We all know that plastics pollute the environment, and with our continued reliance on plastic products, the damage can seem impossible to reverse. But even if you can't go plastic-free, there's still changes that you can make to help the environment thrive.
Employees from Adidas and Reebok have teamed up to create an "Ultimate Guide" to avoiding plastic use this year, and they've provided some handy tips for reducing plastic use in your daily life. Here are a few of our favourites.
In the morning
Mornings are filled with plastics you may not think about, from your milk bottles to your toothpaste tube and toothbrush. The guide recommends changing out your usual toothbrush with a bamboo one - and if you're feeling really creative, you can even create your own eco-friendly toothpaste with baking soda, coconut oil and peppermint essential oil.
Likewise, you can make your own face wash, shower gel and shampoo from natural ingredients - or purchase them from Lush, which avoids packaging. Other skin products you can swap out for organic alternatives include sunscreen, which often contains harmful chemicals.
Purchasing sustainable fashion made from recycled or natural materials is also a great way to kick off a plastic-lite day, as is swapping mass-produced cereals with the loose muesli, cereal and oats available for your local supermarket.
Bringing a reusable coffee cup with you to work is another great way to reduce the amount of plastic you use - depending on your local café, it might even save you some money.
At work or at home
You should always keep a bottle of water handy with you - but consider swapping out your plastic supermarket bottle with a refillable water bottle. Other essential 'green' office tools you can add to your arsenal include recycled paper, an eco-friendly phone case, reusable containers instead of plastic Tupperware and a set of cutlery rather than plastic alternatives.
If you're hankering for a midday snack, a DIY energy bar might come in handy, as well as loose-leaf tea over heat-sealed teabags, which usually contain plastic.
In the evening
When you do your daily shopping trip, it's important to bring reusable bags. Canvas tote bags are available widely at the shops and won't cost a fortune to keep around - plus, it'll stop the mid-shop panic when you realise most supermarkets don't stock plastic bags anymore.
Similarly, when you're gathering your fruit and vegetables, you don't need to bother with a bag - most vegetables have hard, protective skin around them anyway. On the way out, you can also refuse a receipt, which are usually coated in harmful chemicals.
Cooking your dinner with homegrown herbs, fruit and vegetables can be a great way to save money, and avoid excessive plastic use. While the process takes time, it is extremely rewarding, and great for the environment.
You don't need a green thumb to grow fresh vegetables right in your backyard or balcony. Whether you're a gardening novice or just want to start a vegetable garden with the least amount of time and effort, here are the top (almost) foolproof vegetables to grow.
These tips may take some time to get used to, but integrating them into your daily routine is easy. Every little bit counts, and going out of your way to avoid plastics will have a long-lasting, beneficial effect on the natural environment.