Do something small
When people talk about traveling to the past, they worry about changing the present by doing small things, but pretty much no one in the present thinks that they can change the future by doing something small.
I think we’ve all seen the footage of the Sea Turtle having a straw removed from its nose. You’d think it couldn’t get any worse, and then you see the one with a plastic fork stuck in its nose…
The amount of single use plastics we use has gotten out of control, but we can all make small changes that will add up to a lot.
When you get take away food, and you’re going home with it, tell them you don’t need the plastic utensils. You can use your own washable ones at home.
When you’re at a restaurant, say no to a straw. Sip from your cup like an adult.
It’s a little harder when you’re out and about, but there are also small changes you can make if you plan ahead.
When I worked in an office, I always had a few of these Light My Fire utensils in my drawer. Then, whether I had brought lunch with me, stole someone else yoghurt, or got take out, I had my own spoon or spork ready to go. When I’m done, I just give it a quick wash and throw it back in the drawer. Also very handy when there’s left over cake in the fridge.
You can get yourself a whole kit if you’re the type who actually likes to bring your whole meal with you. These aren’t just good for the office, but picnics, camping, sneaking a meal into the cinema…
I’ve got a set like this on the boat. They used to be in my Airstream, and I was surprised at how much I used that tiny strainer when cooking. They also all fit together nicely, so when you’re not using them, they don’t take up a lot of space. This brand is BPA free, so it’s better for you as well as the environment.
If you can’t make it through the day without a pit stop at somewhere like Starbucks, get yourself a re-usable cup. They’re not expensive, and since most coffee chains these days give you a few cents discount for bringing your own cup, they’ll pay for themselves before long.
If you just really, really love straws, or drink in the car a lot and don’t want to wear your beverage, then invest in some re-usable straws. There’s so many different types. Bamboo, stainless steel, ones meant for slushies with a spoon at the end, ones made just for your Yeti cup, fat ones for boba tea, soft silicone and even ones that fold up and go inside a container you can put on your keys. Most come with their own cleaning utensil, but you can also buy some extra so you’ve got one at home and one at work.
Paper straws are also an option for the office, if you own a cafe, or are having a party. We all know kids love straws, and also lose things, so send them to school with a paper straw, or use them for birthday parties, sports days, camping, etc.
You can also use earth friendly plates at the same events. Made from various materials like palm leaves, bamboo or sugar cane.
If you’re into edibles, there’s a variety available, and you can even make you own! Perfect for serving an amuse-bouche. And you can also buy them pre-made if you don’t want a whole new kitchen gadget.
And if you need an extra sugar hit, these are great for the environment, but probably not so good for your waistline. But hey, who wouldn’t want to drink an iced coffee or glass of milk through a chocolate straw? It’s an adult version of milk and cookies.
These are all just small investments, but over time they’ll make a big difference.