Reducing your waste when you're out and about
Reducing your waste around your own home is amazing, but what about when you're out and about? How do you avoid waste when you're often handed it before you've even had a chance to think about it? It definitely takes practice and I'm still getting there. Sometimes in my haze of sleep deprivation or just general having a million things on my mind I don't think when I buy something and realise when it's too late that I've just accepted a straw or other item I don't need. To get you thinking and to help you avoid those common single use items when you're out and about here's a few tips.
Refuse - even if it's free
Have you ever been walking somewhere and been handed a flyer or leaflet? This used to happen to me all the time on the way to work and I generally took it just to be nice and without even thinking. Typically it was junk and nothing I was interested in. In cases like this it pays just to say no and not take the item in the first place, rather than considering how to dispose of it afterwards.
Replace with your own
When you need something try to remember to bring your own so you can refuse the single use item. Have a go to kit in your bag, car and/or at work. Have a think about where you most often get given single use items. Do you pick up a coffee on your way to work, a water bottle at the gym or a takeaway on your way home or for lunch?
Eliminating the single use plastic from the above situations is as simple as having replacements available.
This could include;
* a reusable coffee cup or drink bottle
* your own cutlery set including a straw and a napkin
* a reusable bag for your shopping
* a Tupperware or old takeaway container for those on the go lunches
Kid specific waste
When you have kids it can be easy to go through a lot of wet wipes, plastic nappy bags and utensils when you're out. Here's a couple of essentials to add to your nappy bag or other bag for your kids when you're out;
* a wet bag - use this for wet clothes or nappies that you need to take home
* a cutlery kit with straws and spoons
* a wet bag or reusable plastic bag with small cloths - wet these when you're out in place of wet wipes
* take snacks from home - this will help you avoid buying packaged items when you're out
While it's pretty common practice to have a reusable coffee cup these days it's a bit more unusual to bring your own container for takeaways or your own straw. When I first started pulling out my own straw I felt a little silly but now I've decided to own it and be proud of what I'm doing. As well as doing your bit it sends a message to the company you're buying from that you want them to change what they're doing and this can lead to a bigger change.
Good luck putting together your go to kits. With a little thought and preparation you can avoid items when you're out and about.