Living Off-Grid, we really understand the need to minimise our waste and consequently the amount of waste that ends up in landfill and in our oceans. Stories, such as that of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, are prime examples of humanities desperate need to reduce our dependence on plastic products. This was a large part of our motivation to create a product that was not only completely organic, sustainable, renewable and biodegradable, but could replace our need for single use plastics in our home.
After buying Eco Food Wraps (and hearing our story) our customers often become inspired and ask us how they else they can minimise the amount of plastic that they use in their daily lives. This is such a great discussion topic as each individual person has a very important role to play in ensuring that our future -and the future of our children- is sustainable and green.
We decided to share 4 simple things that we do to try remove ourselves from the cycle of plastic consumption. It’s about being conscious of the everyday things that have become normal in western society! We hope you become inspired to make a few small changes too!
Did you know that approximately 40 billion pieces of plastic cutlery are manufactured each year?
Due to the nature of the plastic used, the majority of it cannot be recycled meaning that it ends up in landfill or polluting our waterways and beaches! (source)
When entertaining or having a party we opt to use reusable cutlery. When this is not an option we choose to use bamboo cutlery instead of plastic cutlery.
Bamboo is a sustainable and renewable alternative to plastic because it is also a fast-growing plant. This means that not only is the manufacturing process better for the environment but the material is also biodegradable.
2- Bamboo Toothbrushes
Did you know that in Australia alone 30 million plastic toothbrushes end up in landfill every year, totalling 1000 tonnes of harmful plastic? (source)
The use of bamboo toothbrushes is on the rise in Australia, meaning that you can maintain the same level of oral hygiene without the stress of using another plastic product.
There are a few Australian companies that have produced fantastic biodegradable bamboo toothbrushes! They are cost effective and help out the planet too! We use them in our house, and are pleased with the selection of soft or medium bristles as well as a kid friendly size!
Did you know that each day in the US 500 million plastic straws are used and discarded? (source)
I bet we can all say we are guilty of using straws! They are everywhere! When we eat out they are even given to us in our drinks when before we remember or have an opportunity to refuse them!
Cue the reusable straw! In our house, we have opted to use stainless steel straws for our morning smoothies or for our children to use throughout the day. They come with a handy little cleaner, and can even be cleaned in the dishwashers for convenience. Not only does it take away the stress of worrying about the staggering number of single use straws out there, but we never have to worry about running out of them either!
Did you know that over 25.5 billion cotton buds are produced each year in the US alone?
Not only are cotton buds not the ideal piece of equipment to clean your ears with, but they also have a large impact on the environment. Cotton buds, which are made predominately of plastic, are not biodegradable meaning that every one ever made is still out there somewhere, whether it be in our waterways or in landfill. This blew my mind; I could not comprehend how many ear buds must be used worldwide every day! If cotton buds really are your thing, then perhaps you could opt for an organic and biodegradable alternative. I was surprised to see them for sale at my local supermarket, which means that the market for sustainable products is growing... and well, isn’t that great!
The work of organisations such as Two hands Project (who we are proud to be affiliated with!), apply amazing efforts to clean up the mess that has been created, but the problem will never be solved unless we decide to change as individuals.
Be sure to comment below with any ideas you have about reducing the use of single-use plastic in your home or office! We'd love to hear how you solve this problem in your everyday lives!