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2018 has become the year when plastic straws are becoming extinct and being replaced with alternatives such as paper straws and it appears to be the year we have begun to take notice of what we are doing to our planet than ever before. Summer is a time filled with BBQs, parties and lots of time in the heat. During this time there is a lot of waste created, from plastic bottles and cups at festivals to cans and bottles at pubs and even the waste created at parties with plastic cups, bottles and paper plates.
I am ignorant of the fact I didn’t even realise how much was at stake until the last few months when the movement has become a ‘bigger deal’ within society. Recently after reading an e-book created by Glasdon full of things that we can change to help save the environment, I Decided I needed to look into my own eco-footprint and make some changes, and the majority of the trades and things you need to change aren’t really that difficult at all. Plastic doesn’t actually decompose, and we will always have landfills full of the stuff. So it’s always worth looking at alternatives to help save the planet, so what are my goals for living a more sustainable life?
I have always been an avid collector of paper straws, so when plastic straws started to disappear I was happy that I already had my stash. I often hear people moan about having to use paper straws as they dissolve in your drink but the alternatives seem so much worse to me and a lot of drinks don’t even need a straw, so it often feels like a waste with able-bodied people such as myself using them. Since the 5p plastic bag charge came in 2015, I can happily say I only take them if I really need to and usually opt for long life alternatives such as tote bags, they’re great for the environment, long lasting and look so much better than an Asda bag, let’s be honest. When carrier bags were free I’d take them without a second thought, even for smaller items that could easily have been carried.
It’s so important with clothing that you no longer want to take to the charity shop or at least put into clothes recycling bin made for old clothes, so at least they’re recycled in the correct way. Although, if possible taking them to a charity shop allows others to purchase them and give them a second life. It’s a similar story for disposable cups from the coffee shop and as much as I am guilty of this (especially in Starbucks), I want to make the change to bring my own cup and get it refilled, and a bonus of this is some coffee shops even give you some money off. So it’s a win-win really.
As far as recycling of household rubbish and items go, there are different coloured bins which make this so much easier to separate them and in my house, I have two bins, one of which is a large bin for recycling and a smaller one for food waste, and it feels so much better knowing that the majority of stuff we put into the recycling bin will go on to be used again. I am constantly striving to work towards making my life as eco-friendly as possible and although I still have some huge changes to make, I am making that step in the right direction.