As I learn more about climate change and the problems with recycling in the UK, the more I fear using plastic. I don’t believe going completely plastic-free is feasible for 99.9% of people, but I’ve started feeling really guilty when I buy plastic products.
All I can think about is how they’re going to outlive me, and will end up being someone else’s problem in another part of the world. I hate the way this country ‘recycles’ by just dumping our plastic problem onto other, most likely poorer, countries, and I hate that I’m part of the problem.
I’m torn between thinking it’s great that I’m more aware of what I buy, and tired of feeling bad for letting capitalism sweep me into its arms and shower me with convenient options which my lazy ass often accepts.
So, I’ve decided to make a list of all the good swaps I’ve made, and the ones I should make in future. That way I can feel a bit better about the lifestyle changes I’ve taken on, and make future changes seem less daunting.
- Reusable cups/mugs for coffee, iced coffee, boba, water…
- Steel straw (one normal, one for boba)
- Recycled toilet paper with an FSC certification (Forest Stewardship Council)
- Reusable makeup cloth/pads
- Bringing one tote bag everywhere, so you never need to buy a plastic bag
- Period underwear, menstrual cup or reusable pads, rather than pads and tampons
- A metal safety razor instead of disposable plastic razors
- Buying second-hand furniture
- Cleaning products such as Ecover or homemade
- Plastic free bath products e.g. solid deodorant and soap bars
- Plastic free toothbrushes
- Reusable wax wraps rather than cling film
- Tea infuser instead of tea bags
- Bulk buying carbs like rice and pasta
- Fast fashion (buy clothes second-hand or from ethical brands)
- Meat and dairy
- Plastic-wrapped veg
- Using the dryer
- Buying from large corporations if you can find an alternative from an independent business i.e from local shops or from people on etsy
These are just the things I’ve thought of. There’s obviously endless swaps a person can make to lessen their carbon footprint, so please let me know of any more changes you think I should add to my list.