Recycling & Reducing Waste

We create a ton of plastic everyday (emphasis on the word “ton”) and sometimes don’t realise it. So I have here a list of easy things I follow in order to recycle or use less plastic.

  1. Using cloth bags instead of single-use plastic bags at the supermarket. This is a really easy habit to change. Instead of buying plastic bags every time you go to the supermarket, bring your own ones from home. Moreover, European supermarkets rarely hand out single-use plastic bags for free. Also, a cloth bag won’t cost you more than a few Euros.

    cloth bag
    Cloth Bags
  2. Drink from a reusable plastic bottle instead of buying plastic bottles every time. This one is also pretty manageable. Fortunately in Germany, we have a system that recycles most plastic bottles, cans and beer bottles. Despite this lack of system in other countries, it’s easy to just buy a reusable plastic bottle at every sports shop.
  3. Avoid using plastic cutlery. You don’t need them at home, and at festivals they usually give you actual cutlery, so no problem here!
  4. Reutilise jars. Any mayonnaise jar you bought, simply wash and keep in case you need to use it some other time, like making homemade marmelade, or a place to store your pens.

    Source: Pinterest
  5. Make an effort to buy fewer clothes. Fashion and the clothing industry is one of the industries that damage most of the environment. A more expensive shirt from a normal clothing shop is worth more than a Primark shirt, which will go out of fashion the next season. Rather than looking at the prices, focus more on the style and quality of the clothes!
  6. Getting shoes fixed instead of buying new ones. Like buying clothes, this is less costly in the long term. Again, focusing on the quality of the shoe rather than the price is a key issue!
  7. Using a menstrual cup or reusable pad instead of pads and tampons. Not everyone is aware that there is an alternative to pads and tampons. The menstrual cup is environmentally friendly, since you can use it up to ten years, and is mostly made of silicone, which means there have been no reported cases of TSS (toxic shock syndrome).

    menstrual cup
    Source: Shutterstock
  8. Buy seasonal fruits and vegetables. No one needs strawberries in the winter (especialy when they don’t taste like anything).
  9. Last but not least, buy a reusable coffee cup for getting coffee to go. Around 2,8 BILLION coffee cups are thrown away in Germany alone! This ridiculous number can be reduced by taking the extra 5 minutes to sit down and enjoy the coffee at a café or taking your reusable cup with you instead.