THINK BEFORE YOU USE
Virtually every piece of plastic ever made still exists in some shape or form
(except the small percentage that was incinerated)
The very first step to reducing your Plastic Footprint, is to not let a piece of Plastic enter your life until you really need it and don’t have a substitute for the need.
Most of the disposable plastic enters our lives, just because we don’t think about it!
Here are some easy to give up Plastic Items that you can pledge to give up today itself to save the environment – and it doesn’t take much except saying, “No, Thank you!”
5 minutes of use, 200 years of Plastic for the environment!
Ditch the straw and lift your drink instead. If you must use a straw, ask for an eco-friendly reusable option like Bamboo Straws, Metal Straws, Glass straws.
Even the Paper straw comes at a cost of deforestation and most of them have plastic linings inside making them not-so-eco-friendly.
Keep a Bamboo straw in your bag!.
Or better yet – keep a handy straw and cutlery pouch with you!
With countless available options, there is no reason to use even a single plastic bag!
– Carry a reusable cotton bag with you! (Check out our Foldable Cotton Bags Option here)
– Carry multiple bags for grocery shopping
– Try other reusable options of bags like Jute or Canvas
– Stop accepting Plastic Bags with your home delivery products. Return the Bags if possible.
Choose your eco-friendly options wisely – If you are using any bag that says “Biodegradable” or “Compostable” on it – Check what it is made of! Most “Compostable” Bags available today can be converted into compost only in Industrial Composting Facilities. Left in the open, they are as bad as plastic, and maybe even worse – like the wolf in sheep disguise! Know more about “Biodegradable” or “Compostable” products here.
Bring your own bottle!
The last time I purchased a bottle of water was more than 3 years ago! Simply carry your own bottle of water wherever you go.
Keep a bottle in your car or at work or when you travel (just remember to empty it out for that security check!)
If you must buy water for drinking outside, try to walk into a restaurant or cafe and ask for water in a glass! Its free at most places – you’ll be surprised when you just simply ask!
Opt for the reusable one
Again, all it takes is “No. Thank you!” Please ask for that steel spoon, the steel fork, the glass plate! It is a simple dishwashing effort for the cafe/ eatery/ office cafeteria!
One meal with toxic plastic not only harms your health, it harms the environment for hundreds of years to come. Remember that turtle found with a plastic fork stabbed in its nose! Don’t let that be your fork in the future.
If reusable cutlery is not available, carry your own!
Click here to buy our cutlery bag – simply wash the bamboo cutlery once you get home or dispose of it if you wish – from the nature, goes back to nature!
Coffee to go but the Plastic will remain!
If you’re sitting in a cafe and having a drink, insist on glass/ ceramic while ordering.
If you must take your coffee to go, try to bring your own cup.
At the very least, ditch that lid. Because even if the coffee shop may insist their cups are “eco-friendly”, those lids are not!
Mix your coffee with a steel spoon or wooden stirrer (if available) – the stirrer you use for less than a minute is just as bad as the plastic straw!
Click here to buy our cutlery bag with an added option of coffee stirrer
Fun for a short while, Threat to the environment for years!
Even the Biodegradable Balloons take up to 4 years to start breaking down. During this time, they can travel long distances and even make their way into the food chain as they get consumed by animals/ fish confusing the balloons for food.
Moreover, they pose as fire threats if they land on electricity poles and circuits. Helium used in balloons has more important applications such as medical equipment and being a limited non-renewable resource, should ideally be saved for those applications.
There are plenty of other options to have fun that do not include releasing balloons in the environment. So next time you think of releasing or playing with balloons, maybe blow bubbles, use streamers/ flags/ spinners or other such fun stuff!
Not only are Cotton Buds bad for your ears (Click here to know more) but they are also bad for the environment.
These Cotton Buds/ Q-tips have a plastic stick that the cotton is wrapped around and that plastic stays in the environment for up to 200 years. Opt for eco-friendly options like paper sticks or wooden sticks for the cotton buds.
If you already practice the above steps, you’ve already begun your Plastic-Free journey. Now you can start looking at other options where you can say “NO” to Plastic with just a little more effort.
Even the “Compostable” Ones are not so eco-friendly!
Check your garbage bags – even the efforts to put waste in the green or black (or any other color for that matter) Garbage Bag that say “Biodegradable” or “Compostable” may be causing more harm than help!
Most of the compostable bags are only compostable in industrial composts – with few such facilities in India, these bags are more likely to reach landfills where they are just as bad (if not worse) than plastic. Moreover, if you use these bags for your wet waste, they will lead to slower composting for the wet waste and lead to impurities in the compost as they won’t break down in time.
Best option is to not use any liners at all – just wash your wet waste bin after emptying it. Use a covered dry bin and discard directly.
If you must use a liner, use newspaper liners.
Tea, Coffee, Sugar, Shampoo – The List Goes on!
What was once an innovative packaging form is now the bane of our existence! Clogging drains everywhere – the sachet is the ultimate plastic packaging menace. And it doesn’t stop at that shampoo sachet you purchase for a trip.
Insist on using open tea, open sugar, open coffee instead of sachets and tea bags. And don’t forget to use the steel spoon or wooden stirrer for your coffee/ tea in a ceramic cup!
For all your sachet usage – there is always an alternative. A less polluting – maybe a bit more space consuming option. Read more on reducing shampoo sachet consumption in our Reduce Plastic section.
Opt for organic or unpackaged
While it may look pretty in a store, your fruits and vegetables packed in plastic serve no health purpose. Not only does the plastic pollute, it also causes unnecessary harm to your health (Read more about impact of plastic on your health)
Opt instead for open basket purchase where you can select the fruits and vegetables yourself. Moreover, get it weighed in one bag for as many as possible – Yes it is a little more effort for the cashier but its that much lesser plastic use!
If you order your fruits and vegetables online, ensure you order with businesses that do not deliver in plastic on your doorstep.
The tiny shiny beads are non-functional and pollute the environment.
Did you know that all the “Good for you” toothpastes, scrubs, creams, facewashes, body washes and shampoos and conditioners with “microbeads” are actually nothing but microplastics. These are super-tiny pieces of plastic that are polluting our water systems and eventually we end up consuming them!
Make sure when you buy products for yourself, let’s try not to use products with plastic inside as well, the packaging is enough plastic! Know the list of global brands and products with microbeads here.
Go back to the good old times of lids
This is one piece of “modern living” plastics that is absolutely not needed! Use steel/ glass/ wooden plates or lids to cover what you want to keep moisture out of. Let’s go back to doing what our mothers did when we were kids!
If you use this to carry sandwiches or food to work/school/anywhere else – carry it wrapped in butter paper or a brown bag or simply in an airtight lunchbox! Cotton cloth is great for wrapping your Parathas and Chapatis and keeping them fresh.
Moreover, using this for baking or other cooking steps is not only harmful for the environment, it isn’t the best for your health no matter what the advertisements say. There are plenty of recipes online for the same dish without using cling wraps. Get innovative!
As much as possible, try to minimize the doggie bag habit at restaurants – especially if you know the restaurant gives food in plastic boxes for takeaway purposes. Order only what you can eat – helps your wallet too!
If you eat out or order food at home frequently, try to order from restaurants that use eco-friendly containers or cardboard boxes without plastic linings (Yes your pizza orders are safe).
Or if you are going to get food, carry your own containers. No restaurant will refuse to pack food for you in your own boxes. Make that effort to keep your food safe from plastic.
While it is convenient to buy colourful plastic hangers, this is an easy to refuse plastic with a lot of aesthetic, environment friendly and longer lasting options available made of wood and/or metal. The slight premium price gets justified with the longer life of these alternatives.