For most people, giving up plastic comes with the question of what to substitute it with. Most choices seem out of reach and expensive and we quickly give up the plastic-free dream as utopia. Don’t worry, I faced the same problem as you when I first decided to #Unplastic. Here’s how I managed to stick to it with five simple changes in my daily life. If I can, I am sure you can too.
The first thing we put in our mouth in the morning is plastic toothbrush. I always hated that idea but I abhorred the thought of putting daatun in my mouth to replace my brush. I quickly found something that I loved even more than my plastic brush though (thank you online shopping!). My bamboo toothbrush is eco-friendly and comes without the distaste that accompanied my earlier brush. It lasts longer than a plastic brush, under the right conditions of course, so the return on investment is actually better if you shift to a bamboo tooth brush.
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Stainless Steel or Glass Tiffin Box
Your mother was right. Using a steel tiffin with appropriate cutlery has made me banish plastic dabbas and single-use plastic cutlery. Having your own dabba gives you peace of mind because you know exactly how hygienic it is and it also helps to store foods in a much better way than plastic. And if you need to heat your food, just carry a glass tiffin that is microwave-safe.
Steel Water Bottle
Plastic bottles are one of the biggest contributors to the global plastic problem. Eliminating them should be the first priority for anyone interested in trying to #Unplastic. Thankfully, this is easy to do with a little effort. Just remember to carry water from your home in a flask with you wherever you go. This automatically cuts the temptation to buy bottled water at the drop of a hat. You can take this further like I do and always order regular filtered water over mineral water at restaurants.
There are many different of straws available in the market today, be it steel, bamboo or paper straws. Personally, I prefer paper straws and carry a reusable one whenever I step out. So in case I feel like having coconut water or fruit juice, I can simply whip out my straw without polluting the environment with single-use plastic straws.
The oldest trick in the world to combat plastic pollution – cloth bags are coming back in vogue and I couldn’t be happier. I always make it a point to carry cloth bags when I go grocery shopping to avoid getting items in plastic bags. Shopkeepers can also be sensitised when you lead by example. Just resolve to keep a cloth bag with you at all times. If it becomes indispensable to you, you’ve successfully managed to #Unplastic.
Images by Sohail Joshi. Story: Vartika Pahuja. Text: Priyanko Sarkar
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