At the end of last month, I signed up with a movement that aims to take concrete steps in educating and taking action in reducing the use of plastic in our daily lives. I receive weekly emails that give me some action plans to work on for that particular week. Most of the things being shared were nothing new to me as I have long taken the initiative to reduce drastically the use of plastic at home and in the office.
Earlier this evening, with the usual fanfare of our Sunday, my daughter and I decided to go for food delivery for dinner. I went online, placed our orders, and, in reference to a recent article that I read, specified in the “Other Comment” section of the chain’s order form to not include plastic straws in the delivery.
Less than 45 minutes after, the delivery guy was already buzzing at our gate. I went through the orders, noting that there were no straws in our delivery, and went on to give our payment when a quick thought came into mind. I asked the delivery guy if our orders came in with the usual plastic spoon and forks to which he answered affirmative. I then pulled out these plastic itensils and handed it back to the delivery guy. He was surprised and I simply said that there was no need for it because we can use the silver spoon and forks that we have at home.
I realized at that moment that by using the silver utensils that we have when we have food delivered at home is another small step in reducing the use of plastic in our daily lives. I thought that it was a small and significant step that, if done by many, could make a huge impact in saving the environment.
The evening’s eureka moment had me creatively go through my day and identify the small tweaks that we can do every day to reduce the use of plastic in our daily churn.
Ask your food delivery service to not include plastic straws and plastic utensils in the delivery unless needed.
Like what happened last Sunday night, you can request from your food delivery service to exclude straw and plastic utensils with the food you ordered. You can use your silver utensils during the meal when you are at home.
This small act will reduce the plastic garbage in the household since most of these straw and plastic end up in the bin after a single use.
When buying small items from a store, refuse the small plastic and just slip the item you purchased inside your bag.
This is one action that I have easily adopted in my everyday run. Usually we buy small items in our neighborhood convenience store and, most of the time, they will pack it in one small plastic bag which goes directly to the bin. The plastic is so small that we do not find any use for it unlike the bigger ones.
So when you find yourself in the situation when you bought a couple of small stuff, you can ask the attendant to not put it in a small packaging plastic. You can simply slip the items inside your bag and make sure you get the receipt before leaving the counter.
Hydrate with a reusable water bottle.
As a traveler, I always have with me a reusable water bottle. This is one way where I can reduce my garbage footprint when I explore. It cuts down my purchases on small bottled water which then reduces my pet bottle waste.
I have adopted the same principle now when I head up to work. I often find myself buying soda in pet bottles and you know where those bottles end up after. So I now bring with me my reusable travel water bottle to work. This small act have actually given me two benefits – it reduced my plastic waste from pet bottles and plastic cups and it made me healthier since I drink water more often.
Make sure that you have your own coffee cup and silver utensils in the office.
For most of the workforce, lunchtime is usually a time when we gather with fellow workmates to bond and share stories outside of the office or over delivered food at the pantry.
You can significantly reduce your plastic residue by using your coffee cup and utensils instead of the plastic utensils that go with your delivery. If everyone in the office take the same action then that is one of the first step towards a plastic-free workplace.
In one of the fitness clubs that I manage, we have taken the step of reminding our members to bring their own water bottle when they workout. We do not provide plastic cups as part of our initiative to be earth-friendly.
PET bottles make good plant boxes.
Our attempts to create an urban garden led us to a unique way of recycling big soda pet bottles as plant boxes. I read about it on the internet and put it into use instead of buying plastic boxes for our plants.
Your urban garden does not only recycle the plastic bottles but it also creates a greener and cleaner environment in your home.
There are a lot of creative ways to reduce, recycle and re-use plastic and, with these initiatives, plastic waste is reduced. When you come across one, apply and share the initiative with others. A collective effort is already a huge step in helping the environment.
And by sharing your own tips on how to reduce plastic in your everyday dealings, you are already doing a big part in this movement.