5 ways to live with less waste

It’s Plastic Free July and we want to teach you how to make a few small changes in your every day habits by choosing to refuse certain single use items that we use on a daily basis. By choosing just one single use item to avoid, you will soon find another great plastic free solution, and another, and another! Join millions of people who have set a personal challenge to reduce their plastic waste this month!

Plastic Free July® is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution – so we can have cleaner streets, oceans, and beautiful communities.

Plastic Free July

The 5 R’s of Zero Waste

The 5 R’s of zero waste

Before getting started, it is important to understand the 5 R’s which are: refuse reduce, reuse, recycle and rot (compost) in that order. Try always keeping these in the back of your mind when thinking of buying something new.

Refusing is the first and most important rule to living a more sustainable lifestyle – think before accepting any plastic and other clutter into your home! Turn down flyers, junk mail, freebies, party favors and any other items that will go straight into the trash.

Plastic bags

Choose reusable bags over plastic single use alternatives

Instead of accepting plastic bags and creating more demand for them, switch to reusable cloth bags or even no bag where possible.

In the UAE, 11 billion plastic bags are consumed annually, equivalent to 1,184 plastic bags per person per year compared to a global average of 307 plastic bags per person per year.

The World Government Summit – February 2019

And don’t just stop at plastic bags at checkout, but also fresh produce bags. For example, bananas, melons, pumpkins, pineapples and other produce don’t need a bag and the sticker can easily be placed directly on the fruit which will be discarded when you eat it anyway! Alternatively, there are great cotton and muslin drawstring bags available that you can keep inside your bigger reusable bags so that you can avoid the individual plastic ones.

Reuse and refill

Bringing your own jars or refillable containers to the grocery store is another fantastic way to avoid unnecessary single use containers. These don’t have to be glass jars but can be plastic containers that you can reuse; from a tupperware to a previous deli container that you have cleaned well. Glass can be quite heavy when you have to do a big shop.

While we may not have many bulk stores in the UAE, the supermarkets do have a great selection of grains, seeds, teas, nuts, spices, etc.

Tip: If you do use your own container, make sure that the container is tared before you put your dried goods inside otherwise you will end up paying for the weight of your container and its contents.

Plastic straws

Straws suck – in more ways than one!

Instead of a single use disposable straw, the easiest option is to just refuse a straw completely – it’s a really simple and free way to reduce your waste! . Or you can choose to carry a reusable steel, bamboo, glass or pasta straw instead – there are so many sustainable options these days and they don’t take up much space in your bag.

Tip: Be sure to clean your straws well and use a straw cleaner to make sure no bits are dried and stuck inside your straw,

Water bottle

Around the world, almost 1 million plastic bottles are purchased every minute.

Reuters – September 2019

Instead of buying single use disposable plastic water bottles, opt for a reusable water bottle that you can fill up on the go, at your office, school, mall or at the airport. In the UAE, insulated steel water bottles are best for keeping water cold during our harsh summers. 

Another great switch is to install a water filter in your home so that you never have to buy a plastic bottle of water ever again!

Body wash

Bar soap is not only better for the environment in terms of packaging as almost all bar soaps are plastic free, unlike body wash, but also better for your skin which just happens to be the largest organ of your body! Obviously, we are totally biased on this swap as we just happen to sell the best bar of soap in town! Our soap bars are enriched with nourishing oils, natural colors and scented with essential oils! Check out our store and make this swap now!

We would love to hear from you! Do you struggle with making certain swaps? What is holding you back? What is a swap that just seems impossible for you right now? Are you an expert swapper? Please share with us in the comments below and maybe we can help or you can inspire others with your own tips!

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