If you are shocked by climate change and are wondering how you can do your bit to reverse it, here are 10 steps you can take towards living a plastic-free life:
1. Carry reusable shopping bags when you step out to shop for groceries, or clothing, even electronics.
2. Give up single-use bottled water completely. Carry a stainless steel or a glass bottle with you, which you can refill when required.
3. Carry your own containers for take-out food instead of using single-use disposable boxes. Give up on plastic lunchboxes and replace them with stainless steel containers.
4. Carry a stainless steel travel mug for coffee, tea, and other drinks when you are out. Avoid using straws whenever possible or even paper cups, as they are lined with a plastic coating.
5. Opt for ice cream cones instead of cups or containers that you store in the fridge. Cones are zero-waste. This step also leads to a healthier lifestyle, where you can cut down on your ice cream intake.
6. Say no to plastic packaging when ordering online. Most online retailers now have an option which gives you an option — Say no to plastic. If not, drop in a message to the seller requesting zero plastic or Styrofoam packaging, including the plastic tape.
7. Avoid wrapping gifts using plastic tape or wrapping paper. Think of innovative ways of using a fancy string on a paper cover. Even better, use a reusable cloth bag to send gifts. Ask your friends to send you gifts in a similar way.
8. Make your parties plastic-free by using durable cutlery instead of disposable ones. Send out notes to people requesting them not to use plastic cling-wrap on potluck dishes.
9. Avoid buying clothes made out of ‘plastic fabric’, namely polyester, acrylic, lycra, spandex, and nylon. Opt for organic cotton, ethically-made wool, silk, and other natural fibers.
10. Use plastic-free accessories and personal care products. Choose products that come in glass or metal containers. Install glass/wood/metal containers in your bathroom/dressing room to refill soap or lotion.