Ok homies, you’ve seen the sea of plastic trash we’ve created for ourselves. We are now reaching a tipping point where we all have to think about how we use things for a few minutes, from a material which has been designed to persist for hundreds of years. The good news is that there are some easy ways for you to say F*CK NO to plastic and F*CK YEAH to living your best, less disposable plastic life.
We’ve all seen the turtle with the plastic straw stuck in his nose and all the #strawssucks #f*cknawtothestraw campaigning, but I promise you that this is one of the easiest steps anyone can take to reducing their plastic footprint. I refer to this as the “gateway step” to reducing plastic. Unless you’re a small child or have a disability, there’s no real need for anyone to use a straw to enjoy a beverage. Just think, you use that plastic straw for a few minutes and it lasts for an eternity. If you go to a restaurant or bar and they’re still using plastic straws, I also recommend you [ed’s note: calmly and politely] message them your views and see if they are able to get rid of straws or at least move to a straw-on-request model.
FYN Recommendation: If you really need a straw, there’s many great sustainable options made from stainless steel, glass or bamboo. I recommend the bamboo straw from Bambuhay who work with farmers from the Philippines who are very grateful for your support
Disposal PET water bottles are so unnecessary, especially if you live in a country where the tap water is potable. It takes a bit of organisation and forethought, but BYOBottle, fill up where you can and stop being part of the cycle which creates extra demand for PET bottles. When you’re travelling, take the opportunity to fill up at the office, hotel gym or the airport to avoid more plastic bottles. Pop bottles all night when you BYO, and, as TI notes, you can have whatever you like— without being part of the single-use plastic bottle problem.
FYN Recommendation: there are so many f*ck yeah stainless steel bottle options, my day-to-day f*ck yeah fave way to BYO, but this A5 notebook bottle is just the best for travel and work meetings because you can carry it with your books and slot it into the airplane seat slot along with the safety cards. F*ck yeahhhh, hydration!
I practically mainline coffee just to drag myself through the tedious and dull existence that is known as Monday to Friday. However, disposable takeaway coffee cups are also f*ck no bullshit. Those plastic coffee cup lids ain’t decomposing any time soon and some people think if you skip the lid, the paper cup ain’t all that bad. WRONG HOMIES. Those cups are waterproof because they’re lined with plastic and they’re extremely hard to recycle. In an extra bum move, people often chuck their coffee cups into the paper recycling bin, contaminating true recyclable paper products, which means that it all ends up in landfill.
Also, make sure you keep an eye out for those cafes that use disposable cups even when you dine in. WHY IS THIS EVEN A THING CAFES?
FYN Recommendation: I’m all about my tempered glass KeepCup Brew [ed's note: available at Live Zero] but the band can get pretty hot to hold, so you can MacGyver it with some additional silicone bands. I just find the glass washes clean and doesn’t get that f*ck no stale coffee smell.
This one is obvious AF – bring your own cloth tote bag and don’t take plastic bags for your food or shopping. Fighting off plastic bags is a constant battle and I’m bellowing “NO BAG” all the time at everyone cause no diggity. FYN hot tip: don’t forget to chuck them in your washing machine every once and a while so you’re not a sustainable germ bag. For smaller plastic bags, a real game changer for me has been these silicone ziplock bags because I get all the convenience of being able to stash snacks and extra food into my handbag in a bang-bang sustainability win. BOOM- no single use ziplock bag, BOOM BOOM—reduced food wastage and BOOM BOOM BOOM, I’m always ready to stash any delicious AF treats I may come across.
Pro FYN tip: I get colour coded ones so never shall my raw meat and dry food snacks cross paths in the same bag.
Ok, this one can be a a little more intense, because imagine you’re ordering your sad little box of overpriced salad and you don’t want to upset the production line that your local salad shop has got going on. But I’ve found that most places are actually pretty chill about you bringing your own container. And if they’re not, plenty more [email protected] salad options around (or you can bring your own sad, no fun lunch).
FYN Recommendation: This foldable silicone lunchbox is f*cking A1 for on-the-go portable BYOContainer options. Check out your local camping store (like RC Outfitters) or Jusco / Daiso for other super affordable stainless steel, outdoor and travel cutlery sets. Even Sasa is selling portable cutlery kits these days.
Every time you fly or travel, you’re essentially catapulting yourself into a straight-out plastic trap. However, there’s so much you can do to reduce your plastic usage:
- When you’re flying, get yourself organised for a massive BYO festival. BYO bottle and make sure you fill it up post the security check. Bring a cup with you for drinks on the plane. Bring your own cutlery (if you forget and you’re a budget economy bitch like me, take the plastic cutlery for future use because it’s more durable than the normal single use plastic cutlery). If you’re super organised, tell the airline before you fly that you don’t need a meal and BYO. Failing that, hand back any plastic items or food items that you won’t eat.
- Refuse any amenity kits because they’ll be full of plastic trash like miniature moisturisers and lip balms which might seem fun, but real talk, you know you don’t need that shit. At your hotel, avoid single-use plastic in toiletries by bringing your own in smaller, refillable bottles.
- Bring your portable coffee cup to the hotel buffet and they’ll usually fill you a cup of coffee to-go to avoid the disposable coffee cup scenario. If you get laundry done at the hotel, make sure you specify that you don’t want plastic covers when it’s returned.
You'll be shocked at how much less plastic you use when you're away from home by taking onboard the above. Sit in your seat and feel smug AF, but also horrified, as you take in just how much plastic trash is created on one plane flight 'cause everything is wrapped in f*cking plastic!
FYN Recommendation: This clear reusable TPU zip bag and the miniature refillable bottles from MUJI means you’ll be breezing compliantly through airport security, ditching those flimsy plastic ziplock bags and avoiding single use hotel toiletries in a sustainable fashion forever. Don’t forget to pack some dish detergent too so you can keep your BYO shit clean.
We are all at a different stage of our awareness of how detrimental plastic is, but by raising our individual voices [ed’s note: politely and calmly] we become a collective f*ck yeah roar.
Write to restaurants and bars who are still using disposable plastic and state how they could make changes. Compliment and give your patronage to restaurants and bars who are doing their best to avoid disposable plastic (cause this environmental sh*t has a real dollar cost to them. Plastic is so prevalent because it’s cheap and easy).
Give feedback to your workplace if they could be better. If you attend corporate events and you get asked to provide feedback, give f*ck yeah praise where they are making positive steps on sustainability or give constructive criticism on how they can be better. If you’re gonna get forced into soulless networking on a Tuesday night, it should at least be with strawless drinks in real glass cups.
Talk to your friends and take to your social media platforms to discuss the more sustainable options out there. You’ll find people will ask questions and this gives you the f*ck yeah opportunity to tell them about your stance and how they can get involved.
FYN Recommendation: Tell everyone you know who is interested in knowing more to watch A Plastic Ocean (available on Netflix). I’ll confess to you, I cried my f*cking eyes out when they cut that bird open to reveal all of that plastic in its stomach.
So there you have it, that’s my seven, easy f*ck yeah steps to leading a less plastic-filled existence. Even if you just start with one less straw, one less disposable coffee cup or one less plastic lunchbox this week, that’s one less piece of plastic that’s going to kick around forever.
Above all, remember the 4R mantra: Refuse, reduce, reuse and recycle (and in that order). Take a small step and see where it goes. We are all just a small piece in this movement but together is where the f*ck yeah change happens.
Here’s to peace, love and making more f*ck yeah sustainable choices while continuing to lead our fuck yeah delicious lives.
Xo fucking xo
For the last installment of this weeks eco-initiative, anti-food-blog-food-blogger F*ck Yeah Noms (aka Sgt Noms) lays down her advice for living your best plastic-free life. Over the past year, she’s become one of the biggest voices against the single-use moment, approaching it with her unique humour and tone. To find out more, you can follow her on Facebook and Instagram, and check her blog for restaurant reviews.