Easy Swaps: Out and About
Easy Swaps to live more sustainably: Out and About
If you’ve been following our blog, you’ll know that each month we’ve been giving you tips on how you can reduce your household waste and live in a way that is kinder to our planet. We’re back today with the third instalment in our trilogy to talk about how you can avoid single-use items when you’re out and about.
Each year the UK throws away an estimated 2.5 billion coffee cups (1). When the pandemic hit in March 2020, there was a huge backtrack in the number of shops and cafes accepting reusable cups and containers due to safety concerns. Greenpeace organised a statement with almost 120 scientists, doctors and academics around the world confirming the safety of such use, yet amid fears, the amount of single-use plastic being used soared. Luckily many places are again happily accepting reusable cups and we can highly recommend these ones. They’re made from recycled single-use paper cups, are 100% leak proof and designed to last for 10 years at which point they can by fully recycled! Perfect for grabbing a take-away coffee from your favourite café or simply taking your own from home!
Stainless Steel Bottles
Ready for another scary stat? In the UK 7.7 billion plastic water bottles are used each year (2). Many end up in rivers and seas and here in Bournemouth we are exacerbated by the amount of litter, including plastic bottles that get dumped on our beautiful beaches after any glorious weather day. If one in 10 of us refilled a bottle just once a week we could save approximately 340 bottles each year (3). These insulated stainless steel bottles are fantastic – not only are they reusable but they keep drinks cold for up to 24 hours, or hot for up to 12 hours! They’re also BPA-free and look pretty!
Lunch and snack bags
We’ve all been there, we don’t know what we want for lunch so going into the supermarket and then getting trapped into the sandwich meal deals that is near impossible to recycle purely because you can’t separate the plastic from the cardboard! And then the sandwich is just so so, and really you could have made a better one from home, you know what I mean?
So, that one miraculous day you have some time in the morning, making that perfect sandwich with just the right amount of mayo (Rubies in the Rubble Garlic Mayo of course) then having something to put it in…but don’t touch that cling film! Why not be super cute and eco-friendly with it? We have something great for kids and adults alike for sandwiches and snacks either going out for the day or for school and work, the Keep Leaf Reusable Baggies are waterproof lined, really good size and keep your favourite snacks (bought in bulk, duh) and sandwiches safe and fresh in the day.
We also have something if you want a stylish way to transport you lunch and snacks these vegan leather lunch bags certainly tick that box! They’re ethically hand-made in the UK using wood pulp, synthetic latex and cotton and can be washed in a normal laundry load to keep them clean and reusable for years!
Eco-friendly food wraps
If you’re still using cling film or foil to wrap your food and wanting to make a small change, we have a good range of single-use food wraps that offer a more eco-friendly alternative. In our last blog post we talked about beeswax wraps and compostable cling film but we also have 100% recycled aluminium foil and unbleached parchment paper. The foil takes 95% less energy to produce, creates less waste and reuses a precious resource. The parchment paper is chlorine and quilon-free (both nasty chemicals found in most parchment papers) and it can be reused and composted! Great options from just £3.50.
In July this year, EU member states banned most single-use plastics (including cutlery, plates and polystyrene food containers), but, despite the UK having agreed to the move before leaving the EU, legalisation is not being discussed and the government has been accused of backtracking on its promise of ensuring environmental standards do not drop following Brexit. In the UK 16.5 billion single-use cutlery items are used each year (4) and the Ocean Conservancy lists plastic cutlery as one of the most deadly items to marine creatures as it is mistaken for food. This handy pouch comes with a bamboo knife, folk and spoon – perfect for keeping in your bag when you’re out and about so you can avoid plastic cutlery.
Collapsible metal straws
In October 2020 a ban on single-use plastic straws, stirrers and cotton-buds came into force in the UK. Living by the beach, we were seeing our shores littered with these items everyday and of course there was the heartbreaking images of seahorses innocently clinging to cotton buds. We rejoiced when this bill was passed. We’ve got a good range of metal and bamboo straws starting from just £1 and we love these expandable ones. This nifty little product means you can still enjoy sipping a cold drink through a straw when you’re out and about as they collapse down and can be attached to a keychain making them easily portable. Much better than the cardboard ones that tend to get a bit soggy and are after-all still single-use.
image; Dane & Port, Westbourne
Top Tips for eating out
- Most of us have random bits of Tupperware or empty tubs from takeaways in our cupboards – use these for taking lunches and picnics out and about, and pack cutlery from home too.
- Ask your favourite restaurants and takeaways if they will either take back their containers or refill your own containers instead. You may be nervous about asking but they usually say yes and the more of us that ask, the more normal it will become for eateries to do it. It’s thought that 5.2 million food containers are used each year in the UK! (5)
- A lot of plastic waste comes from takeaway lunches on work breaks. Try and find places that make food fresh and ask if they will put the food straight into your container rather than a throwaway box. Both Delish and Dane & Port in Westbourne do this for us - amazing food and single-use free!
- It’s thought that over a third of us feel uncomfortable about asking for our reusable water bottles to be refilled when not making a purchase. Download City and Sea’s Refill App to find participating cafes, bars, restaurants, banks, galleries, museums and other businesses offering free water refills, even without a purchase. You can also search for coffee shops offering discounts for bringing your own cup and places where you can take your own lunchbox for food on the go!
As ever, please feel free to pop in and see us, give us a call on 01202 280303 or message us on Facebook – we have tried and tested all our products and love helping you to choose items that will fit with your lifestyle.
1 - UK Government report 2018
2 & 3 - Water.org 2018
4 and 5 – earthwatch.org