One of the things I've been feeling most passionate about recently is living a more zero waste lifestyle (which I talked about more in Zero Waste Living (for a Newbie) ). The biggest takeaway for me is to try and use plastic as little as possible. I try not to do a ton of glass and metal, but I know the recycling life of those items is far greater than plastic, which can only be recycled a couple of times. We are far from perfect, we still buy plastic sometimes - but I think being more cognizant of what we buy is a huge step in the right direction.
Here are the biggest shifts I've made:
1. Bring Your Grocery Bags (& maybe always?!).
I can't tell you how many times I was just taking a walk, out for coffee with a friend, or going over to my in-laws when I wish I had an extra bag! Now, I try to bring a little one with me everywhere I go. I like the Chico Bag if you need a teensy one to carry with you.
2. Drink Your Coffee at the Cafe (or bring a to-go cup).
If you know you're gonna stay there, ask for a ceramic cup. It's cheaper for the cafe, better for the environment, and forces you to take some time for yourself or with a friend. If you do know you are gonna take it to go, or think you might, bring your own cup! I try to always have mine with me because I'm a slow coffee drinker!
3. Quit Using Produce Bags.
If you can avoid buying celery already in a bag, then just leave it! Don't put it in a bag! They don't mind at the register, and any loose veggies don't need to be quarantined in a bag. You're going to wash them anyway, just don't do it!
4. Buy Your Fresh Herbs in Plant Form.
I needed basil for a recipe the other day, and realized there was no plastic whatsoever on the actual basil plant. I get lots of basil, a beautiful plant that helps keep our air clean, and no plastic? What a good deal!
5. Bring Your Water Bottle Everywhere.
Any time I am dying of thirst, that's when I decide I need to buy a water. Not only is it bad for the environment, but it's a waste of money. Now I try to bring some water with me everywhere I go! Just avoid needing to buy it at all costs!
These are probably somewhat obvious, but it helps (myself included!) to reiterate why these habits are important. Just a couple of little switches can make all the difference.
Go forth and use less plastic!
P.S. Don't get a straw with your drink! You don't need it! <3