A mind-bending 80 million metric tons of plastic enters our oceans every year from the world’s 196 coastal cities.
The effects don’t just leave turtles in a plastic noose, but inadvertently end up in our bellies, since the fish we eat are filled with microscopic pieces of plastic. Circulating awareness has led to shocking findings, like the fact that if we continue this way, there’ll be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050. With only 9% of plastic being recycled annually, companies like The National Geographic and Sky Ocean have recently launched a global search for much needed alternatives to single use plastics.
Meanwhile, doing all that we can on an individual scale counts; just think about how many plastic rice bags or takeaway coffee cups you might buy in a single year. Thankfully, stores like Go Vita Australia are emerging in the midst of growing awareness, to make it easier to transition to a plastic free lifestyle. Here’s some tips to help you on your way:
Buy produce in bulk
Thanks to stores like Go Vita Australia and The Source Bulk Foods, there’s ample places to find all your loose produce needs. You’ll find things like grains, flours, seeds and nuts and even nut butters. Bring along a jar from home, or some re-usable produce bags and you’re on your way. Woven baskets make hard wearing shopping companions, to carry things like jars of wet ingredients in an upright position. When in the fresh produce isle, avoid what’s unnecessarily wrapped in plastic and better yet, shop at your local weekly farmer’s market to find a greater selection of produce that hasn’t been smothered in plastic. If you’re caught without produce or carry bags, just grab a couple of mushroom bags for loose produce and ask for a box.
Beeswax wraps or silicon lids
Step away from the archaic world of cling wrap and into the sweet honey-comb smelling world of beeswax wraps. Since honey is naturally antibacterial, beeswax wraps is also a super hygienic alternative way to store food, they’re 100% biodegradable and can be cleaned just like anything else in the kitchen. We love Honeybees Beeswax Wraps!
Drink loose leaf tea and get European with your morning coffee
New studies have linked tea-ritual with an increased sense of wellbeing, so it turns out brewing loose leaf tea in a ceramic tea pot is good for the environment and for the soul. For the coffee drinkers, there’s endless alternatives; from the Italian moka pot, the French Press, or brewed coffee. Once again, the world only recycles 9% of its plastic — so despite their efforts to make their pods more recyclable, Nespresso machines are still wasteful.
Plant a vegetable garden
Said to be the ultimate stress reliever, gardening is such a wholesome pastime and once you’ve got a cherry tomato or basil plant going, that’s the end of having to pay $3-4 dollars for a sprig of herbs. Or try your hand at growing powerful superfoods in your kitchen with Life Cykel’s DIY mushroom and alkaline greens growing kits.
Switch to metal straws and reusable coffee cups
Australian’s alone use an estimated 10,000 million plastic straws a day along with endless single-use coffee cups that are quickly filling up landfill. Keep up with the times and buy a re-usable metal straw and stylish ‘keep cup’ from Cheeki Bottles instead.
Invest in some metal takeaway boxes
For takeaway curries or lunches, a metal lunchbox is a lightweight and planet-friendly alternative to the classic plastic container. To think it gets used once before being thrown in the bin seems over indulgent, but investing in a Cheeki Bottles metal lunchbox is to invest into future generations (check out Cheeki Bottles for metal drinking straws and bottles too).
Get a luxury re-usable water bottle
One of the easiest things to transition to, save your pennies on the unnecessary purchase of plastic water bottles and fill up a re-usable one at home instead. Re-fill while you’re out at café’s or the tap at work. The two best alternatives have to be the insulated bottle because it keeps your drink cool all day, or filtered water bottles for those that don’t have access to filtered water during the day.
Store food in jars and re-usable containers
Food storage can be one of the cheapest transitions if you don’t mind storing your food in recycled jars. Aside from looking a lot prettier in the pantry, it’s easier to find things too. Swapping out all your plastic food storage is as simple as holding onto all your empty jars and re-using them for grains, nut butter, seeds, flour, or legumes at the bulk food store.
Switch to biodegradable and re-usable fiber cloths
Who needs a sturdy paper towel when you can grab a large micro-fiber cloth and re-use it again and again? While we’re at it, there are a whole host of natural fiber dish sponges available nowadays that can be washed along with your T-towels and they work just as, if not better than your standard synthetic scrubber. For those that do a lot of pan frying, stores like Go Vita Australia also stock wooden scrubbers to help you remove stubborn grease and charred bits on the pan.
Every plastic-free switch you make in your home can make a huge impact on our planet. Talk to the helpful team at your local Go Vita Australia store about the best products for your home and other eco-friendly solutions you can adopt easily, for a big impact. Find these products and so many more in your local Go Vita Australia store.
Feature Image via The Clean Collective.