Choose to reuse

Choose to reuse

#Act for the Wild, #Taronga Conservation Society Australia

Posted on 19th December 2017 by Media Relations

Every day, we can take action for our oceans by refusing the ‘Big 4’ single-use plastic items.

The ‘big 4’ are plastic water bottles, bags, straws and take-away coffee cups. These items are often used for just moments, but if not disposed of correctly, can last on the planet forever.

The good news is that there are reusable alternatives available for all of these products! Remembering to bring these items with you when you leave the house, however, is a different story. 

We’ve put together our best tips to succeed when it comes to switching disposable for reusable.  

Reducing our own plastic consumption is all about replacing old habits with new habits. It takes around a month to create a new habit, so if you can keep this up for a minimum of four weeks you’ll be on well on your way to helping ensure our oceans are plastic free!

Recyclable shopping bag
Recyclable shopping bag

Start with one thing

Instead of trying to form four new habits, start with one single-use item you want to replace. Perhaps you get a take-away coffee before work every morning and have been ordering it in a disposable cup? Tackle this one item, then once you feel you’ve mastered bringing your own, move on to the next.

Place your reusable items somewhere obvious

Regularly take your lunch to work? Leave your reusable coffee cup wherever you store lunch for the next day. So if it’s leftovers from the night before, pop your cup on top of the container in your fridge.

Leave a collection of reusable bags in your car boot and some at work. You can even tape a note to your steering wheel, so you’re reminded right before you head into the grocery store!

Avoiding plastic straws is as easy as asking the waiter to hold the straw, but if you’re a sucker for straws pop a set of stainless steel straws in your bag so they’re always with you. Next time you want a smoothie to slurp on, you can say ‘no straw thanks’ and still be prepared.

Leave yourself reminders

Set yourself up for success by leaving reminders in places you can’t miss. Stick a sign on the back of your front door to remind you to grab your reusable mug/bags/bottle.

Set a reminder on your phone with an alert at the same time every morning to pack your Keep Cup and water bottle.

Choose the next best option

If you do forget your reusable cup, ask for your coffee without the lid. Or better yet, take ten minutes to sit down and have a cuppa in. Slowing down and taking a few moments to enjoy your coffee or lunch gives you time to relax and recharge and avoids plastic packaging.

If you slip up, don’t worry

Forming a new habit can be hard, but it’s possible! If you do find yourself at the supermarket without your reusable bags don’t beat yourself up about it. Instead, think about why you forgot them and see if there’s a reminder you can put in place so it doesn’t happen again.

Bring your own bags to shop with, or using a Keep Cup seems like such a small action, but collectively these changes have a huge collective impact!

At Taronga, we believe that wildlife and people can share this planet. But right now, wildlife globally is under threat and they need your help more than ever. Find out more about how you can take action for our oceans.