For this year’s earth hour I am making a promise to the planet. A promise to use less plastic and find re-usable alternatives to common plastic products.
By 2050 there could be more plastic in the sea than fish! Even time I visit my home-town seaside I see the effects of this first hand, from fishing wire to sweet wrappers, plastic bottles and tampon applicators these things litter our beaches and that’s just the stuff we see.
Using less plastic seems daunting when you consider how much of it there is out there. It’s everywhere, it’s wrapped around our fruit and veg, containing our makeup and skincare products, it’s given out at nearly every fast food stand or cafe and used everywhere possible to keep costs down. Once you notice plastic, it can become overwhelming.
So how can I break this down?
- I promise to use reusable water bottles and coffee cups
It’s estimated that 2.5 billion coffee cups are thrown away in the UK every year…that’s 7 million a day…just let that sink in. Although disposable coffee cups are made primarily of paper they are lined with plastic-polyethene to make them waterproof. In addition to this, each cup comes with a plastic lid. By using your own cup on your commute you could save 233 cups going to landfill each year. A ripple in an ocean but ripples become waves. I may not drink a huge amount of takeaway coffee but I am a fiend for drinking bottled water. I drink a lot of water and if I’m thirsty when out and about I buy a bottle of water. Along with coffee cups I pledge to bring my reusable bottle with me and to fill up on the go. Pret have recently launched refillable services and have started to sell their own water bottles. If more people ask for their bottle to be filled up then cafes will soon provide this service. I’ve long had my eye on the Swell water bottles but let’s be honest £30+ for a water bottle is just obscene. This gorgeous bottle by Rituals Home is a fraction of the cost and far more individual Made of metal it has proven itself very durable having already been lugged around in my rucksack and even used on a building site. The outside wipes clean leaving the paintwork intact. I now find myself carrying my water bottle wherever I go, to the office, to the gym and to my bedside table and I estimate that in the two weeks of use I have already saved around 10 plastic water bottles. It’s really important to support brands like Rituals Home who are passionate about sourcing products that are not only effective but natural, ethical, animal and planet friendly and from sustainable sources.
- I promise to invest more in products that are packaged in alternative forms
It never ceases to surprise me how much of my grocery shopping comes in plastic. Even though I choose to have mine delivered without plastic bags Tesco still puts my loose lemons and limes into individual plastic bags and that’s not to include the fact that most of the fruit and veg I buy comes pre-packaged anyway. Who knew that a cauliflower needed to come packaged in plastic? Although buying my fruit and veg from the big supermarkets is cost-effective as part of my pledge I will try to buy more fruit and vegetables from markets where I can bring my own bags and reduce the plastic conception.
- I promise to buy less stuff
Choosing ethical and sustainable products at a slightly higher but purchasing them less often is a way to minimise your impact on the environment without breaking the bank. Often these products will be of higher quality and last longer saving you money in the long run anyway. Another great way to reduce consumption is to buy dual purpose products such as this aromatherapy candle that not only fills the room with a beautiful relaxing fragrance but can the candle melt be used as essential oils and rubbed onto the skin as a relaxing balm. Similarly this natural floral room spray doubles as a pillow spray and fabric freshener, I like to keep it by my bedside and spritz my bed before I go to sleep to leave my linen smelling fresh each and every time I get into it.
- I pledge to pick up at least 2 pieces of rubbish wherever I go
I actually made this one of my new years resolutions and am happy to say I have stuck to it. Quite often it ends up considerably more than 2 pieces with my last trip to the beach resulting in more like a bag full. Once again picking up litter can seem like a ripple in the ocean but every contribution no matter how small, matters. Each bit of plastic removed from the environment is one less for an animal to swallow or get caught up in. We’ve made this mess and it’s our responsibility to clean it back up again.
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What will your promise be? For each promise made Arial will donate £1 to help protect the planet – make your promises here and remember to switch off your lights at 8.30pm tomorrow tonight (24th March) #EarthHourUK