This will be my first blog in english!
So many people keep asking me to share tips about reducing waste and plastic use that I decided to write a blog about it. Sharing is caring, not everybody need to figure everything out themselves! Please note I am not sponsered by any of these brands, they are my personal preference.
I made a foto of a small selection of my plastic replacements. Everywhere I go I take my reusable bottle from Kleankanteen! As I don't drink anything else like soda or juices, water is my number one and I always bring it with me. I hate it when it is empty and I don't have a place to refill as I refuse to buy bottles of water in NL. I already advised NS to make free water tap stations, fingers crossed!
Another one in the drinking section are my reusable cups. I have one made of bamboo for warm drinks( I used to work in a project where they used plastic and paper cups for tea...my worst nightmare so I brought my bamboo cup when I worked there) and a reusable plastic one that I bring to all the events and festivals I go to.
Then the issue of plastic bags to bring foods with you. I haven't had plastic bags for years in my house. I always used a tupperware box and nowadays a stainless steel or bamboo box. But I experienced a problem with space....as I travel alot it feels useless to carry the empty box with me half of the time so I bought Keep leaf, a bag that you can close with velcro, for sandwiches and a stasher bag which is comparable to a ziplock plastic bag. They are amazing and when you don't use them you can make them small and easily carry them with you.
My most flashy item is my own straw! I stopped using straws but sometimes a cocktail is just nicer with one, so now I have my unicorn coloured straw...what else do we need to make the world a better place?!?
Let's swap to the bathroom department, number one; my bamboo toothbrush. The only part that is from nylon is the brush but the rest is recyclable. Then soap, for years I have had my refillable soap pump so I didn't need to buy the plastic pumps anymore but only the refill package. Until a few years ago I changed to soap bars again. Also in the shower! There are so many different kind of soaps that have the same softness as the showercream you really don't need to buy these plastic monsters anymore. Same for shampoo, the shampoo bar is an amazing invention.
Last but not least, the menstruation cup. It replaces tampons and pads and is more hygienic. You have to get used to it and find the right one but wow, this helps you to reduce waste alot!
Then let's move to the supermarket, I think I don't need to mention that using a plastic bag is really a no go! Bring your own cotton bag or a backpack to carry your items in. Next to that I made a few cotton bags in different sizes to carry with me to the supermarket. You can collect a selection of apples or other fruits in there or if you go to the package free supermarket you can also use it for nuts or dried goods. You don't want to make them yourself? No worries, off course these are also for sale.
Then shopping in the regular supermarket.....that is not easy to do waste free.....So in this case, choose the best option. Choose food in glass containers, choose butter in a paper package and make more things yourself. When you make them yourself you also know what is in there, more fresh ingredients and no strange ingredients you can't pronounce.
Do you eat meat and/or fish? Try to reduce the intake of this. We don't need to eat these products every day, 2-3 times a week is more then enough. When you buy meet or fish, don't do this in the supermarket. If you reduce the intake you can invest in better quality and go to the butcher or fishshop in your neighbourhood. I try to bring my own boxes when I go there, they had to get used to it but like it now.
The waste I do produce I seperate in glass, paper, plastic and other. It looks a bit messy in the kitchen but it really makes me happy to do so.
Then the next item, travelling.
This one is a bit more difficult as in many countries you can't drink the tapwater. My rule is buying the biggest bottle I can find, most of the time 5-7 liters. Ok, it is heavy but I really think it is worth it. Nowadays you also have many waterfilters. Careplus recently developed one and you also have waterbottles with build in filters. This will be my next step, just need to find some time to do the research!
I also stopped using the mini packages all hotels offer when you book a room. I used to love them and felt like a little kid in paradise with all these different fragrances of soap but really....so much plastic! I bring my own and don't touch the ones in the hotel anymore.
Then say no to plastic bags, almost everywhere in the world you get a plastic bag with everything! It drives me nuts. People look at you like you are an alien but I always say no and add to it that I try to reduce plastic. Hopefully this will inspire others to also do so.
When we have a stop at the side of the road or we have a walk in nature I always collect the litter I find. I really think if we all do this we can make a difference.
When I fly( i know, the one thing I should reduce/stop to help the environment) I always ask them to refill my waterbottle instead of a plastic cup of water. I refuse the snacks in plastic and limit myself to my basic needs on a flight. I never throw out tissues or napkins you get but don't use, I keep them for later as they are great toiletpaper!
Then last but not least, a few years ago I stopped buying clothes. I had enough in my closet and the footprint of the production of clothes is enormous. I started using all I have and what I don't like anymore I give to charity. What is worn out I use as a cleaning cloth before I throw it out. When people throw things away because they don't fit it anymore or don't like it anymore they think of me and like this I keep some circulation in my outfits. When I do buy clothes, basics like black and white t-shirts or tops, I try to find sustainable materials like bamboo or pure cotton.
Why do I do this?
Because I really believe that a better world starts with me.
"Be the change you want to see in the world"
This is a quote of Mahatma Gandhi that changed my life and that I will never forget.
Like I said, I write this blog on request. I don't want to force you in changing your lifestyle, I just want to share and inspire. Change has to come from within you.
Are you inspired and do you wonder where I buy all these things?
Check out greenjump.nl or ecomondo.nl.
Do you have any questions? Don't hesitate to reply or contact me!
Let's make the world a better place :)