By: Kater Mendonca
Being environmentally friendly has been a growing trend as of late. Large industries like fashion are finally starting to take notice of the consumers’ desire for sustainability - and we're loving it. Whether it’s Gucci’s decision to stop using real fur in their collections, or McDonald’s choosing to ban plastic straws in the UK, big businesses are starting to prioritize becoming more environmentally friendly.
If companies like McDonalds can take actions to change consumer habits, then we all should be able to incorporate a few green initiatives into our daily lives! So in the spirit of being sustainable, here are our four easy tips to avoid over-using plastics and becoming a more eco-conscious shopper.
Reusable All the Way
Single use plastics are pretty much unavoidable, as they make up about half of the waste that we produce in a year. By being mindful and planning ahead, there are ways that you can drastically cut down on plastic water bottles, disposable cutlery, and plastic straws that are commonly used on a daily basis. Picking up a few simple items like bamboo cutlery, glass water bottles, or a metal straw to keep on hand while you’re out and about will help keep plastic out of your home and out of the landfill.
Shop for Natural Fabrics
When we purchase inexpensive clothing made from synthetic materials like polyester, what we often don’t realize is that they’re made from plastic fibres. When these clothes end up in the laundry, they pose a hazard to the environment as they begin to break down into tiny pieces called micro-plastics that end up in our water systems. One solution to this problem is to avoid buying clothes made from synthetic materials, and to instead look for pieces made from natural materials like cotton, linen or wool. These biodegradable materials are easier to remove from water sources by filtration and will also break down over time (unlike synthetic fabrics).
Look for Packaging Free Products
One of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to buying beauty and skincare products is all the unnecessary packaging that comes along with my makeup that just ends up in the trash. An easy way to reduce plastic consumption in this domain is to look for products that are packaging free. I love Lush for their shampoo and conditioner bars, along with their bar soaps and bath bombs that are all sold naked – free from any plastic wraps, boxes or packaging.
Buy in Bulk
Grocery shopping is another place where it’s easy to cut down on the amount of plastic in our lives just by making a couple of swaps to our daily habits. On top of saving money by buying bulk, bringing your own containers when shopping for things like cereal, rice, or beans lets you leave the plastic bags and wrappers behind. I like to up-cycle my old jars of pasta sauce for exactly this purpose, so that the next time I need to stop by my local Bulk Barn I always have a container handy.