Going plastic-free at home is one thing. It’s easier to find alternatives, and then stick to them. But what if you’re on the go, in need of a bit of flexibility? How avoid single-use plastic – often so practical – when you’re out and about?
Don’t worry! We’ve got some tips and tricks for you!
1. Reusable cups and bottles
Let’s face it: take-away cups with plastic lids make a lot of waste. It’s easy to get carried away on a cold morning, when the smell of freshly ground coffee wafts through the station, or on a hot summer day, when an icy berry refreshment is waiting for you around every corner.
Obviously, we don’t want you to miss out on that! Loads of coffee shops already offer reusable coffee cups, and some of them look really fancy. On top of that, many chains offer a discount on their drinks when you bring your own cup – meaning you can save up on your hard-earned cash while doing good for the environment. It’s a win-win situation, right?
Also, why don’t you chuck out your plastic bottle for a pretty reusable one, too? Zero waste shops and online retailers offer a wide range of reusable bottles made from all kinds of eco-friendly materials – whether you prefer a shiny stainless-steel bottle or an elegant glass and bamboo container – the choice is all yours!
Don’t want to carry a big reusable bottle or cup with you, but feel bad about all those wasted take-way cups? Don’t despair! Brands like Stojo offer foldable cups made from silicone that can be stored away easily for those with smaller bags!
Single-use cutlery is a pesky thing. Wherever you go, you’ll probably end up with an extra pair of those cheap plastic forks that break the moment they touch your food.
Thankfully, zero-waste and plastic-free alternatives exist! From forks and chopsticks to straws and even sporks (spoon meets fork, very handy!), you can find cutlery made from stainless steel or biodegradable materials like bamboo in every zero-waste shop. Most come even with a little pouch, which lets you store them hygienically in your travel bag.
3. Clip-on bags
Many countries have started to realise the threat of plastic bags. Some have outright banned them, and where the ban isn’t in place or quite enforced yet, brands have started to throw out their plastic bags in favour of recycled, reusable or even paper bags.
Now, let’s be honest: who else keeps forgetting to pack old bags, despite good intentions? Us. Every time.
But there’s a solution: clip-on bags! Usually made from recycled materials, clip-on bags are foldable shopping totes with a small key ring that lets you clip them wherever you need them: on your day-to-day purse, your luggage, and even your keychain (Yep, we tried).
4. Plastic-free pocket tissues
Tissues are a problem: yearly, up to 27000 trees are chopped down for the tissue paper industry. On top of that, pocket tissues are widely packed in thin plastic wrappings, which (never mind being very pesky) are bad for the environment.
A good way to swap pocket tissues is by digging out Grandma’s old handkerchiefs! We’re obviously kidding – for hygiene reasons, you should get your one set of handkerchiefs. Made from cotton and other biodegradable materials, they’re washing machine washable, which means you can chuck your used handkerchief in the machine and reuse them once the next cold hits your poor panda nose.
Alternatively, if your nose is too sensitive for repeatedly blowing into a piece of fabric, The Cheeky Panda also offers a plastic-free and biodegradable alternative to standard tree-killing pocket tissue. Find out more about our Bamboo Pocket Tissues here.
5. Beeswax wraps and lunch boxes
Now, here’s the thing: single-use plastic is easy. It’s handy, it’s hygienic, which is why many brands still offer their food in plastic packaging. You’ll have a hard time hopping into a supermarket for a quick lunch and trying to find plastic-free meals to fill your stomach.
The best way to avoid unnecessary plastic during lunch breaks is to bring your own. It’s usually cheaper, and it doesn’t necessarily take more time to prepare if you just put some of last night’s dinner aside. There are some pretty lunchboxes out there – some even made from rice husk (it works!), which will help you reduce your plastic usage.
Alternatively, you can also use beeswax wraps for your sandwiches!
Are you already using plastic-free alternatives for on the go? Let us know in the comments!