You probably think you can’t do much about the air quality around you on your own. Wrong. If everyone contributes, we can improve air quality significantly. How? By reducing waste.
In the Netherlands, we produce the equivalent of 1 million truckloads of waste. Toxic waste from burning plastic, paper and metal packings in particular contribute negatively to the air quality around us.
A Zero Waste Lifestyle, possible?
Lauren Singer from New York started to live a “Zero Waste Lifestyle” three years ago. When she noticed that a co-worker brought his lunch in a plastic wrapping and plastic lunchbox, accompanied by a plastic one-time-use bottle, she thought: “We are the future, but we are destroying everything by the waste we produce”. In her blog “Trash is for Tossers” she writes about her insights and what each and every one of us can do to reduce the amount of waste they produce. In the glass container in the photo above, you can see the amount of waste Lauren has produced in a whole year!
Perhaps now you’re thinking: isn’t this time-consuming, complicated, and expensive? On the contrary, according to Lauren it is simple, beneficial, and fun. Moreover, everyone can do it. In this article you can find 7 ways to reduce waste and improve the quality of the air around you. Use it to your benefit!
1. Plastic vs reusable bottle
The reusable water bottle is gaining popularity in the Netherlands. Producers such as Dopper even have steel alternatives in their assortment. Another option is using glass bottles with a steel lid.
2. Plastic vs bamboo toothbrush
Every year millions of toothbrushes end up in waste dumps. Toothbrushes can’t be recycled and burden the environment for years to come. In the meantime, some environmentally friendly alternatives have been developed, such as the Humble Brush, which is made from biologically degradable bamboo and packaged in recyclable materials. You can order this toothbrush from the Humble Brush webshop.
3. Shower Gel vs Soap
Shower gel packings are a significant contaminator; they cannot be recycled and contain a lot of chemicals. Soap is a better option. These are amply available in grocery stores and specialist stores around the country.
4. Plastic vs cotton bag
You have probably heard of this before and yet I see a lot of people leaving the grocery store with plastic bags. This really is a no-go. You can buy reusable grocery bags anywhere and you can even find very nice and stylish ones on-line. Gift idea: a reusable grocery bag with your own text and print!
5. Tin foil vs RVS or glass jars
Do you still use tin foil or plastic to wrap your lunch? These are very burdening on the environment. Using a piece of tin foil every day you go to work corresponds to 50 meters of tin foil per year. By using RVS lunchboxes or Masonjars you can really make a difference.
6. Sponge vs wooden brush
Sponges to do the dishes are not recyclable or compostable. You shouldn’t need more reasons to switch to a compostable brush made from wood. Okay maybe one: they last much longer.
7. Spoons from plastic vs bamboo
Why would you use plastic in the kitchen? It contaminates the environment and brings you and your family in contact with toxic elements such as BPA and phthalates. This can be worsened when heated, something that frequently happens in kitchens. Instead, choose for bamboo spoons. Bamboo regenerates quickly, absorbs moist and has antibacterial characteristics.
You can see all 7 tips stem from the same principle. What objects you frequently use in your daily life are made from plastic but can be replaced with environmentally friendly alternatives? It is not Lauren’s intention that you throw all plastic objects immediately. That would defy the purpose. However, when a plastic object has been worn down, you can replace it with an eco-friendly alternative. Simple and beneficial, right? Together, we stand for a better environment and cleaner air.