Investing in a set of plastic or glass containers will pay off very soon! Here is quick maths: a set of 17 containers from IKEA costs 4 pounds. Cling film and aluminium foil cost 11 pounds in total. You can use containers for cupboard storage, fridge storage and for school lunches. They leave much less of a carbon footprint than constant disposing of plastic wrap and waste of aluminium which rarely goes into recycling.
Use erasable markers
If you go through a lot of draft paper for your work or studies, consider this – writing on windows, mirrors and white boards. You can buy erasable markers for as little as one pound per pack and use smooth surfaces in your house for your thoughts, reminders, draft work, and notes. And once you’re done just use a cloth to remove writings. This way you will cut down on lined paper and sticky notes yet still get things done.
BYOB – Bring your own bag
Rolls of meters of plastic bags are always there when you’re picking fruits and vegetables in a grocery shops. Plastic carrier bags are also there for us at the check outs – do you even think of turtles that get trapped in those after we dispose of them? Either buy a cotton/multiuse carrier bag or bring a backpack!
Drinks at a bar: Bottled vs tap
Even when you’re having a fun night out with your friends, you can still be helping the planet. Simply choose beers and cyders that are from the tap rather than from the bottle and this step will cut down on rubbish – bars rarely recycle glass bottles anyway!
Invest in a coffee cup and a water bottle
You can either make a 20-cent coffee to-go at home or get discounts at coffee shops if you use your cup. Google cafes near you that will give you discounts and other freebies for being more environmentally friendly. Invest in a water filter for your kitchen to save on bottled water.
Separate papers and plastics
If recycling and separate garbage collection are not yet a thing in your country, you can still sort of separate your garbage at home. Three main types of materials that can be recycles are glass, paper, and plastic. Simply put extra bags for jars, plastics bottles, and draft papers and make sure to communicate with your family about your new initiative.
Even though recycling containers may not be in close proximity to your neighborhood, there definitely are a few local initiatives in your city which you could drive to once in a while. Sometimes you get paid cash per kilo of a material that you bring.
This is something that not a lot of people are aware of. A way to go is to actually wash and dry bottles and other plastics that came into contact with food. The reason is obvious – there is no time to clean individual bottle at the recycle factory. As a result, such objects end up in the landfill. Make sure to empty and rinse milk bottles to ensure food particles won’t contaminate other plastics.
Choose to send receipts via emails
Something as simple as a receipt is not as innocent as it seems at the first sight. Receipts are made of thermal paper which contain toxic chemical bisphenol A (BPA) for heat-resistance. They are also non-recyclable because the paper used contains for than one material which are impossible to separate. So rather than getting your receipt printed, ask to send it to you via an email.
If you are commuting to work/university by a car, consider picking up a few friends on the way there. This way you can split the cost of gas and cut down CO2 emission.
Local food tend to cost less because it didn’t require much transportation. Local market is a nice place to reduce use of plastic wrapping. Another advantage is that you can bargain the price down and save up some cash that way too!