Reusables – let’s live natural
These days the word plastic waste is on almost everybody’s mind with major supermarkets on the forerun trying to make a change. Most people are aware, that we cannot go on creating and consuming more and more plastic products without putting an enormous burden on the environment. This environmental burden does not stop at the rubbish dump. The waste gets into the soil, water, from there into the ocean and leaves its impact on every living creature getting in touch with the stuff we don’t need any longer.
What does reusable really mean?
According to the Miriam Webster dictionary, a reusable product is capable of being used again or repeatedly. In practice, a reusable item rests on the three R’s: Reduce – Reuse – Recycle; the basis for environmentally friendly consumer behaviour. – While we reduce one-way plastic products, we are looking for new ways to replace those items we cannot do without.
What am I talking about?
Obviously, the plastic shopping bags are the first thing which comes to mind. They can easily be replaced with cotton or hemp bags, which you can use over and over again and are indeed, very hard to destroy. Fruit and vegetables can be easily transported and stored in reusable cotton or hemp produce bags. While groceries you buy at the deli, the butcher and similar shops can be replaced with beeswax wraps as we did before plastic bags became so commonplace. If your deli does not use beeswax wraps already, why not asking for it?
Buying bottled water is another enemy in the war against single use plastics. In 2015 Australians purchased 726 million litres of bottled water at up to 1000 times the price of tap water. Not only creating a disastrous situation with the volume of plastic bottles required, but also feeding an entire supply chain of carbon footprint! Crazy when you consider this practice can be easily replaced by carrying a reusable drink bottle with you and filtering your water at home if you are concerned about the quality of tap water.
I put it to you, maybe we should adopt a fourth R – for Rethink!
Creating a new environmental friendly consumer behaviour is not that hard at all. Particularly, if we just rethink a little, we will find, that we have many of the “replace plastic“ solutions already at our disposal.
Coffeeshops, reusable cups and plastic straws
Whether you are an owner of a coffee shop or a consumer, there is always something you can do to change the consumer behaviour. Offer your customers reusable coffee cups, as a customer you can ask for coffee cups, even better, bring your own.
What about using bamboo straws or stainless steel straws instead of plastic straws? In this case, you can take environmental consumer behaviour one step further, saving on an item that commonly finds its way into our water ways and never breaks down.
Demand and supply are constantly influencing each other. As a consumer, you can do much by asking for the an environmentally friendly shopping experience. The more, you as a consumer, demand products which do not pollute the environment, the more suppliers will be forced to rethink and deliver what customers are asking for.
On the other hand, if you are a business, now is as good as any time, to jump on the environmental friendly train. Offer your customers reusable and recyclable products for more added value but less waste.