With Plastic Free July in full swing I wanted to share some of the benefits of reducing plastic I have discovered in my life. Some of them are obvious – and why I started in the first place – but others are a little more obscure. I’d love to hear your thoughts as well!
This one is so obvious it almost goes without saying, but I’m including it anyway! Concerns about the environment was the very reason I started thinking about the waste I create and the plastic I use. As a result, I know that every piece of plastic I avoid is beneficial to the planet, and that is a constant driver for me. Given every piece of plastic ever made is still in existence somewhere in the world every time we avoid using plastic we’re positively impacting the environment.
By trying to avoid plastic as much as I can I am definitely saving money as it cuts out so many incidental purchases. If I don’t have bags or containers with me then I avoid doing any shopping, and I’m much less likely to buy things like takeaway. As a result I do a whole lot more cooking at home which is always significantly cheaper than eating out.
I’m not perfect at buying completely plastic-free food yet, but I’m not doing too badly, and as a result I eat healthier almost by default. Most of my weekly shop consists of fruit and veggies which I put in my reusable produce bags, and then (BPA-free) canned goods and grains. By avoiding plastic that means I also have to avoid most junkfood and I have to plan ahead for my meals to make sure I don’t have to pop out to buy lunch. It might not have been why I wanted to reduce plastic but it’s a nice benefit nonetheless!
The more I think and learn about plastic and waste the more conscious I have become around my consumption. This means choosing higher quality products that will last longer, supporting local producers and shops, and buying less in general. I’m far less likely to visit ‘fast fashion’ stores, or buy things that I really don’t need. This is in turn excellent for both the planet and my wallet!
Reducing my plastic use means that I actually have to slow my life down a little, which is an excellent side benefit. For example, if I do need to buy lunch at work I’m far more likely to actually sit-in somewhere to enjoy it, rather than get a takeaway container to eat at my desk. I also need to think ahead, plan and organise myself which results in less hectic decision making and less rushing. Slowing down brings so many other benefits with it as well, so it’s a win-win really!