Living Low Waste: One Step at a Time

We’ve all been exposed to the harmful impact our actions have on the environment, one way or another. From the horrific landfill sites spanning across miles of land, to turtles with plastic straws stuck in their nostrils, the planet is suffering because of our choices. Perhaps you’d see it that it’s too late to make a difference. After all, what difference does it make if you choose to take your own cup to Starbucks? But every step in the right direction is a step towards change. After all, it works on a supply and demand basis. The less plastic we buy, the less demand there is for it.

It genuinely scares me that if this is the state of our planet in 2018, I dread to think what our world will look like in fifty years time.

So, I took it on board to try this Low Waste thing. Consuming less plastic, buying less, reusing, taking my reusable cup and buying a bamboo toothbrush (even when my housemates teased me for it!)

So, I thought I’d share a few changes I’ve made in the past year, in effort to save our oceans and our earth. We’re the ones to cultivate it, after all, and we can’t keep sitting back complaining and not doing.

1) The switch to Bamboo

The plastic of a toothbrush was never something I second-guessed. It’s the norm, after all and throwing your toothbrush out every few months to replace it is something you just do, right? Wrong.

A year or so ago, I looked into making the first step to reducing my plastic waste. In fact, it’s such an easy swap! Bamboo toothbrushes can be bought for a couple of pound and are recyclable. They clean your teeth exactly the same as a plastic one would, in fact I’ve found them a lot less harsh on my gums. That, and they’re pretty aesthetically pleasing too!

At the moment, I’m using the Humble toothbrush from Holland and Barrett. It’s biodegradable and for every one sold, a child in need receives a toothbrush or alternative oral care in areas around the world that need it most. If that isn’t a reason to make the swap, I don’t know what is. All packaging is recyclable (which is great, considering so many items that look eco-friendly come in plastic!) and the handle can be composted.

2) Taking your own coffee cup

Whilst at University, campus did a fantastic job at promoting the switch to reusable coffee cups. Posters around campus spread the shocking figure of just how many coffee cups are thrown in the bin per year. Although takeout coffee cups may look cardboard, and surely recyclable, their lining is made of the dreaded plastic.

I bought my reusable cup at Uni, which gave me my first coffee free! That, and every time you bring your own cup with you to Costa and Starbucks alike, you get money off your drink.! That, and having your own cup adds a personalised touch (and you can work out which order is yours and not take the wrong drink away with you!)

university of birmingham reusable cup

3) Sanitary products

As a woman, having that time of the month is enough to think about in itself. Cramps, hormones, tiredness and messy knickers all come as part of our menstrual cycles. So, the last think I thought of until recently was all the waste that came with tampons and sanitary towels.

It is estimated that a woman will throw away 13,000 tampons and pads in a lifetime. Tampons and sanitary towels aren’t recyclable, so just think where all that waste is going. Existing, in landfill.

So, today actually (!), I decided it was time to make a change. Unfortunately, I’ve not yet ventured down the menstrual cup route as I have the copper coil and didn’t feel comfortable about inserting one. So, I’ve purchased reusable sanitary pads.

Made of bamboo, so no toxicity or inflammation to our bodies involved, the pads can be rinsed and washed ready to be used again every month. They’re said to last 3-5 years and are pretty to look at too! I’m excited to take on my low-waste periods journey and will be sure to update you guys if that’s something that interests you.

Thanks so much for reading. I’ll be sure to keep you updated on my journey, one reusable cup at a time.

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