These days, most people have heard of giving up things like plastic shopping bags, single-use plastic water bottles, take-out containers, straws and coffee cups. But now we’re in the next wave of behaviour change: giving up produce bags, bringing empty containers to the bulk store, and turning to homemade household and beauty products. To ensure your habits remain sustainable, don’t expect to go greener overnight. Here are three simple switcher-oos that can help take the overwhelm out of your goals.
We’ve been programmed to think we need to put every single piece of fruit and veg into a plastic bag, but fruit like bananas, lemons, oranges and pineapples come in their own protective all-natural wrap. Next time you’re grocery shopping skip plastic bags for these items as well as loose items like carrots and potatoes. Either leave them bagless or reuse smaller cloth bags. Cheap and cheerful hacks include using small pillowcases, reusing the same plastic bag over and over and over, or if you’re the crafty type, sew your own!
Shopping at bulk stores like Canada’s very own Bulk Barn is a load of fun! The assortment of spices, loose tea bags, nuts, savoury treats and candies is breathtakingly delicious! Instead of getting plastic bags for every single thing you buy, Bulk Barn encourages you to bring your own glass and/or plastic jars from home. They also sell containers for re-use. Upon arrival, have the cashier weigh your jars and containers, so that the tare weight is noted. Once you fill them, the cashier will remove the weight of the jar from the total amount of that bulk item.
Why rush out to a bespoke eco boutique for individual containers of cleaning supplies, when you can clean your entire home with just one store-bought product: white vinegar! Clean windows, floors, tables, walls, shoes, stainless steel, dishwasher (rinse aid) and washing machine (softener). White vinegar is even great for dealing with lice!
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