As today, June 5th is World Environment Day I felt compelled to write about how we can live more sustainably each day. Now I know a lot of people will say this is old news, they are already aware; yet I still see plastic everywhere! So here is a reminder of some sustainable alternatives to the things we use every day, ones that I am happy and proud to use.
Plastic straws harm marine wildlife and ecosystems, they also expose us to unhealthy toxic chemicals. A straw that you use for minutes will be here in our oceans and on our beaches for centuries. So skip the straw and sip your drink, or if you really need it then try to use paper, bamboo or metal straws instead.
Toothbrushes and cotton buds
Your plastic toothbrush will remain in a landfill indefinitely, they take 400 years to decompose! And that cotton bud you use occasionally for a few seconds can end up in our ocean harming birds and fish. But there is an alternative; try a bamboo toothbrush and bamboo cotton buds. I love the brand WooBamboo!
Water bottles and coffee mugs
Plastic bottles are one of the most common items found on beaches globally, and due to the complicated way that coffee cups are produced most of them cannot be recycled. There are now plenty of stylish metal water bottles and reusable coffee cups to choose from, and many coffee outlets will give you a discount if you bring your own reusable cup.
While most supermarkets have been offering reusable bags for a long time now, and many of us are in the habit of taking them with us to the store. Sometimes it easy to forget whilst out shopping for other things like clothes, and many supermarkets still provide small plastic bags for fruit and vegetables. Try to take a canvas bag with you to all shops, try shopping at a zero-waste store if there is one near you, and use a reusable mesh bag for your fruit and veg.
We all love to give and receive, and while it is not what is on our mind at Christmas, in most cases gift wrap is not recyclable. So next time you give a gift you can get creative experimenting with different fabric wraps, or opt for brown paper with beautiful ribbons and labels.
Ditch your body wash that comes in a plastic bottle or tube and opt for a good old-fashioned bar of soap. There is now a huge range of solid toiletries around, including shampoo bars, sunscreen sticks, solid cleansing sticks and moisturizer bars.
While cling film is convenient, it also takes hundreds if not thousands of years to decompose. Luckily there are many alternatives; glass food storage containers, soy wax paper, beeswax wrap and cloth wrapping.