Where does it go? How to retrain your brain to become a conscious consumer

Did you know that the majority of litter found on beaches is single-use plastic, in fact, the current statistic is a WHOPPING 94%!!!

Do you know what a single-use plastic is? A single-use plastic item can only be used once and then needs to be thrown away or recycled. Single-use plastics are not only polluting our oceans but also the soil where they land as the toxic chemicals used to harden and shape the plastic start breaking down and leach into the soil which then slowly makes its way to our water and food supply and even the earthworms are suffering the effects of plastic!

Here are some examples of single-use plastics and the time it takes for them to break down without recycling:

Plastic bottles: 450 years to break down – replace me with a reusable bottle – click HERE for the 10 best reusable bottles by thetelegraph.co.uk
Foam plastic coffee cups: 50 years to break down – replace me with a reusable coffee cup – click HERE for the 10 best reusable coffee cups by expertreviews.co.uk
Plastic bags: 10-20 years to break down – replace me with a reusable cloth shopping bag – click HERE for the 8 best reusable shopping bags by independent.co.uk
Plastic straws: 200 years to break down – replace me with a reusable straw
Plastic toothbrushes: 500 years to break down – replace me with a bamboo toothbrush – click HERE for 10 of the best bamboo toothbrushes from my best-gb.uk

The best way to avoid single-use plastics is to ask yourself the question “Where does it go” before you even buy it. If it is a necessary item and you cannot do without it, then try and see if it is an item that can be reused or recycled in some way. A good tip is to bring your own reusable fresh produce bags to avoid using the store-supplied plastic bags for your fruit, and veggies and make sure they are stored properly at home to ensure a longer life instead of having to toss food. *Bonus tip: A mini compost could change your life (and save the planet) and be totally doable even if you are living in an apartment!

Go non-toxic where possible! Today there are so many non-toxic products available at your local supermarket that there really is no excuse to try an eco-friendly option, from dishwashing liquids to body wash, deodorant, and even blush and mascara! Every single product that we use and the packaging it comes in has to end up somewhere and although we think so much of it is recycled, the reality is that 91% of plastics is NOT recycled!!!!!!! Even your sunscreen which is protecting your skin may be harming the oceans you are swimming in, so please be sure to use an eco-friendly sunscreen when enjoying the sun and sea to ensure our coral reefs and ocean life can thrive!

Change starts with us, our choices, and being a conscious consumer. Six-year-old Aiden has proved that you don’t need to go over the top to have a great birthday party, celebrations can be fun and eco-friendly too! Read this incredibly inspiring blog on how to throw a birthday bash that beats the budget, is filled with fun, and is eco-friendly too!

Becoming a conscious consumer does not need to be a mind-bending transition, all it takes is one small change from each person which will then hopefully blossom into moving towards a mindful lifestyle that is beneficial for all life on earth!

by Claire Paton