Eco-Exchange Challenge: Week 7

Plastic bottles to reusable bottles

This week we’re going back to the basics of environmentalism. We all know that plastic is bad for the environment from drilling of oil to plastic production to and end product that doesn’t biodegrade for hundreds of years. We all know we need to reduce plastic use, but it is hard. The stuff is everywhere.

In the UK tap water is safe to drink and used 1/3 the quantity of water to produce. Yes you read that right; 1L water requires 1/4L oil and 3L water to produce the bottle and the water inside it. Facts courtesy of Greenpeace.

Before writing this article we really needed to pin down our habits. We didn’t think we used many plastic bottles yet each week there would be a couple in the recycling- here’s what we were doing:

Most of the time we don’t drink bottled water, at home we can easily fill a glass from the tap. We were however, buying water when out and about. When  we go out hiking/cycling we often remember to fill a re-usable bottle before we go, but day to day we wouldn’t always think about it. We found that if we were buying food from the supermarket, we’d  just throw a bottle if water in at the till for the journey home- bad habit. When going to to a cafe we’d often ask for bottled water or juice just because we felt we should pay for a drink when buying food. There’s no rule about asking for a glass of tap water- it’s environmentally more considerate and it’s free! Even when going for a long drive to visit friend we’d stop at the petrol station and fill up with fuel and bottles of water.

We knew we needed to make some changes. One of the big things that has helped us with this is our Chilly’s bottle. By the way we’re not plugging anything for anyone here this is just the one we bought and like. It’s a steel bottle which is light weight and keeps water cold for up to 24 hours. This means that the water from the tap stays lovely and refreshing and doesn’t develop that plastic flavour bottled water does if it gets a bit warm.

We have got into the habit of filling it before we go anywhere and we have found that we no longer have any plastic bottles in the recycling. Success!

Here’s our five tips for dodging plastic:

  1. Ditch the plastic bottles– treat yourself to a shiny new steel bottle and start saving money and the plane.
  2. In a supermarket there often a choice of loose or bagged veggies- go for the loose and reduce waste.
  3. Keep a knife and fork in your car/handbag. When you buy lunch on the go you won’t need to use plastic disposable ones.
  4. Keep a reusable coffee cup in your car. When buying coffee use your cup instead of the paper ones with plastic lids.
  5. Often forget to take your reusable bags to the supermarket? We pack ours straight back into the boot of the car (trunk for our US readers) after we’ve unpacked the shopping. You always have them for those unplanned visits!

There we have it, short and sweet this week? Do you like us have any bad plastic habits you hadn’t thought about until now? How do you keep your plastic use down? Thaks for stopping by.


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