Turtle swimming underwater

5 easy ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle

In honour of Earth Day I want to share with you five easy ways to cut out plastic and be more sustainable everyday because one thing that comes up everyday at work is single use plastic. Whether it’s the endless stack of one use water bottles piling up or pulling out an afternoon snack from a plastic bag – even packaging your sandwich in cling film (ps. here’s an alternative). There are so many single use products we could cut out everyday with a little research and creativity so I’ve rounded up some of my favourites.

  1. Single use water plastic bottles & take away coffee cups
    This is simple, buy a reusable water bottle and fill it up before you head out for the day so you’re not tempted to buy one from the shops. Stopping for lunch? Refill it with the table water. Going to a meeting, refill it before you leave the office. I promise you’ll have more opportunities than you think to refill and always have fresh water with you when you need it.
    The same goes for take away coffee cups, keep one in your bag for your morning take away – some places will even give you a discount for bringing a reusable cup! Worried about your afternoon coffee run? Either rinse your cup yourself before you go or tell them when you order ‘sorry I didn’t have time to wash it after my morning coffee, can you rinse it quickly’. I have done this multiple times and no one has ever said no.
  2. Alternatives to plastic bags and packaging
    Sometimes it’s not up to you how your products are packaged. I get that. But when you do have the option, chose the less plastic route. Do you need the pre-packaging peppers or can you buy them individually and cut down on plastic?
    Bringing your lunch to work? Invest in glass containers and reusable baggies for things like carrot sticks or nuts as afternoon snacks.
  3. Carry a reusable tote
    The biggest one from everyone – a reusable tote. Not only will you save on the 5p bag charge but it’s so easy. I get for guys this might seem more of a stretch but ladies there is no reason you can’t always have a tote in the bottom of your bag.
     
  4. Change up your cleaning supplies
    When’s the last time you stopped and thought, my cleaning supplies are really unclean? For example, if you use pods in your laundry or dishwasher – they’re wrapped in plastic. Or the number of plastic bottles of cleaning supplies you go through when you’re deep cleaning your house before the in-laws arrive. Or the single use and throw antibacterial wipes for paper towels? Opt for washable cloths to wipe down the countertops when cleaning.
     
  5. Bathroom plastics
    I’ve talked about this one before on Instagram and in a poll and almost no one recycled their bath products, ie body wash, shampoo or even makeup. Read the bottles and recycle everything that you can and where you can opt for zero plastic.
    Do you need a body wash or can you get by with soap? Or find products that come in glass containers and jars that you can repurpose. For example, when I finish with the Elemis creams, I rinse and use to store random knick knacks or even turn into a jewellery holder for my rings.

    It’s difficult but you can find ways to change you habits – I’ve stopped using makeup remover wipes and instead opt for my

    Preclease oil to take off my makeup. Yes, it’s packaged in plastic but I know that when it’s done, I can rinse and recycle it instead of having makeup wipes pile up in a landfill. Still want to use your favourite micellar water or eye makeup remover with a cotton round – try eco friendly alternative that you can wash – these are good and come with a convenient laundry bag.

About the author
Staci West is an obsessive compulsive traveller who is currently dealing with a chronic case of coffee addicition. Symptoms include blackouts from online shopping sessions, a ferocious passion for everything colourful and energy levels that exceed a normal human capacity. On the advice of her carer and companion, Kendall her yellow labrador, she created L&L, a down to Earth lifestyle blog, as a distraction for her pathological need for shoes.

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