Here at Earth Worthy our relationship with plastic is far from perfect. We try to avoid it, but it really does feel entwined in our lives. This is unsurprising when Australians are some of the biggest consumers of plastic in the world. In recent news we’ve heard that state governments are phasing out some single use plastic products, great news!
Considering every piece of plastic ever created still exists today, we want to avoid it where we can (especially single use). Here are a few ways we feel like we’re nailing our battle with plastic pollution and some acknowledgements of where we’re flailing.
Plastic free periods! This one is for the ladies, but it’s important for the guys to hear too (normalise periods). I’ve been using a menstrual cup for years and it is definitely a single use swap for the better! Only having to change morning and night makes life so much easier and period undies give an extra layer of protection on heavier days. Menstrual cups can take a while to get used to but persevere because once you work them out there is no going back!
Natural clothing: Synthetic clothing is full of plastic which ends up in our waterways every time we wash so I try to have a general rule that I avoid purchasing new synthetic clothing and opt for natural clothing when I can (the exception being gym and swim gear – there are recycled options). I do still buy synthetic clothing second hand from ops shops, particularly tops for work as synthetic options don’t need ironing. I try and do the same with bedding, towels etc. choosing 100% cotton or wool. I’ve certainly been caught out when I thought something was natural and ended up having a percentage of polyester in it, but just being aware can significantly reduce your synthetic purchases.
Fruit and veg deliveries: I love that my fruit and veg is delivered in season and nude! Our berries come in a paper bag, our herbs wrapped in newspaper and everything else just goes straight into one cardboard box which is delivered to Our door. When I do go to the shops I also ‘shop nude’ as much as I can, choosing loose rather than packaged products. Where are we struggling? Berries! They are the biggest challenge when we head to the shops. The packaging goes in the recycling after use, but sadly this doesn’t guarantee it will be recycled, currently recycling rates in Australia are only at 10%.
Takeaway food: We try and eat in when we can, say no to plastic bags and wash and reuse plastic containers that food comes in. Honestly, we’ve been eating a lot more takeaway in the last 18 months (COVID), but we do try and avoid venues that overdo the plastic and say no to individually packaged sauces or plastic cutlery. We also BYO cups to get coffee and have formed a pretty good habit so that we rarely need to use takeaway cups these days.
Shopping bags: It wouldn’t be an Earth Worthy post if we didn’t talk reusable shopping bags! All are not created equal. Earth Worthy bags are intentionally made 100% plastic free and 100% compostable because we do not want to contribute to the plastic problem. If you do need to purchase a bag please avoid the plastic options – first use what you’ve got or see if you can grab a box from the supermarket. Simple steps for our family to make sure we have out bags when we head out are to have them hanging near the front door (they look great on display) or putting them straight back into the car after we shop so that we have then for next time. Even if you forget to take them out of the car and into the supermarket ask for your groceries to be put back in the trolley and pack then when you get to the car.