So you’ve decided to quit your wasteless ways and are now a reformed consumer. So what’s the first thing you do? Is it to buy a whole lot of expensive #zerowaste items like KeepCups, Tiffens, produce bags and more? Is it to rid your life of every bit of plastic in the house?
If you answered yes to either of those questions, here’s something to think about. The past has already happened. You bought an endless amount of plastic containers back in the day and you still have a cupboard full of cleaning spray bottles. Whilst it might spark much joy to throw out every item that doesn’t fit with your new reformed waste-less life, it is ironically quite wasteful. In our house, we have continued to use items in as many creative ways as possible, doing our best to extend their lives. As we’ve used up chemical spray-and-wipe’s we’ve refilled the bottles with our own homemade cleaners. Only when an item breaks or is unsafe to continue using (chemical reasons) do we look to replace it with a more sustainable choice.
It is this deliberate choice that has prevented us from wasting a lot of money on expensive eco items. It has also given us time to consider what we want in each of our items. For example, as our last plastic drink bottles broke/became leaky I had the time to choose exactly the right glass water bottle I wanted. One that fit perfectly in my handbag, was leak-proof and had an aesthetic appeal that gets many people asking me about it. Any piece that can start a conversation is great.
It’s also worth seeing what items you already have that can do double duty. My fiance’s grandparents bought us a beautiful set of six double walled latte glasses for Christmas three years ago. One day two years ago I began carrying one with me everywhere as my new “takeaway” cup. Again, it’s been a great conversation starter having a quirky glass cup, there’s no plastic taste and it saves disposable coffee cups from landfill. Being double walled it doesn’t burn my hands, and in two years I’ve only broken two glasses. It rarely spills, the only real downside being occasional spills in my bag. That was solved by procuring a KeepCup lid that fits perfectly on the top. I’ve also heard those silicone wrist bands for every cause could make a great heat band around the cup. Any time I’ve forgotten my glass at work, a mug from the office kitchen served the same purpose.
On the downside, I’ve now moved house three times with a broken hairdryer whilst I think of the best way to dispose of it ethically and sustainably. Any ideas? I’d love to hear them! Especially if you’ve been using creative ways to reuse plastic items.