By Anaïs Eleni
It has long been out that our ravenous plastic consumption is at the expense of the environment. No one disputes the fact that we should use less plastic - and yet this is easier said than done. Plastic is omnipresent in our everyday life. Avoiding plastic altogether is virtually impossible, which is why we should do all we can to keep disposable or packaged products at a minimum. Let us share a few simple and easy tricks to reduce plastic consumption with you here:
"The plastic waste is
an avoidable by-product of our
could be solved so easily."
1. Use keep cups
More than 100 million tons of plastic are produced annually for something that is used for a maximum of five minutes. A classic example is the disposal coffee (or matcha!) cup. Even the paper ones are lined in plastic. Plastic waste is a circumventable byproduct of our on-the-go lifestyle. Instead, why not take five minutes out of your life and order a hot drink to stay instead? Or - if you're really in a hurry – have a selection of keep cups at home and grab one as you leave the house. After all, there is now a range of both sustainable and chic reusable cups. Our favorites are the foldable cups from Stojo or the beautiful models from HUSKEE.
2. Have jute bags on hand
Neither the spontaneous shopping after work nor the weekly supermarket visits are reason for plastic bags. These days there are all kinds of jute totes and other reusable carriers on the market, all of which can be folded up neatly and tucked into (almost) any handbag. So why not keep in one in every bag. Easy peasy!
3. Shop in packaging free stores and farmers’ markets
As consumers, it seems near impossible to buy food without plastic and other sorts of packaging. To meet consumer demands, packaging free stores are popping up with their simple yet timely concept of selling groceries free of packaging of any kind. Although such stores are still far from being as popular and commonplace as conventional supermarkets, the viable alternative is to shop at weekly or farmers’ markets. Buying fresh, regional produce here is far superior to the double and triple packed counterparts you get at the supermarket.
4. Read the fine print on beauty products
From shower gels and scrubs to lipsticks and mascaras, the majority of beauty products contain not only preservatives but also microplastics, listed, e.g., as polyethylene, polyquaternium and parabens. This is yet another reason to opt for certified natural cosmetics that are free of petroleum-based ingredients. Take note: read the fine print so as not to fall for deceptive green packaging, that are not green at all, and buy only microplastic-free products.
5. Go for secondhand and vintage
Buying secondhand fashion is probably the most sustainable, because with every pre-owned garment we buy, we not only save important resources but also avoid plastic and paper packaging. Shopping for secondhand clothes and furnishings is probably the only consumer behavior that is completely sustainable. There are more and more websites that focus on enhancing the attractiveness and allure of secondhand products. Prime examples of these are Vestiaire Collective,Rebelle and Vinted. Great interior finds can be found in countless local stores and studios, and eBay Classifieds is also always worth a look in.