Okay troops. It’s a scary unsustainable world out there and it can be difficult to know where to start. So, we’ve assembled a little starter pack for you to get you going! Get ready for the five essentials to starting your eco journey…
1. Reusable coffee cup
Hey, imagine a Monday morning without a flat white...You can’t.
We were buying coffees almost every day whilst at work and you could literally see the cups pile up in the trash - it was ridiculous. So what’s so wrong with coffee cups? And why are they such a big problem for the planet? You may think that they’re made out of paper, but disposable coffee cups have to have a plastic layer on the inside to make them waterproof and fit for purpose. It is this plastic which makes recycling very difficult and means they will take hundreds of years to biodegrade.
There are SO MANY options here, and a lot of brands to choose from so we’d recommend having a good scout around first, but just make sure they are made out of sustainable materials and that the brand values is something you are on board with (ie are ethical). For us, it had to be the cork design by Keep Cup, which we think are quite chic, and is a perfect size for our order of choice - soya flat white (if you know, you know). If you’re worried what peoples’ reactions might be, we have never had any issues or been made made to feel awkward, everyone is always so nice and genuinely appreciative.
TOP TIP: If you’re feeling particularly confident that day, strike up a conversation with your barrister or the person next to you. Coffee aside, there is nothing like a bit of human interaction to set you up for the day!
2. Metal straw
Okay so this is a good one for those of you who like a smoothie in the morning.
The fact is we all need to be better at asking for ‘no straw’ when we’re at a bar, but when your morning routine is to grab an iced latte or a smoothie, you kinda need that straw. You can get reusable straws made out of metal, bamboo or silicone and they are such an easy thing to have in your bag and to take out at a moment’s notice. You can buy them almost anywhere online, but we saw some really cute ones at The Social Space or Lazada if you’re in Singapore, or check out Amazon if you’re in other parts of the world. Opt for one that comes with a little cleaner too so that you can wash them out easily.
TOP TIP: Try to get in the habit of rinsing the straw out in the bathroom once you’re finished using it, pop it in their lil bag, and take home for a proper wash later.
3. Cutlery set
In Singapore, there are still lots of hawker centres that give you plastic cutlery and plates, and this can so easily be avoided if you have a mini metal set with you. This set came from Miniso, costs about $4 and comes in a handy little case so you can use, keep in the case, and then wash up when you get home.
TOP TIP: If you buy them in Asia, they’ll usually come with mini chopsticks too!
4. Water bottle
The love that we feel for our Swell water bottles is unparalleled; it has hit us hard and fast, but we know this is a relationship that will go the distance. It’s possible that we’ve banged on enough about this water bottle but it is worth stating again that these are a game changer. This bottle came in at about $45, but you can spend as little or as much on a water bottle like this. We love this one because it keeps hot bottle hot for 12 hours and cold water cold for 24 hours - if we didn’t believe in magic before, we do now.
TOP TIP: Go for the 500ml bottle so it is easily transportable and can go from office to the gym to home by just popping in your bag.
5. Tote bag
Tote bags are totes cool*. Plus just insanely practical. This is such an easy one, and can have such a big impact. Reusable bags come in all different designs, materials, sizes and prices - it’s really up to you.
TOP TIP: Buy a few and tuck them inside all your bags so that you always have one handy. You really never know when you might need one and it is very irritating when you realise you left it at home!
HERE ARE 5 (not so) FUN FACTS ABOUT PLASTIC BAGS
Plastic bags are used for an average of just 12 minutes
It takes more than 500 years for a plastic bag to degrade in landfill. And even then the bags don’t break down completely, but actually photo-degrade and become micro plastics that absorb toxins and continue to pollute the environment.
Shoppers in Singapore take home 27 billion plastic bags every year
Singapore’s plastic recycling rate was just 6% last year
There is more microplastic in the ocean than there are stars in the milky way
What small sustainable changes have you made so far? Have you got any good tips that we haven’t thought of yet? We want to know! Tag us in your pictures on Instagram or drop us an email. We are still learning so much but are loving every minute of it, so keep those ideas coming!
*so sorry for that joke. We are better than that, we promise.