Carry a re-us­able water bot­tle

Country Living (UK) - - Rural Issues -

An in­creas­ing num­ber of coun­cils are in­stalling water foun­tains, plus you can look for shops that of­fer a ‘water re­fill’ point – down­load the app at re­fill.org.uk. This re­source may be­come even more valu­able later this year if the de­posit on sin­gle-use plastic bot­tles and alu­minium cans, cur­rently un­der dis­cus­sion, is in­tro­duced.

Keep a knife and fork in your bag

Buy a spare set from a char­ity shop, and wrap them in a linen nap­kin to keep them clean – thus avoid­ing dis­pos­able plastic cut­lery.

Put bags ev­ery­where!

Never part with 5p for a plastic bag again by putting re­us­able bags in your car, hand­bag and by the front door. If you’re us­ing a plastic ‘bag for life’, re­mem­ber to re­cy­cle it at the sta­tions in­side su­per­mar­kets when it is no longer fit for pur­pose.

Dine in

Opt to eat in at a café rather than grab­bing food (with its in­evitable pack­ag­ing) on the go – the break from your desk is good for your men­tal health, too. Or­der­ing a take­away at the week­end? Make a ta­ble reser­va­tion in­stead.

Buy in bulk

Un­less you live near a bulk store, where you can take your own jars to fill with ba­sics such as pasta and rice, it’s very dif­fi­cult to buy cer­tain items with­out plastic pack­ag­ing. Buy­ing fewer large pack­ets of these es­sen­tials uses less plastic than lots of smaller ones. It saves money, too.

Use loose-leaf tea

Many teabags are made with a plastic sealant. Loose-leaf tea avoids this prob­lem al­to­gether (mon­teas.co.uk de­liv­ers with no plastic pack­ag­ing, too), but if you’re a fan of teabags, then PG Tips has re­cently started sell­ing pyra­mid teabags made from plant­based ma­te­ri­als. All Tea Pigs tea tem­ples are made with corn­starch (teapigs.co.uk).

Join the grow­ing num­ber of #2min­ute­beach­clean vol­un­teers

Turn your reg­u­lar dog walk or Sun­day stroll into a way of clean­ing up the plastic lit­ter that al­ready ex­ists. There are nu­mer­ous points around the coast (visit beach­clean.net for a map) that have lit­ter pick­ers you can bor­row. And re­mem­ber, it’s not just beaches – plastic lit­ter threat­ens wildlife in rivers and the coun­try­side, too. If you’re feel­ing more en­er­getic, the Scan­di­na­vian trend of ‘plog­ging’ (pick­ing lit­ter while jog­ging) is gain­ing in pop­u­lar­ity, too.

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