Plastic — it’s damaging our environment and killing 1,100,000 sea creatures every year. With statistics like that, it’s easy to hide your head in the sand and opt to do nothing about it.
However, did you know if each Australian family used just one less plastic bag each week, that would be 253 million bags less every year? We can all do our bit to help — starting with the weekly shopping trip.
The right equipment
Before you do your shopping each week, the first thing you’ll need is reusable bags. If you’re the kind of person who frequently forgets to pack calico bags in the car, then pick up a couple of compact bags which you can keep ready to use at all times. You’ll also need to pick up some produce bags if you want to avoid using plastic bags when picking up fruit and vegetables.
Shop at wholefood stores
Find out where your local bulk food/whole food store is and start shopping ethically. Stores like The Source are great — you can bring all your own containers. You won’t find any plastic bags here, just paper bags for the occasions people forget their containers or pop in to pick up something little.
Image source: The Source Bulk Foods
Visit local farmer’s markets
Brand name supermarkets often sell fruit and vegetables pre-packaged in plastic. To avoid this, take your Onya produce bags and reusable calico shopping bags to a farmer’s market. By doing so, you’ll not only reduce plastic pollution but you’ll also save yourself a bit of money — markets often sell produce for less than supermarket chains do. Some even offer boxes of assorted veggies for a great value set price.
Swap bathroom products
Shampoos, conditioners and body wash often come in single-use packaging which can dramatically add to the amount of plastic you use. Instead of using supermarket brands, opt for shampoo and body bars — BIome has a great range, all made from natural materials. If you want to go a step further and cut out unnecessary packaging which occurs when you order online, visit the BIome stores if you live in Sydney or Brisbane. Melburnians can find an equivalent at The Natural Soap Company’s store in the South Melbourne markets.
It’s easy to reduce your plastic consumption, it just takes a little dedication. The best advice is this: preparation is key — always remember to pack your reusable bags and food containers.