In the last few weeks, several fashion houses including Versace, DKNY and Michael Kors have announced their decision to stop working with fur.

Each day seems to bring news of another celebrity committing to a waste-free home or a vegan diet.

There’s no doubt about it – sustainability has never been more en vogue.

Without question, plastic has overtaken oil and car and factory fumes to become the modern-day Big Bad Wolf to the planet’s Little Red Riding Hood. We’ve all seen and heard with horror about the ‘plastic sea’ in the Caribbean, and what makes this such a terrifying scene is that we daily, tangibly, just by living our lives, are contributing to Earths’ plastic crisis.

A few months ago national treasure David Attenborough issued a stark warning about our fate; unless we change the way we deal with waste, our beautiful world will fall deeper into the crisis it already faces. And I don’t know about you, but when David tells me we need to start reducing the amount of plastic we use, we should jolly well sit-up and pay attention.

It’s not hard to determine the impact a brand like Versace will have by trying to make a difference to the world.

 

But what can we humble home-dwellers do to limit the amount of plastic we use day-to-day? As with many things, small steps can make a big difference, so see below for some helpful tips on how to rid, or partially rid, your home of the big P:

  • Carrier bags – we all have THAT drawer, but we still seem to forget to open it every time we go shopping and it just seems to get fuller & fuller. Go to recyclenow.com and find out where you can recycle plastic bags, cling film, aerosols and many more household objects.
  • Throw away as little as you can. Reuse plastic containers for storage, give unwanted items to charity shops or hospices.
  • Support your local greengrocer, and if you can’t, try and buy as much loose fruit and veg as you can. The amount of packaging used by supermarkets is shameful and largely unnecessary.
  • Buy less packaged food – speaking of food, there’s a healthy-eating element to using less plastic. By buying less packaged food, and committing to more homemade, you’re not only saving the planet but your health & wellbeing also.
  • Switch to bar soap. Liquid soap not only contains more chemicals, but the plastic packaging puts a strain on our environment.
  • Use real crockery – Having a kids party? Girls lunch? Family event? Ask your caterers for real crockery instead of plastic. Many companies will allow you to return the equipment the next day.
  • Buy in bulk. You can significantly reduce the amount of packaging in your home by becoming a member of a warehouse club. As well as directly using less packaging by improving your packaging-to-product ratio, many of these warehouses have spoken publicly about their commitment to sustainability.

 

As I said before – it may seem silly to imagine that one home or one person can make a difference to a problem that has become so acute and so far-reaching.

But think of it like this – every coffee cup you don’t use, every carrier bag that you recycle, every bit of plastic that you find a second use for is another piece of waste that won’t make it into the ocean.

 

Further Reading:

Bar Soap or Body Wash on Grist.org 

Bulk buying food on The Guardian 

Chemical Marketplace on Huffington Post