July is coming up in a few weeks and that means it is time plastic-free July. This is a worldwide event that millions of people participate in. Here are a few things that you can start doing and even some things that you can have everyone in your office/work place do.
Simple individual actions
bring your own REUSABLES
water container (no more plastic bottles, please)
- Surely there is a refilling station in your office where you can have your containers refilled for FREE!
- Plastic bottles cost you (try and compute how many you buy in a month).
- Plastic bottles are harmful to you. These bottles are still chemically made and they hold your drinking water-something that you in-take.
- Plastic bottles are harmful to the environment. Even though they are “re-cyclable”, in order to recycle these plastic bottles, companies still have to manufacture, fill and ship them = carbon emmissions.
TIP : Once you go home, give your bottle a wash then put it back in your bag so that you will not forget it the next day. It will save you some cash, save you from toxins, and save the ocean from trash.
- Just in case you do some after-work shopping, have your re-usable bag ready.
- I find these types of reusable bags really handy because it is foldable, thin and very easy to maintain.
- Plastic bags – how long do you actually use these bags to hold your items for? After you use them, how long will they last? an hour of convenience = a lifetime of trash
- Paper bags – due to popular belief that paper is better than plastic because it decomposes. YES it does; although, it only does if it is in a setting that let’s it decompose – the right amount of oxygen, sunlight, air. Another key thing is that, paper takes up more energy to be manufactured than plastic. So is paper really better?
TIP : Always have these re-usable bags in your bag/purse. It will barely take up space.
food containers / packed lunch
- Prep and pack your lunch to avoid spending and to eat healthier. I always find packed lunch a way better option health-wise because you get to dictate what you intake.
- If you can’t bring pre-packed lunch, bring your own containers for your favourite concessionaire to place your food in.
- Plastic, paper, or styrofoam food containers are all unnecessary. These single-use items will not decompose in the landfills.
TIP : Plan ahead, maybe a weekly meal plan? If you can’t, leave your lunchboxes at your office space so that it is there every time you need for lunch.
- Spoon, Fork, Knife, Chopsticks, Straw. Keep these handy in your bag because you never know when you will use them.
- Plastic cutleries are small plastics that can easily get into our oceans. These type of cutleries are too brittle to use anyways.
TIP : You don’t need a fancy cutlery set. You can just place them wrapped in a hanky or an old cloth case.
- Coffee = Workplace. We all need coffee at work, to stay sane and awake. Always bring your coffee cup when getting a to-go coffee. Your coffee will definitely stay warmer.
- Paper coffee cups are not recyclable. Yes they come in paper, although still lined with plastic.
TIP : Leave one for you to use in your office space so that you don’t forget.
be supportive and encouraging
Breaking the habit of using single-use plastics can be quite tough if you have been accustomed to it for some time. But its about time! Let us all support each other. Give your friends and co-workmates a “thumbs up” or a simple compliment if you see them using their reusables. An “awesome”, “way-to-go”, “nice”, or even a high-five can go a long way.
What are the plastic-free swaps you can do in your daily bathroom routine?
conduct a weekly packed lunch get together
Instead of eating out after work, maybe you all can have a nice plastic-free lunch all together. maybe 2 or 3 of you can cook for everyone else and bring it to work – simple meals will do.
bring and collect coffee mugs (and other reusables) for everyone to use
Keep a mug at the office for convenience so that for those who forget or don’t have one can use your spare ones. It can be placed in your office’s mini cupboard.
Paper usage in the office place is still very much a norm. One thing you can do is to keep it digital as much as possible. If you can’t, use both sides of the paper so that no paper sides go un-wasted. One big thing your whole office can do is to collect the used papers and bring them to the recycling centers every end of the month.
**All SM supermalls holds a trash to cash recycling market every beginning of the month; for more details, you can visit the following: