MAKE THE SWITCH
Help save the planet
Reusable water bottles
Tap water is usually as good as bottled water, if not better. You can always filter the water if you want. Using a refillable bottle will save money AND the planet.
Don’t forget your flip-flops
On holiday, don’t forget to bring your flip-flops back! A recent study shows that roughly three billion pairs of flip-flops are manufactured every year. Up to 25% of these make up ocean plastic pollution.
Anchor your rubbish
Having a picnic by a water?
Weigh down your plastic waste to stop it accidently blowing it into lakes, waterways and seas. And of course, dispose of it responsibly into a bin.
Recycle used clothing
Many retailers now have recycling bins for clothing in their shops. Using these bins will stop adding to the mountain of clothing already in landfill.
As an alternative, you can also donate them to your local charity shop or simply sell them on to someone who might appreciate them.
As a consumer, you are empowered because you can vote with your money. If you have an independent plastic-free shop in your area, support it and use it. Buy loose fruit and vegetables instead of prepackaged ones. Many supermarkets offer cloth bags to put your fruit and veg in.
Bin your butts
Many smokers do not realise that cigarette butts don’t decompose. The filters are made up of particles of cellulose acetate – a plastic which does not biodegrade. If that’s not bad enough, each butt leeches 200+ chemicals into the surrounding water. Always put cigarette butts in a designated bin or ashtray.
Disposable face masks
Know what to recycle
Opt for a bar instead of liquid soap. Your hands will be just as clean, and its good for the planet too.
Ditch plastic straws
Remember to ask what type of straws are used when ordering at bars. If they are made from plastic – avoid using them. Better yet, if you want to use a straw, get your own reusable one.
Don’t throw in drains
Drains are meant for rain and water. Overflows go directly into rivers and waterways. Any rubbish/cigarette butts thrown into a drain will eventually end up in the sea. Be a considerate citizen, use a rubbish bin to throw away your litter.
Use a refillable cup
Less than one per cent of the estimated 2.5 billion paper and plastic cups used in the UK each year are recycled. Contrary to most people’s beliefs, these cups are very hard to recycle because of the plastic lining. Many coffee shops offer a discount if you bring your own reusable cup.
Bags for life
Buy reusable shopping tote bags and use them again and again. Be creative in your choices and let them reflect your personality!
Don’t forget to put a couple in your car too, for those unexpected runs to the supermarket for milk!
50% of the plastic waste generated globally in 2015 was plastic packaging. Make your own food and put it in reusable boxes. If you do unwrap food on the beach, don’t forget to bin the wrappers.
Billions of single-use forks, knives, and spoons are thrown away each year after one use. Why not tuck into your food with an environmentally friendly alternative like edible cutlery or those made from a sustainable source like bamboo.
Many modern fabrics, such as polyester and nylon, shed plastic microfibres in the wash. These microfibres pass through wastewater treatment systems and enter our oceans. Use a mesh bag for washing these clothes and if possible, opt for more natural materials.
Thanks to consumer pressure manufacturers are moving towards making biodegradable wet wipes that are plastic free. Make a conscious choice to buy these over ones the made of polyester and polypropylene.
Or better yet, opt for washable, reusable wipes to be as green as you are clean!
These days, the base of some chewing gums are polymers. If you enjoy it, opt for natural gum base of chicle and which is fully biodegradable and made from a tree sap. Your council will thank you for saving them £60m a year removing trodden-in gum from streets.