A few month ago, I started paying attention at our consumption and especially our waste production. I must say that Netflix documentaries played a major role in my rising awareness and I hope that many people will have the opportunity to watch them. I watched a documentary called “Plastic Ocean” about plastic waste and its effect on marine animals. I can tell you that I changed my daily consumption the very next day.
I blame myself for not having done it sooner but I try to change the mindset of a lot of people around me who think that the world will be find without their direct action…
The actions that allowed me to reduce my waste considerably
Drink tap water
It might seems crazy, but from the day we moved in Paris, we only drank bottled water because the tap water doesn’t have a good taste.
So as soon as I saw the documentary on plastic waste, I decided first fix my plastic bottle consumption. I made two actions that have significantly changed my waste production: I bought a Brita filter that fits directly on the tap and I bought a gourd that I carry everywhere.
What is great with the Brita filter is that the water has no taste (not like the faint taste you can have with decanter). As for the gourd, it is very practical and I fill it in distributors at work or before going out in the morning. I found it on Amazon.
Results: about 9 less plastic bottles used every week! It’s huge and I’m so glad I made that choice. I would never go back!
Take my mug to work
Again, it might seem obvious but it took me 6 months to do it and we’re a very little group of people doing so at work. Everything is at disposal: paper cups, sugar and so on, so everyone feel free to consume whatever is provided. You might say that it is already great to have paper cups at the office, but sadly they are simply not recycled! What a disillusion!
After realizing that, I take my mug with me every day! With 2 coffees and 1 cup of tea a day, it’s 15 paper cups not used in week!
I don’t make my groceries shopping online anymore
When I talk about shopping on the internet, I don’t mean shopping on Zara or Mango but I mean groceries shopping. When it comes to shopping for clothes, I reuse cardboards or bags for my Vinted sales and avoid wasting anything.
I used to do my groceries shopping on the internet and have them delivered. There are many advantages: it’s more time-efficient, you avoid people and everything is delivered to your kitchen. However with each order, they used so many plastic bags that I had to take out the plastic bin the next day…
So I decided to spend a little more and go myself to the closest supermarket instead. It allows me to package more efficiently and it also reduces the pollution generated during the delivery by truck. And a little exercise doesn’t hurt!
Use reusable cotton pads
I started using washable cotton pads only a short time ago. I wanted to finish my disposable one before switching and I didn’t really know of a good brand. When I discovered the brand Le Petit Carré Français, I jumped at the opportunity and I fell for their organic line of product and the small cotton pads they offered.
They are used with the makeup remover solution of your choice and I must say that I am very happy with the result! In addition they can be washed over 300 times so I can tell you they will last me a long time.
Take a tote-bag with me
I have my tote-bag constantly with me. Just because I always have to drop packages or carry my computer. Even when I don’t especially need it, I’ll have my tote-bag folded in my purse. It saves me from buying a plastic or paper bags every time I buy something.
I have found that there is less and less plastic bags in store and that really a good thing. I also noticed that some brands have turned to using paper straws and it’s a great news!
The actions I would like to adopt in the future
Buy a yogurt maker
I am a big consumer of vegan yogurt and I think that they might be my main plastic waste source. It’s really something I would like to change but a yogurt maker takes up space and it’s really complicated in a tiny apartment. Furthermore, when I see all the ingredients needed to make them, I wonder if it’s really more efficient or if I’ll end up using more packaging. Please feel free to share your opinion and your experience on the subject ; is it easy and does it really help reduce wastes overall?
This is a bit of the big drama of our building: we do not have a compost bin and I think we will not have any for a while. In addition, we have no place to put a compost in our apartment.
When we’ll move, I really hope that we’ll have a compost bin because we eat a lot of fruits and vegetables (after yogurts, peelings and non-edible parts are our second sources of waste).
Buy almost everything in bulk
The supermarket next to us doesn’t offer products such as pasta, rice or other cereals in bulk. When I go occasionally to an organic store, I try to take everything in bulk. When I do my shopping in my supermarket, I do of course pay attention to the packaging but with the rather limited choice, it’s a little hard.
I think that bulk should really develop and that, as in some stores abroad, we should start taking our jars and put the food directly in it.
I hope that all these gestures will give you ideas. Feel free to comment on your daily actions that have helped to reduce your waste!