It's hard to ignore the media and eco-influencers talking about the worldwide plastic problem. You may just be starting to hear about it, or you may have heard about it for a little while now, but it can be hard to know how to help or where to start.
The WWF summarised that on average, Australian’s use a frightening 130kg of plastic per person each year. Of this 130Kg only 9% is properly recycled, with up to 118 million kilograms finding its way into our waterways and into the ocean. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by these numbers, but it's never too late to start living more sustainably.
We get it, plastic can be convenient, and hard to avoid, so, we’ve put together a how-to guide to live more sustainably. Here’s our simple action plan to help kick-off your sustainability journey with ease:
1. List what single use items you use
Think back over the last week and make a list of every single use item you used. In particular, focus on the items you weren’t able to recycle or compost. Some examples could be coffee cups, plastic cutlery, cotton pads, plastic bags, plastic bottles and female hygiene products like pads and tampons.
2. Choose what you can commit to
Starting your sustainability journey will be rewarding, but it’s not always easy. Instead of choosing to replace everything on your list at once, choose a few things that you know you will be able to maintain. Then, add the rest to a separate list labelled ‘goals’. Fun fact: if you used a reusable coffee cup, instead of buying a coffee in a single use cup every day, you could reduce your single use waste by approximately 7kg a year.
3. Use what you’ve got first
You don’t need to buy a brand new 'eco-gear' to prove your awesome sustainable-ness. If you’ve got a perfectly good reusable items at home, use that. Remember the aim is to reduce single-use not create more waste. Same goes for water bottles, reusable bags etc.
4. Where to shop for reusable products
Supermarkets are convenient, but, more often than not they are the least sustainable way to shop. If you need a reusable coffee cup, straw, female hygiene products or even a hand soap bottle, try and support small businesses. If you’re not sure where to look for sustainable brands, you could check out EcoPages, it’s like a yellow page (remember those?) for sustainable businesses.
5. Your new sustainable practice is the new way of life… what next?
Remember that ‘goals’ list you made? Time to go back to that and repeat the process again. You’ve proven you can do it once by swapping out your single use products with reusable ones, time to do it again. This doesn’t just have to be with single use items either, you could take food waste, fast fashion and food shopping into consideration too. Here’s everything you need to know about biodegradable and compostable products too.