9 Simple Ways To Reduce Plastic Waste
Look around you. How many bits of plastic can you count? The pen on your desk. The soles of your shoes. The soles of your neighbour’s shoes.
When we start adding everything up, plastic can feel an unavoidable encounter. Even opening a Gousto box can be overwhelming – and not just because you’re excited to get cooking.
It’s why we’ve pledged to reduce the plastic in our boxes by 50% by the end of the year. We realise our responsibility is to change, so we’re taking the challenge and rising to it.
Watch this space.
In the meantime, we want to help you do the same. It can feel daunting, not knowing where to start when it comes to cutting plastic. And, as we’ve discovered, it really is everywhere.
But, some positivity. There are some incredibly easy habits to get into, that when adopted, will help save the environment, as well as a bit of money at the same time.
Get stuck in!
Carry a carrier
Do you always end up with a new plastic bag every time you nip out for ‘few bits’? We’ve all tried to stack our arms with cans of beans and bottles of wine, jenga-style. Sometimes it’s just easier to bag it.
Be prepared for any on-road purchases you might encounter by carrying a carrier with you. It’s simpler than you’d imagine.
Chuck your wallet, keys and phone in a canvas bag, rather than in your pockets. If you’re a driver, keep a bag for life in the boot. Even stuff a plastic bag in your jacket pocket. It’ll come in handy, we promise.
Help yourself into the habit by making it obvious! Put a note on the front door so that every time you leave, you’re reminded to leave armed.
Sounds bonkers, but it works.
Get a little Chilly
Drinking the recommended amount of water every day is equivalent to consuming four 500ml bottles.
While it’s important for our bodies to stay quenched, remember that the best way to do this is by carrying a reusable bottle, as from a price and eco-standpoint, bottled water is a sore loser.
Save yourself some money in the long run, and give the environment a break, with a lightweight water bottle, like one by Chilly’s or S’well.
When a party comes with a B-Y-O-B note, you (generally) know what the score is. But BYOC?
C stands for cup, and it’s an invite for guests to bring their own. The initiative is a double win for hosts: you ditch the plastic glasses as well as the washing up.
It’s also a great way of bringing sustainability onto the dancefloor, too.
Pack your lunches
Pre-packed lunches are heroic. When you’re busy at work, they save the twenty-minute trip to the sandwich shop. If you’re on a health kick, they’re your readymade answer to temptation.
They also help you swerve the inevitable packaging that comes with lunchtime fast food. Introduce yourself to every ethical foodie’s best friend – the Tupperware box.
Try a week of packed lunches and you’ll find yourself saving time and money as well as lessening your plastic consumption. You might even feel healthier, too.
When Gousto started out, our aim was to provide delicious recipes. We sent exact ingredients to help cut down on food waste.
Now, six years later, we’re improving our service by taking on the plastic in our boxes, and pledging to halve it by the end of 2019.
While we’re working on it, we’ve made sure the plastic that does keep your food fresh is all recyclable, and we encourage you to re-use wherever you can. We actually wrote a blog on How To Recycle Your Gousto Box to make it as simple as possible.
Sauce holding zip-lock bags make great containers for frozen herbs, for example. And, as we see time and time again, our boxes make great homes for pets! We even made a little video for Halloween last year with our friend kutovakika on how to turn your Gousto box into a haunted house for your cats, which you can watch here.
Ask for a lidless coffee
If you don’t drink coffee regularly enough to carry a keep cup, ask for your latte without a lid when you next buy one.
Doing away with single use, plastic coffee lids are an example of how we can evolve our habits to be more sustainable. You’ll have to look where you’re going when you’re drinking it, but, hey. That’s no bad thing.
Perhaps we’re preaching to the converted, but these days, the option to keep bank cards, ID and tickets on your phone, rather than your wallet, is readily available.
It’s a thought worth holding when you’re upgrading a Travel Card, for example. Rather than calling in another piece of printed plastic, go digital.
Flash a ticket inspector your phone and feel one bit of plastic lighter.
Consider how you replace stuff
You’ve bought a new phone. Great! You’ll need a cover to go with it. These things aren’t worth dropping.
So a new phone case. Which one will you choose? One that’s covered in avocados, or one with an inbuilt selfie light?
How about one that’s made from flaxstic, a biodegradable material made from flax straw and biopolymers.
When replacing items traditionally made from plastic, try considering a version that’s not. In the case of phone covers, Pela call themselves the “eco-friendly case that gives back” – giving some of their profit to animal conservation charities.
Investing in ethically minded companies on long term, plenty-of-use items keeps unnecessary plastic consumption at bay. It raises the profile of worthwhile businesses, too.
A lot of the tips we’ve suggested come with a slight lifestyle switch up. But, changing your habits to rely less on plastic is something to be proud of. So why not share the good news. (We’re telling everyone about ours).
By making a stand where we can, we hope to encourage others to do the same.