2 weeks ago, I wrote a blog post talking about how shocked I was to see the excessive use of plastic use here in Italy. I discussed how I had been trying to cut back on my plastic consumption before coming to Italy. Coming to Italy has caused a slight set back to my zero-waste journey, but I am slowly reducing my waste more and more each week.
Here I will share with you the small changes I have made that have helped me drastically cut back on my plastic intake here in Italy.
Cutting plastic out of my life seems like a very big idea, but it is easier than it may seem. Reducing my plastic intake helps reduce my environmental footprint, and that is something that should be important to everyone. When you look at trash differently and see the harm it actually causes to our planet, you will want to rethink how much plastic consumption you are taking part in. After learning about the terrible things plastic has done to our planet and the well being of our wildlife, I decided I didn’t want to contribute to the single use culture anymore.
There are a few easy steps to instantly reducing your waste. The most obvious and easiest in my mind is saying no to plastic bags. In Italy it is 10 cents per plastic bag. This gives people the incentive to bring their own bags to the grocery stores. I have also started bringing my own produce bags with me to the grocery store to further cut back on plastic. Not only is this better for the environment, but its actually a lot easier to carry 2 big tote bags instead of 10 small plastic bags.
Instead of buying and using plastic water bottles daily I switched to one every day water bottle. I did the same with a reusable coffee cup. This is super convenient and even saves me money because in Italy you must pay for water at restaurants. There are water fountains scattered around the city so you can always find a place to refill your bottle.
When it comes to grocery shopping, I like to opt for the more sustainable packaging options. Cardboard, glass, and even wood are more sustainable options because they take less energy to recycle, and if found in nature they are less harmful to the environment. Instead of getting pasta packaged in plastic I will buy some that is packaged in cardboard. The same goes for sauces, I will choose a glass jar over a plastic one. This is a good alternative when buying package free isn’t an option. Both glass, paper, and cardboard use less energy to recycle and if found in nature cause less harm to the environment.
The place I had to be most creative when cutting out plastic was the bathroom. Finding plastic free packaging for bathroom products was on the more difficult side. But never the less, with the help of some Pinterest posts, I figured it out. I traded my plastic toothbrush and hairbrushes for biodegradable bamboo ones. I started making my own toothpaste out of baking soda and coconut oil to cut back on unrecyclable packaging. My absolute favorite package free bathroom product has to be Lush’s shampoo and conditioner bars! If you haven’t tried them you definitely should.
So, you may be wondering why I care so much about cutting back on my plastic intake. Well, plastic is absolutely detrimental to our planet. It can take up to 1,000 years for a single plastic water bottle to biodegrade in landfill. This plastic epidemic is resulting in animal extinction and climate change. These are huge problems. We all need to be aware of how we personally affect our environment. We also need to understand that we can make a big difference by making small changes to our lifestyle. With these changes I am able to live a life that is in direct alignment with my morals.