No matter what age, little steps go a long way and there’s nothing more convincing than when the little tips come from our kids!
So, this #plasticfreejuly we are handing over the mic to our #gaiafighters Philip, 9, Sienna, 7 and Chris, 3, who will give you a daily useful tip to how you can use alternatives to plastics and reduce waste in general. Find their videos on our Facebook and Instagram pages and get the tips here:
Week 1 will be tips for when on the go AWAY from home,
Week 2 in your HOME,
Week 3 when on HOLIDAYS and
Week 4 when PLAYING.
We hope this will inspire you and your family to make the #smallchanges in your lives. Take the challenge to refuse single-use plastics on @plasticfreejuly and use our tips to help you on the journey.
#1 T H E C U P
It’s a classic, almost the symbol of reducing waste on the go, yet still not a habit for many.
Benefits of bringing your own cup?
- Avoiding single use or plastic-lined cups
- Many cafes give you a drink discount when bringing your own cup
- If stainless steel, your drink will keep hotter /cooler for longer.
- Tip: Remember to wash before your next outing.
#2 T H E B A G
Although more supermarkets and shops have become more conscious and choose to charge for bags, BYO bag is the way to go!
Benefits of bringing your own bag?
- Avoiding the plastic bags that pollute our seas or our air when incinerated.
- Not having to pay for bags or avoiding a truckload of small free ones that only lines half a bin.
- Reusable bags are more durable and often more spacious, making your shopping easier.
- Tip: Remember to bring small light cotton bags for your fruits and veg.
#3 T H E B O T T L E
1.75 billion plastic items a year – that’s how many we use, just in Singapore! Needless to say, a reusable bottle should be glued to the inside of your bag. Tap water is fine to drink in Singapore and if you’re not keen on the taste, most outlets have a refill option.
Benefits of bringing your own bottle?
- Mother Earth will love ya
- Not having to pay for bottled water!
- You can add herbs and fruit for your own personal flavoured water!
- Tip: Have a bottle at home, in your bag and at work – in that way you won’t forget it!
#4 T H E S T R A W
In the US alone it’s estimated that 500 mio. straws are used every day! Odd when you think about the fact that it’s an accessory we really don’t need! Say no, or bring an alternative.
Benefits of saying no to straws?
- The blue in this emoji will breathe a little better
- Never have to buy straws again as your kids won’t ask for them anymore
- Tip: Remember to tell your waiter to skip the straw when ordering – not when the drinks arrive! + if straws are too big a miss, get yourself a bamboo, steel or glass reusable.
#5 S N A C K S
Endless amounts of foil, cling film and small plastic bags for all those snacks on the go, something you recognize? Super easy to get a couple of the reusable types that can both replace the plastics and last!
Benefits of reusable bags for snacks?
- Hopefully, we won’t need to tell you what cling film and small plastic bags do to our marine life…
- Never have to buy a ton of zip locks – these can last you and many are washable
- Tip: If cotton bags, make sure they’re lined to keep snacks better.
#6. T A K E A W A Y
It’s not easy being on the go, wanting a takeaway lunch or take home dinner and avoid the packaging. This one feels like more effort than the bottle, cup or bag, but to bring a reusable container & cutlery just takes getting used to. Metal bento, silicone or an old Tupperware box all work and although designated reusable sticks and cutlery is nice, it’s not necessary.
Benefits of reusables for takeaway?
- Avoiding one of the worst single-use plastics, styrofoam, often used for takeaway. Styrofoam crumbles into small pieces easily and can be mistaken for food in the ocean.
- Tip: If you like takeaway with eg. a sauce on the side, consider a box with compartments or add a small lidded bowl.
#7. S W E E T S
It can be very tough avoiding plastic wrapping and bags when it comes to buying sweets. Often the sweets aren’t just wrapped individually, but placed in a small plastic bag that might be kept in another plastic bag. So what do you do, when you’re on the go and craving for a bit of sweet?
Well, remember your #5. snack bag and #6. takeaway? Take them to a pick’n’mix sweet store and start enjoying sweets that haven’t seen plastic!
Benefits of bringing your own bag/container for buying sweets?
- Sweet wrappers accumulate and there’s a lot of them, even when you’re not buying much. As sweets are often eaten on the go, they’re dropped on the street and end up being a big polluter.
- Tip: If you don’t want to be paying more than you should, ask the staff to weigh your bag before you start picking.
Stay tuned for #plasticfreejuly tips next week where we look at how we can reduce waste and save energy in our HOME.