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Can you live with less plastic?

Take a minute to look around and see how much plastic is in your everyday life.

Now don’t panic, as it’s not all bad! We can do something about it.

It’s my opinion that there will always be a type of plastic ( unless some genius comes up with a new exciting recyclable product to replace it, which I'm sure is being invented as we speak)     

I believe that company’s need to think not only about new product design and materials but also afterlife. Can it be recycled, repurposed or reused? It is happening but will still take time. So what can we do in the mean time?

Back to our plastic at home

If we all made a small change in our everyday life, we will make a difference. You may think it’s not much, but "every small piece of the puzzle adds up to a bigger brighter future picture."

So what can we do? Here’s some easy tips to get you started:

*Remove single-use plastic

*Plastic bags - make or take your own reusable ones, from tote bags, grocery bags, wet bags to produce bags.

*Plastic straws - buy reusable stainless steel or glass, or even better say no and go with out.

*Plastic drink bottles - buy reusable stainless steel or glass

*Takeaway food containers, lunch boxes, cutlery and coffee cups - opt for environmentally friendly options if they have them or take your own reusable ones. 

*Smart shopping

*Clothing - Look for secondhand clothing options and swaps.  Many are still in great condition and much cheaper. Recently I've found a huge amount of unknown Opshops with hidden bargains and gems.  If you need to buy new, make sure that it's good quality that will last or is repairable.  Don't be sucked into fast fashion ( cheap, low quality short-lived clothing).

*Food - Vegetables: If you can't grow your own, join a local co-op or check out local farmers markets and fresh vegetable shops. Remember to take your own reusable bags or boxes. If you buy from the local supermarket, choose fresh items NOT wrapped in plastic.  This will force the shop to think about their sales if these items are not moving from the shelf. Look out for PYO options for fruit and vegetables in season.  Its worth a ride out in the country for fresh fruit and vegetables and the kids will love it.

- Other grocery items: Choose items carefully depending upon packaging.  Look for environmental/sustainable packaging options, there are more and more coming on board. Think about the products you are buying, are they premade, do you have time to make them yourself from scratch rather than buying premade products full of preservatives to make them last longer on the shelves?

Tooth/dishwash brushes, disposable razors, plastic cotton buds are all plastic based.  Look for other options.  Natural brushes and cotton buds are making a comeback with bamboo handles.  Old fashioned stainless steel safety razor with replaceable razor blades are also a better option than throw away plastic.

If you are looking for homemade natural items for soaps, shampoo, beauty products, laundry liquids, cleaning products, you can usually find an ever increasing supply of stalls at local community markets. Or you can have a go at making your own. YouTube is a wonderful thing! Plus there are many little groups popping up giving classes for a small fee or donation. Give it a try.

*Bulk Bin Buying: There are many bulk bin shops popping up. Take your own reusable containers or bags and have fun.

*Household/General purpose Items, tools and equipment: Look out for eco/secondhand shops, garage sales or trade and exchange pages online. You can pick up plenty of good items that you can repurpose or reuse at bargain prices.  But buyer beware when it comes to tools and equipment, best to get someone who knows about the product for best advice.

Just because something maybe damaged or no use to the original owner, doesn't mean its no longer useful. Upcycling or repurposing can not only be challenging, but can be fun if you are into DIY. If you are not then there are people who are, either online or at local markets.  

*Technology: I love my technology, my computers, phone and many other items.  However now when I purchase, I look for sustainable or secondhand or how they can be recycled at end of life or passed on or resold. 

We need to think about products in a different way.

What is it made from?

Are there better alternatives, can I make it from something else?

Can it be reused, recycled, repurposed?

Where will it end up?

This doesn't mean go and throw away all your plastic now...

imagine that in the landfill!

It means reuse what we have now think about other options for what we are using now.

Reuse your old bottles with new homemade options or use them at bulk bin shops.

Think outside the square before you throw it or buy it and remember 

BAGS NOT Plastic ®

Will you make a change?

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