Living in London throws more than its fair share of challenges and temptations when trying to live more sustainably. Having lived in the city for a good 18 months I certainly know what it’s like!
Passing the smell of a coffee shop when you’ve forgotten your reusable cup, remembering when it’s all too late that you left your water bottle at home, making an impromptu trip to the supermarket without your canvas tote … the list goes on.
So to help you out I’ve collated the 8 best sustainable swaps for busy lives on the go. And to remind you to grab these before you leave the house, why not put them in a little basket by the front door?
1. Reusable Cups
Shockingly the UK throws away 2.5 billion coffee cups every year and only 1% of these get recycled. Join the reuse revolution with a reusable cup – you can even save money off your hot drink at many coffee shops (25p in Costa and 50p in Pret a Manger). My favourites are Keep Cup and Wake Cup.
2. Eco Chewing Gum
I bet you didn’t know that chewing gum doesn’t biodegrade! In fact, chewing gum is made from synthetic polymers (in other words: plastic) so for fresh breath on the go opt for sustainable alternatives such as Simply Gum or Chicza.
3. Canvas Tote Bag
Always remember to bring your reusable tote wherever you go – even if you don’t think you’re planning to shop it easily squishes in a handbag just in case! And whatever your style you can definitely find one that works for you. I recommend Etsy as a good place to start.
4. Reusable Lunchbox
Avoid the unnecessary food packaging that comes with eating on the go (did you know that crisp packets aren’t even recyclable!) by making your own lunch. I love this lunchbox from Eden & Willow which is made from bamboo fibre instead of plastic!
5. Reusable Bottles
We’ve all seen devastating photos of plastic water bottles littering our oceans so switch to a reusable bottle such as Yuhme who, for every bottle sold, also contribute 6 months of clean water to someone living in the Central African Republic!
6. Reusable Cutlery
Pop these in your bag together with your lunchbox and water bottle. I especially love this bamboo set from Yuggen Life, a lovely online store that plants a tree for every purchase!
7. Reusable Straws
Amazingly, many chains and restaurants have now banned plastic straws but in case you get caught out why not get yourself a set of stainless steel or bamboo straws such as the below which I found in Bali. Alternatively you can always go without!
8. Digital Ticketing
In contrast to all of the above this is something you don’t need to “remember” as you make that mad dash out of the house in the mornings. Instead it’s a reminder to always swap to digital ticketing where possible to avoid all those paper train tickets which inevitably end up in landfill.
Have another sustainable swap for busy lives on the go? Let me know in the comments – I’m always keen to hear your ideas and feedback!