So far this year, I’ve tried to make a conscious effort to make sustainable choices and be more environmentally minded. I come from a family of strong recyclers so have always made an effort where I can, but there were definitely areas where I needed to make some improvements and look to adjust my daily habits to be more eco-friendly.
As a big coffee drinker, one of the first changes I made was to switch to a reusable coffee cup for my daily caffeine hit instead of using so many takeaway cups. I’m currently using the Oasis Double Wall Eco Cup which I love – it’s significantly cheaper than a lot of the other reusable cups on the market but works brilliantly. Similarly, when I was back in the UK, I picked up a glass water bottle from Urban Outfitters to take back on the flight with me, and it’s been by my side ever since. I’m making a conscious effort not to buy plastic bottles and try to take a reusable water bottle wherever I go.
Whilst the UK abolished (free) single-use plastic bags in large retailers back in 2017, Melbourne was a little late to the party – only starting in late 2018. As I’ve been conditioned from my 5p carrier bag London days, I did my best to reuse plastic bags when I first moved to Melbourne – but as no one else was doing it I soon slipped back into my old ways. Now that Melbourne is across the same policy (and I’m delighted about it), I do my best to remember to bring reusable shopping bags with me – and always try to have some sort of canvas tote folded up in my handbag for those just in case moments.
In addition to bringing my own shopping bags, I’ve also started to bring string bags to the supermarket which I use to pack fruit and vegetables in, to avoid using the plastic bags they have available. On the occasions I forget my bags, I just refuse to use the plastic packaging and whilst scanning each piece of fruit individually makes the checkout process a bit longer – it’s worth it.
One of my favourite eco-swaps has been to try and stop using cling wrap and zip lock bags, and move to beeswax wraps – they’re a great alternative and can be used to cover food bowls, sandwiches and snacks (not raw meat). Beeswax wraps are made using cotton fabric with a blend of beeswax and jojoba oil to create a flexible, slightly sticky and naturally antibacterial wrap for storing and packing food. They’re really easy to look after – you just wipe them down with a sponge and warm soapy water and then air dry and fold to store and I love using them, plus they look absolutely adorable. Whilst they may seem a bit pricey, if you factor in their cost per use when compared to cling wrap they’re really a no-brainer.
I’ll be continuing to make changes this year – in particular trying to avoid fast fashion. Let me know if you’d like me to continue to share the changes I make!