3rd July is International Plastic Bag Free Day, designed to raise awareness of the negative impact of using plastic bags and encourage shoppers to use more sustainable options. We all know the planet is in trouble so we’ve put together this list of eight simple switches you can make to greenify your life.
1. Carry a tote bag at all times
About a million plastic bags are used every single minute across the globe! That’s a whole lot of unfantastic plastic to end up in landfill, the sea or nature. It’s a no brainer to carry a canvas bag secreted away in your handbag/computer bag/pocket at all times so that you always have an environmentally friendly option on hand to stash those impulsive purchases. It’s not hard to do so let’s eliminate single-use plastic bags from our lives.
2. Bye bye plastic wrap
Plastic wrap, or cling film, is another single-use plastic item which is super simple to eradicate from your life. It’s so easy to find reusable silicone food covers and beeswax wraps in all shapes and sizes. Go online right now and order some. The planet will thank you.
3. Hello bars of soap and solid shampoo
Liquid soap, shower gel, shampoo … all of these items add plastic bottles to the mountain of waste we humans generate each day. Why not switch to solid soaps and shampoo bar? Extra green points if you can find a local small business to buy from. There are loads of independent producers springing up offering gorgeous products made from all natural ingredients which feel very luxurious. Making the switch no longer needs to feel like a compromise.
4. Buy a reusable coffee cup
If you buy a cup of Joe from your favourite coffee shop every morning before work that’s around 200 plastic cups contributing to the plastic mountain each year from you alone. Reusable coffee cups are everywhere these days and there’s really no excuse not to have one. You just need to remember to stick it in your bag each morning.
5. Review your shopping habits
Food waste is a major environmental issue given the resources that go into producing and distributing our food. And households just like yours and mine are responsible for a lot of it. That black banana you threw away yesterday might not seem like a big deal but imagine the number of rotten bananas, lettuces and cucumbers being thrown away all over the world every single day. Most of us tend to overbuy food, especially fruit and vegetables, so it’s worth taking a close look at your shopping habits and buying perishable items in smaller quantities but more frequently. Again, an easy switch and – bonus – one that will save you money.
6. Eat less meat and dairy
It’s never been easier to find tasty vegan and vegetarian food options in restaurants and supermarkets and Asian cuisine lends itself particularly well to cutting out meat and dairy. If going full-on vegan seems like too big a step, start by going meat and dairy-free one day a week and build from there. Reduce portion size too – instead of frying up a big steak, stir fry a small amount of meat and bulk it up with plenty of tasty vegetables.
7. Bin fast fashion
The fashion industry has been in the spotlight recently. It’s the second most polluting industry in the world generating unacceptable volumes of pollution and waste and guzzling the world’s water supplies. In addition, the equivalent of 50 billion plastic bottles of plastic microfibers find their way into the sea, and the food chain, each year. Think carefully before you purchase new items of clothing – do you really need another pair of jeans? – and favour natural fibres from sustainable sources and timeless, classy items which won’t date and will last beyond one season.
8. Invest green
Green investing has exploded over the last couple of years now that you no longer have to sacrifice return in search of investments which don’t damage the planet. It has never been easier to select investments which reflect your environmental values. Collectively, we are sending a message to the big polluters that we want to support companies offering less carbon-intensive and more sustainable options and reshaping the way industries operate. This is huge for the planet.
On this final point, Infinity’s consultants are ideally placed to advise you on how to select investments that will deliver on green credentials and return. Why not contact us to find out how to greenify your investments to build a sustainable future for you and for the planet?