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Switching to reusable products is the first step to going zero-waste and lowering your environmental impact.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency UK the first two of the three “R’s” of conservation Reduce, Reuse, Recycle are the most effective ones. The best way to eliminate waste, of course, is to not create it in the first place.
These two go hand in hand, by reusing items, you will reduce the amount of material that goes to either landfills or recycling centers. This lowers the need for manufacturers to extract new materials from the planet. You will then be helping to lower overall energy expenditures, and less pollution is thrown into the Earth’s atmosphere and waterways.
The answer is simple…. Plastic is one of the most harmful materials to the environment. Although single-use items can be made with a variety of materials, many of them are with plastic. Why do we need so many plastic, one-use items? It makes more sense financially and environmentally, to get reusable products. It is only over the last 5 or 6 decades that single-use plastic has become so massively produced and used. If you ask your parents or grandparents, they may say disposable items were not even available when they were growing up. When you bought something, you bought it for the long-term. Today, many people would prefer quick convenience over long-term benefits. They are not considering their own carbon footprint and the environmental impact this will have in the not-to-distant future.
Plastic takes approximately 400 years to degrade on its own. That is an exceptionally long time to be sitting in a landfill or polluting the earth/ocean. In addition, National Geographic had a shocking article covering the impact of plastics to the environment:
Here are a few facts:
Stay mindful of actions you do every day; try a few reusable swaps every week and you will soon get into the reusing habit. You can look to buy used items, such as clothing from a charity or second-hand shops. You can try to buy products with less packaging, you will be surprised by the difference this can make to your weekly rubbish. Avoid using throwaway items such as plastic grocery bags and disposable cups, straws and cutlery. Strive to maintain your possessions in a state of good upkeep so that you won’t find yourself throwing things away and having to replace them so often.
If you are not sure what to swap to reusable products, here are a few to get you started.
You may already be familiar with some of the reusable items that you can use instead of single-use, but these are some of my own favourites (by no means a full list):
As a conservation strategy, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle works for individual householders and large manufacturers. Do your best to Reduce and Reuse. Each of us have a choice to make the conscious, eco-friendly decisions every day. Ditching single-use items for reusable can be easy to do. Once you decide to make the change, you might be surprised at how many alternatives are out there. Reusable makes sense for the environment and your health, both short-term and long-term.
Give it a go and let me know how you get on, also I would love to hear any tips you could share.