By Montana Jade Hall

In a world inundated in the remnants of excessive plastic use, we’re working to undo our negligence. There are resources in the form of documentaries, blogs, and an entire month dedicated to plastic-free awareness.

You’ve probably been on the receiving end of the satisfying sensation when the cashier asks if you need a bag, only to produce not one, but a handful of reusables–an act that would, in the past, have incited pride, is now a necessity and part of daily life.

The plastic straw restriction is also evidence of changing attitudes with the addition of chic and stylish glass, bamboo, and stainless steel sipping flutes. However, to support Mother Earth, we’ll need to aim for more than those two combined.

Wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am,” is not only a hook-up culture idea, but it’s also a strong factor in the mentality behind single-use plastic. You’ve got the power to effect change just by switching up a couple, or even one of your daily habits to contribute to a sustainable future. It’s a matter of breaking the cycle of one-night stands and working to create a harmonious relationship with our planet.

As with any other passionate love affair, there is the ‘kindling’ phase; where flirtatious glances and secretive smiles excite a stomach full of butterflies. In romance-mode you’re spending time together, getting to know each other and testing the waters to see if those sparks could become ardent flames. Before daily life is dosed with stainless-steel spoonfuls of reality, look at what sustainable habits you can incorporate now, while the passion is at its height, and come out ahead, so to speak.

Here are 5 easy-to-incorporate changes before the honeymoon phase fades: 

BYOB: Bring Your Own Bag

BYOB and kiss excessive single-use items goodbye. It’s not only plastic bags that are deemed passé today. People are also changing the coffee culture and bringing their own cups. The movement has extended to water bottles, cutlery and food containers, too.

It’s handy to keep a set at home in plain sight for grabbing ease when you’re rushing out the door, and another in your car or fashionably oversized handbag. Now is your chance to justify the splurge and get that woven basket that Jane Birkin popularised in the late 1960s.

Compartmentalising Queen

A discerning mindset isn’t only a popular self-care practice but even extends as far as your kitchen bins. Another way to contribute to the eco-friendly movement is to divvy up what you throw away into compost, paper, clean plastic, and glass before you drop them off at a recycling stop.

Local farms and nurseries will likely use your collected compost. If you want to take things a step further, worm farms are considered a worthy home-composting investment. You can also sign up for Plastic Free July to get more insight, tips, and support.

Shop Sustainably

Waltz into a zero-waste store and you’ll never want to leave. There’ll be no individually plastic-wrapped items in sight; in fact, you’ll find no plastic at all. Biodegradable, sustainable, and eco-friendly containers are all elements that make your shopping experience guilt-free and fun, especially when it comes to the make-your-own nut butter section. 

While zero-waste stores are gaining in global popularity, they’re not always easily accessible; so use your imagination and buy unpackaged loose items to decrease your consumption of plastic. Supporting local organic farmers means there will be fewer pesticides contaminating the earth’s soil. Now that you know how you can contribute, you’ve got the power to support with your purse. 

Face The Change 

From an array of fair-trade, organic, brands with natural ingredients and no traces of palm-oil, your daily makeup routine could be part of your subscription to sustainability. There are many beauty brands making it easy and fun to go glam and green, from the ingredients right down to the packaging. There’s a lot of scope in this department.

You could switch out disposable single-use razors for rose gold metallic ones or trade your plastic toothbrush for bamboo or wood. You could eliminate plastic toiletries altogether by perusing health shops for items such as shampoo blocks or with DIY soap and toothpaste recipes you can find with a quick Google search. 

Menstrual Cup Magic 

When you learn that 12 billion tampons and pads are thrown away annually, you’ll soon be searching for an alternative for those unrecyclable products of the past. Bonus points for the menstrual cup which joined the options when Leona Chalmers patented it in 1937. This product was created by women for women, and is gaining in popularity. However, if you’re not quite ready to give the menstrual cup a go, there are other eco-options such as washable material pads, sea sponges or reusable and stylish period underwear. It’s helpful to know that social media platforms are brilliant resources if you need any information, tips, or video tutorials.

No (tampon) strings attached, lower carbon footprints and an organised recycling set-up, are the benefits of these easy everyday habits.

Create your sustainable support team; sign up for newsletters, subscribe to relevant YouTube videos and follow advocates on social media. Whether it’s an eco-friendly fling or something organic and long-term, these tips will help you build a path forward and discover the romantic acts of service you can show this world.