Last year saw a surge in people demanding better packaging solutions and more options to buy unpackaged at their local shops. As we navigate the difficult transition of understanding the environmental impact of alternative solutions to plastic, our top tips still are these: reduce the amount of products you buy that need packaging in the first place, buy local & seasonal food and get into the habit of taking small fabric bags and containers to the shops. Even supermarkets are now fully prepared to accept your containers at the deli counter to avoid plastic bags. Buying unpackaged, making things from scratch and switching to simple non-plastic solutions such as wooden toothbrushes and refillable water bottles are vital first steps to eliminating single-use plastic from your home.
Here are some ideas for your 2019 new year’s resolutions:
1. Buy only unpackaged fruit and vegetables in your own small fabric bags
2. Give up plastic bottles
3. Use your own containers to buy cheese, meat, fish & deli items
4. Give up Tetrapak and make your own nut milks or orange juice – it’s so easy!
5. Invest in beeswax or vegan food wraps to replace cling film and foil
6. Give up plastic-wrapped snacks and sweets
7. Make your own packed lunches and hot drinks in thermos flasks
8. Cut down on milk and have it delivered in glass bottles
9. Buy bread loaves in paper bags or in your own fabric bags
10. Switch to bamboo toothbrushes and try out a simple toothpaste recipe
11. Find your nearest refill place for laundry & washing up detergents
12. Try out shampoo bars and use nice soap instead of shower gels
13. Switch from tea bags to tea leaves – most tea bags contain plastic
14. Give up ready-made meals
15. Make your own hummus, dips, snacks, biscuits, crackers… get creative!
16. Find out if there is a shop near you that sells unpackaged pasta, rice, lentils, nuts & seeds. Check this map of zero waste shops near you.
The way to make it easier is to simplify everything and at the same time to invest a little more time in shopping and preparing food. This is an opportunity for doing things together with family and friends, to be mindful of how we shop and eat, and to connect with the seasons and with nature. You’ll feel great – I can guarantee that.