3 Steps to Reduce Plastic in Your Home Right Now
We're back from our vacation! And we're getting right back into work, including making giant changes in the company - as usual. What's changing this time? Our packaging! It won't happen overnight, but Natura is going almost completely plastic free!
Are you excited? Because I am!
Since it's on my mind, I thought I'd kick up a discussion about things we can all do to help reduce the amount of plastic in our home. As you may know, plastic is kind of a big deal right now, and not in a good way. It's everywhere, and it's not being disposed of properly, which means it's winding up in our oceans, and eventually, even in our animals. Yuck. But what can an individual do?
It turns out, this is one area of your life that you can actually do A LOT to help out. So here are three things you can do right now to reduce plastic in your life.
1. Don't use (or limit your use of) single-use plastic
"Single-use plastic" is a broad term that refers to any plastic that you typically use only once: plastic bags, straws, plastic cutlery, to-go cups, the list goes on and on. While most of this plastic is recyclable, it's the most common plastic found in landfills, because it's also the most likely plastic to be thrown away. You could of course just properly recycle the single use plastic you do use, but even easier is to just not use it at all. You'll find that most single-use plastic items are easy to avoid if you're paying attention. Bring reusable bags for your groceries, don't use a straw in your restaurant drink, put your Tim Horton's coffee in a travel mug (it'll stay hotter that way too!), these are all easy switches. If you want to go all-out, try bringing your own mesh bags for your produce, and buy your pantry staples in bulk (bring your own cloth bags!).
2. Re-use containers, and make the switch from plastic to metal and glass
Sometimes, it's hard to beat plastic for its convenience, light weight, and easy care. Just make sure you're reusing it to be the most eco-friendly possible! Things like yogurt containers and higher quality take-away trays are great for storing leftovers and packing lunches for school and work. When you do need to buy some new storage containers or bottles, consider buying glass or metal (stainless steel or aluminum) instead of plastic. Glass is great because it won't leach chemicals into your food as you're microwaving, and metal can be a great material to use for water bottles because it's lighter than glass and won't break.
3. Responsibly recycle the plastic left over in your home
Properly recycling plastic is more than just throwing it all in a blue bin and forgetting about it. There are certain steps you should take to make sure it's ready for recycling, or you could contaminate a whole batch of potentially recyclable materials, sending them all to the landfill instead. Make sure all your recyclables are properly rinsed, and double check to make sure that what you're throwing in your bin is in fact recyclable in your area. Here in Newfoundland, there is no program that recycles plastic, so throwing it in with your paper recycling is not only wasting your time, but potentially ruining a lot of perfectly good recyclable paper.
So what is Natura doing?
As much as we can all work together to reduce our own plastic usage, it's also a great opportunity for small and large businesses alike to reduce the amount of plastic they use while packaging their products. The less plastic that's used in the first place, the less there is to potentially end up in a landfill. So here at Natura Soap Company, we're making the switch to aluminum bottles and jars for all our products. The bottles still have plastic tops, but we still think it's a great change! Aluminum is a sturdy and lightweight option that won't increase our shipping costs, and there's no risk of broken glass in your shower if you drop it.
What about our other products? Our soap bars have never been packaged, and they will stay that way. Meanwhile, we're looking into finding a suitable packaging alternative for our tub teas and bath bombs; maybe even going the biodegradable route! Stay tuned to find out what else we're doing to make our small business as eco-friendly as possible!