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Ditching Disposables: 5 Things To Get You Started

It’s not too late

Without getting too visual, it’s safe to say you might have already seen videos of animals getting misshapen, hurt and stunted because of human trash. You might have heard or read up on the amount of garbage we all create in a day—just imagine how much we produce in a year. And while it’s been a growing trend to ditch the plastic for something that’s a little kinder to mother nature, it’s hard to get the ball rolling sometimes.

But just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean you can’t begin.

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1. Invest in reusable items for your home

Most of our trash comes from things we don’t even realize since we consume them in little amounts. It’s when you think of the bigger picture that it really starts to get daunting.

So use cloth table napkins instead of kitchen roll paper. Place your sandwiches and snacks in food containers instead of Ziploc bags. Purchase rechargeable batteries instead of constantly running to the nearest convenience store in search of single-use AAs. If you’re a woman, consider ditching tampons and napkins for a menstrual cup. If you’re a parent of a baby, ditch the disposable diapers for cloth ones.

2. Invest in reusable items for on-the-go

Think about the cups of coffee you consume on a weekly—even daily—basis. Think about all the lunches that you take out of fast food restaurants and eat at your desk or the pantry in your office. It’s a lot of trash, isn’t it?

So take your tumbler with you before you go on your morning coffee run and keep a drawer for food containers and non-plastic utensils, too. And if you forget, maybe at least borrow a spoon and fork from the canteen or ask for your coffee not to come with a lid. It’s the little things, after all.

3. Buy the bigger container

If your budget allows for it, always buy the bigger container. Don’t buy sachets; buy like you’re a hotel and opt for reusable smaller containers. Think of it as having your own refilling station.

4. Find a proper place for them

The real trouble might not even be investing in more sustainable options; it’s more like you sometimes forget you have them. We all have eco bags, but we forget to bring them to the grocery or when we go shopping. We have multiple drink tumblers and food containers, but they tend to collect dust on the upper cabinet of our kitchen counters—so keep these things where you’ll see them before you need them.

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Where did you start your journey to living ‚less waste’ life? ⠀⠀ As far as I remember, for me the first swap was the grocery bag. It was probably around 15 years ago...🧐 That time, no one even thought about ‚zero waste’ but people started being concerned about the amout of disponsable free plastic bags and huge shops like Auchan and Carrefour started introducing reusable bags (in Poland, where I’m from). Still plastic, but I’m sure that my mom still uses some of them. ⠀⠀ These days, I catch myself refusing free tote bags, as I definitely have enough, however there was this beauty from a pic, created by ChemisteyTeam, I couldn’t resist. I think this will be my best souvenir from Singapore, as it’s great quality and represents kopi, so popular coffee in plastic bag I probably will never drink☕️ ⠀⠀ #journeytozerowaste #meaningfullife #tote #kopi #souvenir #zerowastesg #notosingleuseplastic #notoplastic #bethechange #startarevolution

A post shared by Lohas, lah! (@lohas.lah) on

You might want to keep your larger eco bags already in the car, for example. Or your clean (and dry) food containers in an area near your refrigerator or keep some in your desk at the office, too. Have a smaller tumbler in your bag for those times you just need to do a quick errand under the sun so you don’t have to buy water bottles halfway through it.

5. Ditch responsibly

Let’s be honest here: You will forget these things. Try as you might, old habits die hard and it’s not always the easiest thing to incorporate a new practice into your daily life. So when you find yourself unable to avoid using disposables, then at least dispose of them properly. Pay attention to the labels in public garbage cans and hold on to your trash until you find somewhere appropriate to throw it.

It's the least we can do.

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Ditching disposables won’t be easy. You’re going to make mistakes and you’re going to forget along the way, but the important thing to remember is that you aren’t starting from scratch. Just do the best that you can at that moment and do better next time

Words Adie Pieraz

Art Alex Lara

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