Victoria is a great city to be in if you want to be conscious of your plastic usage and the environment. Many restaurants have already switched to compostable containers and straws, and there’s a city-wide ban on plastic bags. These are all great sustainability initiatives, but plastic makes its way into aspects of our lives we may not even be aware of. There are a few simple ways to cut down your plastic usage you may be overlooking. Check out our top ten plastic minimizing eco-living tips below.
Even with the ban on plastic bags in stores, we still see them everywhere. Plastic bags are used as garbage bags, sandwich bags and are still seen in some stores and restaurants. Bring reusable bags when shopping and always opt for non-plastic methods of food and product storage. Your sandwich does not need its own individual baggie.
Bring your own bottle
Nothing saddens us more than seeing plastic water bottles making their way into the marine and forest environment. Bringing your own reusable glass or tin bottle with you everywhere is so easy. Drinking water is part of a healthy lifestyle, and you should have water with you at all times. Having a reusable bottle with you is a great eco-living habit that saves you a ton of money. You can get water almost anywhere at no charge when you bring the bottle.
No more straws
Straws are on their way out in Victoria, BC. If you can’t stand the cardboard straws that are taking their place then get a tin, glass or bamboo straw and bring it with you. Having your own straw cuts down on waste. If you enjoy drinks that require a straw, having your own straw handy could be a must.
Ditch your gum
Gum is basically a plastic. That’s right, you’ve been chewing on a form of rubber. There are now natural alternatives available that are not made from synthetic polymers and are biodegradable. What’s good for you is often good for the environment, too.
Your laundry detergent and many of your household cleaners are probably in plastic containers. There are cardboard alternatives that are far easier to recycle and the products themselves are just as good. But make sure that the products inside the cardboard don’t have microplastics.
Microplastics can be everywhere. They are in gum, cleaning agents, beauty products and even clothing. Make sure microplastics never make their way into your life. Opt for beauty products that are sustainable and natural instead of harsh plastic beads for exfoliation.
Did you ever think about bringing your own glass container to a restaurant for any leftovers? It may sound weird but bring your own reusable container with you next time and cut down on plastic waste. Just make sure they do not give you plastic cutlery with your personal container. Many takeout places are switching to cardboard containers, but there are still many businesses serving takeaway in plastic and even styrofoam containers! Always ask what the takeout containers are made of and make an effort to supply your own containers. Choose glass and tin over plastic for your reusable food containers at home.
Kick plastic out of the bathroom
Ask yourself if you have disposable razors, a plastic toothbrush, or any products with microbeads in them. These are all simple things you can cut down on. Buy local soaps that are not plastic wrapped. Get a wooden or bamboo toothbrush and hairbrush. Invest in a quality razor that replaces blades rather than the entire head or system. Look into natural skin care and hair care products. Chances are that you can find products that come in glass or refillable containers. That way, you can avoid buying a new plastic container each time.
Support local businesses that care
Find local businesses that are aware of the impact they have on the environment. Support businesses that are banning straws, switching to cardboard packaging, supporting local vendors and cutting down on their plastic waste. Find grocery stores and salons that allow you to refill containers or are selling products in reusable containers made of non-plastic materials. Choose a hair salon in Victoria, BC that puts sustainability at the forefront of its business efforts and uses environmentally-responsible products and practices.
These may seem like simple changes to make now, but we recommend picking a few and making these changes slowly. Part of sticking with anything is being able to turn that action into a routine. We all forget our reusable bags sometimes. Making it a habit to always bring a reusable water bottle or coffee mug when you leave the house can take time. Be patient with yourself as you work to make your lifestyle more eco-friendly and sustainable. These are a few easy tips to help you cut plastic out of your daily life, but there’s always a lot more we can do.