In February this year, Friends of the Earth launched their campaign #PlasticFreeFriday. Along the lines of #MeatFreeMondays, the campaign is encouraging participants to avoid single use plastics on Fridays. By pledging support, you will receive tips from Friends of the Earth to help reduce your single plastic use consumption and becoming more aware on one day of the week will hopefully allow you to make more informed choices and build more environmentally friendly habits during the rest of the week too. I think the campaign is a great idea and it really does feels like there is a level of momentum behind the zero waste and plastic free movement across the media and the general public.
My bugbear, however, is the level of responsibility and cost ('latte levy', anyone?) that is left to the consumer. At the moment, it is simply exhausting to live in a more ethical and climate conscious way and my thoughts were echoed wonderfully by Sophie Benson's aptly titled article: "Giving a fuck can be exhausting". We need all the easy wins we can get at the moment and if there are any ways that government and large commercial organisations can help, then this will have a huge impact on consumer habits. I was, therefore, delighted to see that Friends of the Earth (in collaboration with 7 other groups and the UK Youth Climate Coalition) have launched Climate Serious, a campaign calling on major corporations to take responsibility and stop harming the environment. They are targeting 3 large corporations including Danone, who produce single use plastic bottles made for the brands Evian and Volvic. Climate Serious is asking us to pledge our support by signing their Big Business, Save Our Climate petition. I, personally, believe that we need more campaigns targeting businesses so that it can enable consumers to more easily build more environmentally friendly habits and lifestyle choices. On a side note, I am very intrigued to hear what happens after yesterdays proposals for a ban on plastic straws and cotton buds and very happy to hear the Scottish Parliament's plan to ban plastic straws by the end of 2019.
Anyway, in the spirit of the #PlasticFreeFriday campaign, I thought I would share my tips to help you go reduce the amount of single use plastic waste. For my first blog post around this subject area, I thought I would share with you some reusable water bottles. Investing in a reusable water bottle is probably one of the easiest and quickest ways to make a difference to your single use plastic consumption, water consumption and lifestyle.
1. Corkcicle 475ml Canteen (£25)
It sounds dramatic but since purchasing my Corkcicle Water Flask, it has totally changed my life and when my friend recommended this brand of flask to me she hilariously said exactly the same thing. It makes it easier to drink more water, it is easy to transport while I am travelling or teaching yoga, it makes water taste amazing, it keeps the water temperature for up to 25 hours, I can use it as a flask for hot drinks (although I recommend taking a cup as it is definitely holds the temperature for the advertised 12 hours), it never leaks and I use it when I am drinking water at home as I am ridiculously clumsy and it means I avoid spillages. It sounds strange to say but it satisfying to hold in the hand and comes in lots of cool colours. My only issue is that if you bash it around (which I do, as I said, I am very clumsy), the paint will chip. My Corkcicle is the 475ml Turquoise Canteen which is the perfect size to carry around in my rucksack.
Here are a few other buying options for a variety of price ranges. All of the options I have chosen are free from BPA (a chemical used to make certain types of plastic that research shows can affect your health if it seeps into your water).
2. Atlas & Ortus 500ml Stainless Steel Bottle (£12)
Atlas & Ortus is a newly launched ethical and eco-friendly brand to help build a more sustainable, conscious and caring culture where ethical and eco-friendly products are the norm. Their very reasonably priced 500ml Stainless Steel Water Bottles comes in black and white and they only cost £12 each! Feel free to have a look at their online shop for more products to help you reduce plastic waste.
3. Bobble 550ml Filter Water Bottle (£8.94)
Another reasonably priced bottle is the Bobble 550ml Filter Water Bottle. As well as functioning as a vessel to hold water, it also filters the water as you drink. The filter removes chlorine and organic contaminants from tap water. One filter will last at least 300 bottles of water.
4. Chilly's 500ml Water Bottle (£25)
If a water bottle that looks a wee bit jazzier is the order of the day for you, then look no further than the Chilly's 500ml Water Bottle. I have chosen to feature my current favourite design from the Tropical range. You can even personalise the bottle with your name or any piece of writing that you wish! Similar to the Corkcicle Canteen, the Chilly's bottle promises to keep your drink cold for up to 24 hours and your drink warm for up to 12 hours.
If you have any other recommendations for reusable water bottles, if you are taking part in #PlasticFreeFriday, if you have any other tips for reducing your single use plastic waste or if you have any other thoughts on the subject, then please feel free to leave a comment below!
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