Whilst Christmas time is full of cheer and goodwill, and a time when we all enjoy giving and receiving thoughtful gifts. The festive season and the days just after Christmas, in particular, can be a time for reflection and to have a cold, hard look at the amount of waste that all that giving of gifts and sending of cards generates.
For some, this is the time to make New Year’s resolutions too, and what better way to start the new year than by committing to reduce your own personal carbon footprint by trying to produce less waste and to use less plastic. In today’s blog post, we go through a few ideas on how to make some simple choices that will cut down on the plastic that you use, without any hard sacrifices having to be made.
Start In The Kitchen
One of the easiest ways to tackle your personal plastic consumption is to look around your kitchen and see where you are actually using plastics, and in particular, disposable plastics. Is your fridge full of yoghurts, for example, or is the freezer heavily laden with ready meals? Does your family get through a huge quantity of biscuits and sweets? Are your shelves and cupboards crammed with plastic bottles and jars; ketchup, peanut butter, pasta sauce, and so forth?
If the answer to many of these questions is a resounding yes, then it’s time to take action. It might seem daunting and you might resent the idea of having to give up all of those tasty items, but the good news is that with a little preparation and planning, you won’t need to go without anything and your plastic-free replacements are likely to taste even better than the shop-bought ones. Armed with a few glass jars and glass bottles and perhaps some freezer-safe storage containers, you should be able to make a real dent in your plastics use in no time at all.
We’ve covered how to make your own tomato ketchup in a previous blog post, so check back through our archives. All you need is tomatoes, sugar, vinegar and spices and, of course, some suitable glass bottles to put your ketchup in. Once you’ve mastered ketchup, you can easily progress to other items such as salad cream, peanut butter or sweet pouring sauces for desserts.
Another thing that we’ve covered in the past is making your own yoghurt. Yoghurts are a big culprit when it comes to single-use plastic, so they are a good target to aim at when reducing your own plastic use. Once you’ve made your first batch of natural yoghurt, you can use a small amount from that batch to make the next lot, and so on. Flavour your yoghurt with homemade jams or pureed fruits for a variety of different flavours. And of course, you can make your yoghurt in glass jars so that you are entirely plastic-free on this item.
If you are forever forgetting to take a bag for life to the supermarket, or you resort to buying sandwiches for lunch every day instead of taking a packed lunch, then it’s time to start training yourself to think and act differently. If you are really committed to making a big change, you need to work on these areas.
Try folding a couple of carriers neatly and packing them in your handbag or satchel, so that you always have them with you. Add another couple of bags stowed in the car for emergency shopping stops. Every time you bring shopping home in those bags, train yourself as part of the unpacking to replace them in your own bag or the car, ready for reuse.
As for your sandwich for lunch every day, why not consider taking your own lunch to work? Again, check our archives for exciting salads made in glass jars. These are perfect as packed lunches and can help you with that other New Year’s resolution too - the diet!
If you find yourself storing open packs of pasta, rice and other kitchen staples in their original plastic wrappers and then wasting food because the packaging splits and spills the contents, then think about storing these items in glass jars instead. They’ll keep better in an airtight jar and your shelves will be neater too.
You could even find out whether there is a zero-waste store in your neighbourhood and start buying rice, flour, cereals and pasta from there, to get rid of the plastic packaging on these altogether. Simply decant into your glass jars when you bring your shopping home.
If you are inspired to try to reduce your own plastic usage this year, why not get organised and check out our range of glass jars and glass bottles, so that you have everything you need to commit to this properly? If we all do our bit on plastic usage, we can really make a difference!