Reducing our consumption of single-use plastic is a hot topic right now. And for good reason. In such a throw away culture of convenience, we’ve finally become aware of the impact plastic has on our environment. More plastic has been produced in the last decade than in the previous century - from endless landfills to oceans of debris, it’s time to do our bit and reduce our use of single-use plastic. Every little helps.
It can be incredibly hard to lead a completely zero-waste lifestyle but there are steps you can take to cut back. And they can be super easy - it’s just a case of being aware! Check out our top tips on how to go plastic-free and get active in minimising your usage. #MoveAgainstPlastic
8 Top tips on how to go plastic-free
1. Reusable Bottles
Get a hardy reusable water bottle to use in your everyday life when on the move. With water available in so many cafes, bars, gyms and airports, you can fill up your bottle and keep hydrated without purchasing endless plastic bottles.
There are so many fab designs to choose from now! Just be sure you're buying a quality bottle so it stands the test of time.
We’re taking our own steps to help reduce single-use plastic bottles. When working out, you always need some water to hand, so a trusty reusable bottle is paramount. You don’t want to be purchasing a new bottle before every workout!
In Sheffield, we’re supplying heaps of MoveGB venues with MoveGB double-walled reusable bottles. They’re free for all (not just Move members) - find out where to get your bottle in Sheffield here and help us combat single-use plastic in Sheffield’s fitness scene!
2. Reusable Straws
Thousands of plastic straws are used daily and thrown away after a brief use - National Geographic has called them “one of the most insidious polluters” due to the harm they cause wildlife.
Many bars and pubs actually now offer paper or metal straws. For a small deposit, you can use a metal straw and if you fancy keeping it, the deposit will go to restocking the bar with new metal straws.
Or think ahead and get your own. Carry a reusable metal straw in your bag for happy hour and enjoy some guilt-free sipping.
3. Tote Bags and String Bags
Make it a habit to pop a light canvas tote bag into your everyday bag as you go about your daily business. When picking up supplies from the shops, a reusable bag will certainly come in handy and avoid you using plastic to carry your things.
A string bag can be packed up very small, but the netting expands to accommodate the larger loads. It’s worth it to invest in some quality reusable bags!
4. Make your own lunch
Convenience can be a killer. It’s so easy to roll out of bed and head straight for work without thinking ahead about your lunch. A stroll to the shop to pick up sandwiches, sushi, fresh exotic fruits or salads may seem innocent enough, until you look back over your week and take note of how much plastic was used to package your edibles.
Think ahead and plan - make your lunch at home the night before and pop your food into a lunchbox. You’ll not only be reducing your plastic footprint, but you’ll potentially end up eating healthier, more rounded food which will help you towards your health and fitness goals!
Image credit: freshnlean
5. Make your own condiments
Hands up who has a penchant for hummus? Or do you like a dollop of mayo with your sandwiches? Try making your own condiments and stashing them away in reusable tubs or glass jars at home.
You may not be great at cooking, but whizzing together ingredients to create your favourite condiments will be a rewarding step to getting more adept in the kitchen whilst also reducing your plastic usage.
6. Shop in bulk or at your local produce providers
Supermarkets are slowly making the move to reducing their plastic. Iceland recently pledged to go entirely plastic free by 2023 and other large supermarket giants are becoming more aware and pulling products that use an excessive and unnecessary amount of plastic packaging.
But while we wait for them to catch up and get on board with the reduction of plastic, try shopping at alternative places. Shop in bulk to minimise small individually wrapped products, or hit up your local green grocers and farmer markets.
Armed with your tote bags, pick up loose fruit and veg and avoid the plastic packaging. Your local butchers will also use less plastic than the prepackaged slices of ham in your local supermarket. Keep your eyes peeled for alternative places to buy - not only will you be reducing plastic, but you’ll also be supporting local, independent businesses.
7. Soap Bars
Swerve the plastic hand wash soap bottles and go for soap. There are so many lovely soap bars available which will do the same thing as the liquid soap - from moisturising to calming essential oils, explore the soap aisle and avoid the plastics.
Why not give solid shampoo and conditioner bars a go too? Lush is leading the market in no-plastic products, and have even begun launching branches which are filled with entirely plastic-free products.
From shampoo bars to solid perfume, and deodorant bars to a massive range of decadent soaps, you can find so many alternatives in Lush which will leave your bins clear of any packaging. They're also perfect for taking away on holiday - you won’t worry about your liquid allowance in hand luggage when you’ve got solid bars of products!
8. Reusable mugs and cups
2.5 billion coffee cups are thrown away each year in the UK. Get into the habit of carrying a reusable coffee cup with you and get your favourite beverage poured in. So many cafes now offer a small discount if you provide your own cup or mug which certainly is an incentive to BYO.
And don’t just think about the caffeine. How many of you like to treat yourself to a smoothie? Make your own at home and pop it in a cup for when you're on the go, or if you go into a cafe, ask to have your smoothie popped into your reusable cup.
It can be tough to completely cut out plastic from your lifestyle, so do be sure to recycle whenever possible. Take these small steps to reduce your plastic waste and together we can do our bit to help this little place we call Earth.