a menstrual cup, maybe the OrganiCup (you can also find it on Amazon). It sounded gross at the beginning, but the more I read about it, the more I’m convinced every woman should try it or at least consider it. UPDATE: I did start using the menstrual cup, and I'm absolutely loving it! You can read about it here and here.

When it comes to the environment, any small change counts. Start and spread the word.

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