Let’s be honest, single use items are so last year; reusables are in. I’m talking rose gold metal straws, fancy coffee mugs, patterned makeup wipes, and the most stylish reusable sandwich bags that make plastic wrap so embarrassed it always runs away. Although reusables may be ‘on trend’, they’re a trend that’s here to stay. With the growing awareness and knowledge around our current climate crisis, we’re realising that to ensure our continued existence on earth, we must do away with single use items and focus on using resources wisely: again and again and again.
Reusable versus Single use
What’s so wrong with single use? Well, the concept of extracting precious and finite resources from earth in order to use a product just once or twice, goes against better judgement.
Consider a disposable coffee cup made from paper and plastic. Oil is drilled, trees are cut down, the cup is transported (emitting carbon emissions) to and from manufacturing plants, and it ends up at a coffee shop. The consumer then buys their coffee, uses the cup for approximately 5 minutes, then throws it into the rubbish bin. Can you see the problem here? Especially when there are billions of people practising this same activity, the earth takes a big hit. We cannot keep doing this forever.
Reusable versus Compostable
When a single use plastic is replaced with a compostable alternative, it’s a reason to celebrate! A compostable item is capable of breaking down into natural matter without leaving toxic ingredients in the earth. This is the opposite of plastic, which can break up but never break down. However, even though compostable is a brilliant alternative, each compostable item still took energy and resources to create and requires a particular environment to actually break down.
Picture a disposable coffee cup made from corn starch PLA, plant based plastic. Corn was harvested, the cup is transported (emitting carbon emissions) to and from manufacturing plants, and it ends up at a coffee shop. The consumer then buys their coffee, uses the cup for approximately 5 minutes, then throws it in the bin.
The big problem here is that the cup needs a certain environment to break down. This includes the right levels of oxygen, nitrogen, heat, and moisture. If the compostable coffee cup goes into landfill (an airtight hole in the ground) the cup will continue to exist for hundreds of years. Ideally, the cup would end up in a commercial composting facility, as most coffee cups cannot break down in home compost environments (they don’t get hot enough). But this doesn’t usually happen; unfortunately, the world hasn’t caught up yet. Most compostable food packaging ends up in landfill.
With all this in mind, reusables definitely come out on top. Depending on the product, reusables generally save the owner a lot of money too and can last for decades.
Here are our top recommendations when it comes to helpful reusables and reducing your waste:
Ditch plastic bottles and choose to refill before you leave the house. This beautiful bottle is a standout with a hand wrapped print of a Cass Urquhart original artwork and, they keep your hot drinks hot and your cold drinks cold!
Say goodbye to those pesky little plastic veggie bags at the supermarket, and hello to calico mesh bags that can be used over and over again.
Replacing tampons and pads with a menstrual cup will save you and the planet. The Hello Cup is made to last several years, so you can enjoy a waste free period, hundreds of dollars saved, and an easier experience while on your period. Read more about how menstrual cups work and why we think they’re great here.
Plastic bags are banned in New Zealand, so carry your shopping or other bits and bobs in here. Made from sustainably produced organic cotton, this bag will also be the perfect match for your handbag overflow.
Clingfilm is a thing of the past! Avoid throwing any waste in the bin, while reducing food waste too. Wrap your home baking, cover a bowl of salad, protect your dinner leftovers, or fold up a toastie in style.
Paper towels demand trees be cut down, so it simply makes sense for these to be reusable. Swap out your paper towels with absorbent cotton flannelette ‘unpaper’ towels.
CaliWood’s rose gold straws put plastic straws to shame. Not only do they save the turtles, but they’re a great accessory for dressing up cocktails and impressing party guests.
If you remove your makeup every day, you can end up wasting hundreds of single-use pads every year! We promise these reusable makeup remover pads will work just as well, if not, better.
This is the ideal match for your smoothies, coffees, soups, or even simply water. These tumblers also keep your hot drinks hot and your cold drinks cold!
Being eco-friendly often includes sacrifices, but not when it comes to shaving! This zero waste safety razor has a double edged blade, butterfly opening for easy blade changing, and could last you a lifetime. Simply replace the blades as they blunt, and recycle at your local recycling facility or metal scrap dealer
FIND OUT HOW
YOU CAN WIN
So, it’s pretty clear: reusables are in, and disposables are out. We know it’s difficult to remember your reusables and change your habits, so we’ve come up with a few ideas to help you remember here.
Your life will be full of reusables and free of waste if you tackle change step by step.
Start small, but start somewhere!
WIN THIS LOVELY SUSTAINABLAH PACK
One re-usuable safety razor in rose gold, a replacement razor blade and an unpaper towel.
To enter, just comment below and let us know your favourite reusable!
Ends at midnight on 28th October 2019. Competition is open to AU & NZ residents.