Hello everyone and Happy Earth Day week!
Today I have a special guest post for you from my great friend Nikki. She lives in the UK, and like me, has great love and respect for our planet. Because of that, I thought she would be the perfect person to share her favorite tips for reducing plastic use and waste overall.
Make sure to read all the way to the bottom! (There’s something special I’m giving away this year! 😉 )
So, without further ‘ado – here are Nikki’s tips! Leave a comment below and tell us which one is YOUR favorite!
Erin has asked me to share some simple tips to help with reducing waste in the kitchen; this is such a huge subject so I will try to keep it to the simplest and easy-to-put-into-action bullet points that focus mostly on reducing plastic. I am by no means an expert, these are just a few tips and tricks I have picked up along the way.
Firstly, each action you make to reduce plastics in your life, no matter how small, really does make a difference!
Starting with just one simple action is fantastic! Please don’t think you need to throw away all your plastic right now. Instead, plan to replace plastic items as they wear out (see tip 4). The key to this is to take small steps – this will keep the task from becoming overwhelming.
• Tip #1: Reusable bags! I know most people are really on board with this now for main shopping bags, which makes me do a happy dance, but there’s another step and it’s just as easy to implement – changing to reusable produce bags. You can easily make drawstring bags if you’re crafty, but there are some really cheap and pretty ones available online now too! They can help keep food fresh without sweating in the fridge, and when they’re empty they can be washed and popped back in with your shopping bags, ready for your next trip to the shop. (Erin uses these and loves them!)
• Tip #2: This is my biggest tip for reducing plastic waste in the kitchen – ‘Buy in Bulk’ whenever you can. It’s one of the simplest ways to reduce packaging BUT only buy what you can and will use. The easiest way to do that is to start with a weekly meal plan. See this post Erin did a little while back. It really helped me when I first started my healing journey, and as a by-product it’s helped reduce waste in my home too, how cool is that! Also, don’t shop when hungry! I personally don’t have a bulk buy store nearby so I buy certain things online by the kilo to reduce waste and save money. It takes some organisation and forward planning, and also the cash to buy a larger quantity in the first place, but the overall savings are genuinely with the effort. If you can’t bulk buy, try to purchase the larger pack sizes of things you use the most in recyclable or reusable packaging, i.e.: pasta in cardboard boxes, laundry powder in cardboard (or make your own).
• Tip #3: Keep your glass jars! They are really fab for storage all around the home and if you’re not a clumsy person like me, they are also great for drinking glasses, storing food in the fridge, and storing veggies for picnics! I like to use my almond butter jars for storing herbs I’ve bought in bulk. You can also freeze in glass containers. Thrift stores are often full of ceramic, glass and metal storage items just begging to be used. And you can make or buy beautiful fabric wraps to cover them (and use as sandwich wrappers!), if you happen to misplace the lid.
• Tip #4: Invest in a good quality plastic free drinking bottle, travel cup, reusable cutlery, and a steel or glass straw! Picnics feel so much classier with reusables! 😉
•Tip #5: Replace broken plastic items with compostable or recyclable alternatives, like wooden dish brushes with replaceable and compostable heads, steel handled squeegees with replaceable blades, or fabric cloths instead of paper towels.
Another fabulous way to reduce outgoing waste is to compost. Food thrown into landfill doesn’t properly decompose and releases harmful methane gas into our atmosphere.
Here is some startling, yet helpful information from recyclenow.com….
• Around 7 million tonnes of food is thrown away by households in the UK every year, and most of it could have been eaten. Little by little all this waste adds up. Over the course of a year the average family throws away around £700 of food shopping – equivalent to an annual utility bill.
• Some of the waste is made up of things like peelings, cores and bones, but the majority is, or once was, perfectly good food. Most of it ends up in landfill sites where it rots and releases methane, a damaging green house gas.
• Throwing away food is also a huge waste of the energy, water and packaging used in its production, transportation, and storage. If we all stopped wasting the food which could have been eaten, it would have the same CO2 impact as taking 1 in 4 cars off UK roads.
There are composters for even the smallest of spaces, from Japanese style to worm boxes. Even if you personally do not have a garden, as I know many people don’t, there are many clever ways to still make your scraps into compost!
• Try saving peelings and tops to make vegetable broth before composting to get the most out of your purchases. Some vegetables can even be re-grown from scraps like lettuce and green onions.
• If your local council does not have curb side composting schemes, try asking friends if they have a garden compost heap. You could also search out local allotments, greening schemes or gardening clubs, and ask if anyone has need of good compost material, I know I wouldn’t say no!
• Good compost is a mixture of Greens (fruit and veg scraps, clean egg shells, tea bags and coffee grounds, and grass clippings) and Browns (dampened and shredded egg cartons and toilet roll tubes, dry leaves and small twigs, well rotted horse manure). Avoid putting meat, oil, dairy, diseased or insect infected plant matter, perennial weeds, or manure from carnivores in the compost, as these attract vermin and are not good for your soil.
Just remember, making a small change on a personal level can, in turn,
help create big changes on the global level,
and that is pretty awesome.
I hope this helps! Happy Recycling and composting! Nikki xoxo
What do you think?! I loved her information about composting and Tip #4 is my favorite. I see so many people using disposable coffee cups and drinking water from plastic bottles. Not only is plastic not good for our planet, but is unhealthy for us too! Sometimes buying a travel mug and leaving it in our bag or car is the best way to make sure they are actually used and not just collecting dust in our cabinets. Not only that, but if you are at a coffee shop and plan to stay awhile, why not ask for a resuable mug? Coffee and tea taste better out of ceramic or glass anyway. 😉
And now, on to the giveaway!
For those of you that were with me last year, you may remember I gave away a Lunette cup to one lucky lady. This year, I’m giving away a set of reusable bamboo utensils & travel case!
The brand I chose is To-Go Ware. My sister bought two sets for me as a birthday gift a few years ago and I LOVE them! I carry both of them in my purse – one for me and one for my daughter.
Reasons to Love Bamboo Utensils
- They are lightweight, durable, and compact.
- They are dishwasher and hand wash safe.
- They come with their own travel case, which is also light and keeps them clean.
- Bamboo is a renewable resource.
I can’t recommend these utensils enough. That’s why I’d like to give away a set to one lucky winner!
The set comes with a knife, a spoon, a fork, and a set of chopsticks. The cases come in varying colors and the winner will get to choose the color they prefer!
Tell your friends, your family, and your classmates! They even have kid sizes too for little hands. <3
Be sure to enter below!
Lots of Love from Erin & Nikki ♥