The 5 best ways to reduce your plastic waste
We at Gotland's beeswax cloths are passionate about sustainability. That's exactly why we started the company - to make it easy for people to make a big difference - by offering super great and super stylish beeswax cloths that you just can't stop using. If you are interested in us, you can read more here
"Live more sustainably" or "reduce plastic use" can easily become a bit abstract, and it can be difficult to know where to start. We have therefore collected our five best tips for reducing plastic waste. Let's begin!
1. Weigh your plastic weekly
Our first tip is about being able to measure progress over time. It's actually quite simple. Save all your plastic waste, and weigh it at the end of each week. Then try to reach a lower number at the same time next week.
It is based on this: The important thing when setting goals is that they are specific and measurable. Then it becomes easier to actually take concrete steps. If you have nothing clear to measure, it is also difficult to know whether you have actually made progress or not.
Therefore, the easiest way to lose weight is to weigh your weekly plastic consumption.
- During the week, save all your plastic waste.
- On Sunday evening you weigh it, and write down your number.
- Do the same in the next week and try to beat the previous week's results
In this way, it becomes easy and fun to slim down plastic. You can even invite friends and family and make it a competition.
2. Categorize your plastic waste
The first tip is really fun to get started with. Only a small dilemma arises. Reducing the weight of the week's plastic bag sounds exciting, especially if you set a goal or made it a competition, but how do you get started? How to easily know WHAT it is to buy less of? Just saying "buy less plastic" is easier said than done
This is where the next tip comes into play: Categorizing your plastic waste.
It's super easy. Instead of just having one big bag of plastic waste, have several small bags for different rooms in the home or for different types of products.
When you then weigh your plastic bags, you easily get an overview of what you consume the most.
A tip to avoid making the plastic diet seem like too high a mountain to climb is to start with one room/category at a time. For example, the bag that is heaviest (because it is the one that is then most important).
By also opening the bag and looking at it, you immediately get a little insight into whether it is a particular product that you buy a lot.
- By categorizing your plastic waste, you get an easier overview of where you need to focus.
3. Switch to reusable options
It may sound obvious, but it is important to be aware of WHAT exactly it is that is so harmful.
The harmful thing about our plastic consumption is that it is based on single use.
In theory, it doesn't have to be harmful to buy a plastic bag or plastic bottle and reuse it over and over again - the problem is that it rarely happens, and these products are not designed to be reused. They are designed for single use.
If you followed tips one and two, you know what plastic products you need to stop buying - then it's just a matter of looking for reusable alternatives that you can use over and over instead of just once.
Examples of changes to make are:
From disposable cups to reusable cups.
Buying disposable cups every time you buy coffee to-go is completely unnecessary and very harmful, especially if you do it often. Switch to reusable mugs that you can take with you instead. It is available, for example, in silicone or glass.
From plastic bags to fabric bags
A classic in environmental circles. A cloth bag can be used for any occasion when you need to carry something. Perfect, right?
From plastic straws to reusable straws
It is becoming common to switch from plastic straws to reusable alternatives. For straws, there are other alternatives in, for example, metal, glass, or bamboo.
From plastic foil and plastic bags to beeswax cloths
Read more in tip 4.
4. Change from plastic wrap and plastic bags to beeswax cloths
Of course we can't write a list like this without including some advertising for ourselves :)
Since the majority of plastic waste comes from the kitchen (which you will probably notice when you start weighing and categorizing your waste), this is perhaps the most important area to focus on.
Beeswax cloths are a sustainable and natural alternative to plastic wrap and plastic bags, which are also reusable. It is simply a very easy way to make a big difference. You can read more about beeswax cloths here
In short: Changing from plastic film to beeswax cloths is a simple and smooth change that makes a huge difference to the climate.
5. Be aware of your choices
Finally, we just want to say that a big piece of this puzzle is just being aware, and making conscious decisions. You can invent all sorts of systems to measure and weigh how much plastic is used, but in the end the most important thing is that you do what you can and that you are aware of your decisions.
Don't be too hard on yourself if it doesn't turn out perfect at first. It's the long-term progress that matters - not if it's right from week one.
We hope you learned something and/or were inspired to make a change. Now we are super interested in hearing your best tips and ideas on how to live sustainably. Email us or write in the comment field!
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/Leo and Sebastian