Reducing Single Use vs Plastic Free Living

Living sustainably can seem overwhelming, especially with increasing amounts of often conflicting information available online and in the media regarding how to live sustainably and the statistics regarding the decline of our environment. One of the simplest ways to begin is by reducing single-single use items that are purchased by you and your family. 

Although reducing single-use can certainly be contributed to by plastic-free living, but it is not just plastic that is overflowing filling up our landfills and littering our oceans.  There are many other single-use items causing the issue, most of which be or drastically reduced in the home by simply replacing them with long-lasting, quality items.  Hence single-use is something we can all easily change to make a difference.

Here are just a few single-use items that can be easy to reduce or eliminate from your home, and some tips on how to replace them with long-term use items.

  1. Menstrual products
    Disposable menstrual pads and tampons are one of the highest volume items littering our oceans. The materials they contain can take many, many years to break down, and their pollution can cause extreme, irreparable damage to fish and other ocean creatures.

    You can reduce your use of these single-use items by investing in re-useable menstrual pads, which are fabric pads with a sewn-in liner that can be machine-washed, or by investing in a menstrual cup, which is a small silicone cup that can be washed and re-used for up to several years.

  2. Single serving coffee pods
    The recent popularity of single-serve coffee makers has brought about a surge of single-serve coffee pods flavours, and in turn, a huge increase in litter. These single-serve pods are typically made from plastic and foil, neither of which break down in the environment particularly quickly. 

    Another very simple method of reducing single-use items is to switch your use of single-serve coffee pods for reusable coffee pods which are available for both Nespresso and Dolce Gusto machines.  Or make the switch to a Reusable Travel Flask with a built-in double filter fine enough to use your plunger grinds on the go. 

  3. Plastic Bags
    Plastic bags may be one of the worst offenders when it comes to polluting our environment. Billions of plastic bags are used every day and despite the low cost of purchasing a reusable bag, most will continue to use plastic bags. 

    One of the simplest ways of reducing your use of single-use products, as well as moving towards plastic-free living, is to eliminate the use of plastic bags. Purchasing a good quality produce bag will contribute enormously to preventing pollution. A durable, well-made produce bag with double stitching can make it easier to carry your groceries and will last for years.

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