Tansy Lau-Tom: How To Cut Your Plastic Consumption
Make a conscious effort
Plastic is everywhere, so finding ways of reducing our use of it can seem difficult. It’s not. The key is to take small steps in your daily habits. I am not fully traceless myself, but doing what you can is pivotal for change.
Take Tupperware to restaurants for leftovers. I use collapsible silicon containers that take up no space in my bag. The same goes for takeout. If you’re ordering food and are out and about, it just takes five extra minutes to pick up your meal and put it in your own containers. Five minutes is nothing.
Avoid plastic straws. You can use your mouth to drink most drinks. If you must, use metal straws or paper ones.
Know where to go
Scout for zero-waste shops and platforms near you. I go to Live Zero in Sai Ying Pun. Plastic-Free HK is a great online store for ecologically crafted products.
Be wary of online shopping. Sites like Amazon and Taobao use so much plastic packaging. If you have to shop on them, buy in bulk. It’s better for your carbon footprint.
Educate yourself. Read articles, watch documentaries, join Facebook groups. We have access to so much information these days. Also, educate others: your kids, your helpers, your friends.
Plastic bags are still inescapable. Reuse them. Turn them into trash bags, or make sure your helper takes them to the wet market to get groceries. Select specific containers for your grocery shopping. When you go to the fishmonger, ask him to put what you buy in your own boxes so that there’s no need for extra wrapping.
Become an aware consumer. There are now paper Q-tips, compostable cling film, cloth shopping bags. Be mindful, basically, of how you can reduce plastic in your daily life. And don’t make excuses.