In September 2020 we launched the 2 Minute Reset campaign, an initiative prompting you to get back into the swing of things, find what your ‘new normal’ looks like and persuade you to partake in planet positive actions. Our reset campaign ran throughout September 2020 and everyday we shared a #2minutesolution, a sustainable and simple action, to help you lead a more eco-friendly life. This blog will refresh those suggestions in your mind as they are just as important now as they were then. Every small act makes a huge difference and together we can help make the world a better place.
Use a refillable bottle
If you pick up litter you’ll have seen firsthand the amount of water bottles that end up on our beaches and streets. Single-use plastic is detrimental to ecosystems and wildlife. It is estimated that an average of 35.8 million plastic bottles are used every day in the UK, but only 30% of them are recycled. The rest go to landfill and sadly end up in our oceans too. But we have a solution! Invest in a reusable, refillable water bottle and top it up wherever you go. Download the ‘Refill’ App on your phone. It shows you where you can find water fountains and free water refills stations in your area, plus coffee shops that offer discount when you bring your own cup.
Do a pencil case audit
Schools are back, some work places are set to open up and work-from-home is more popular than ever. If you’re treating yourself to new stationary consider the sustainable options before the standard single use stuff. Plastic pens like biros run out quickly, are very hard to recycle and often end up on the beach. Why not purchase a classic fountain pen and ink, plus pencils, metal sharpener and a metal ruler? They’ll last way longer than the plastic kit. Looking for a new pencil case? See if you can find one made out of recycled materials; we’ve spotted them made from wetsuits, car tyres and crisp packets!
To start with, grab a reusable lunch box instead of a plastic bag. BPA free containers are great and metal ones are awesome too. Then, consider what’s going inside it. Fruit is perfect. Bake your own biscuits and ditch the plastic. Cut the plastic cutlery and pack metal or bamboo forks instead. Wrap your sandwiches in bee’s wax wrap instead of clingfilm. Top it all off with a refillable bottle of water or juice instead of Tetrapacks and cartons. Lunch box bingo!
Grab your shopping bags
It’s obvious that the single-use plastic bag tax is working really well, so let’s keep it that way! Take your reusable grocery bags to the shops and avoid the single-use ones forever! Who’s with us?
Chances are we will be wearing masks for a long time to come. Therefore, it’s integral that we choose an eco-option. Reusable, washable options are readily available and will stop millions of single-use masks from being thrown away. Plus, they come in loads of cute patterns too.
Keep your cup
If we all used a reusable coffee cup we’d save 16 billion non-recyclable cups being used every year. We’d stop 6.5 million trees being cut down. We’d stop 4 billion gallons of water being used in the production process. Due to the current Covid-19 situation some takeaway coffee shops have been avoiding reusable coffee cups. Environmental charity City to Sea have done the research and released a statement saying: “Over 115 health experts from eighteen countries have signed a statement assuring retailers and consumers that reusables are safe during COVID-19. The health experts emphasise that disposable products are not inherently safer than reusables and that reusable systems can be utilised safely during the pandemic by employing basic hygiene.” Great news.
Statistics show that 4.4 billion plastic straws are thrown away in the U.K. each year. Ew. Don’t be part of the statistic. Simply ask for your drink without one, or invest in a reusable one and carry it with you. You’ll find straws made from glass, metal, bamboo and even recycled marine plastic! In the words of Martin Dorey, No. More. Rubbish. Excuses!
Parties! Who remembers those?! Well, hopefully we’ll be dancing and chatting in a room full of friends soon, so let’s try and make our parties as sustainable as possible. Steer away from balloons, plastic cups, disposable cutlery and plastic party bags, and get creative instead! Make decorations that you’ll use over and over, shop for party bag fillers in refill shops (instead of buying lots of plastic packets of sweets) and wrap up pass the parcel presents in newspaper, then chuck it in the recycling when you’re finished.
Read your tea
Did you know that lots of tea bags contain plastic? Therefore, they aren’t actually always compostable… Go back to basics. Buy some loose leaf tea and a strainer. Or check tea bag boxes before buying as they normally state if they are plastic free, after all, it’s something to be proud of!
Shopping with your local butchers, bakers and greengrocers is a great way to cut down on plastic packaging. You’ll also be supporting your local community and cutting down on food miles. At your local waste-free shop you can take your own containers. It often works out cheaper and you might even become a zero-waste convert!
Quality, not quantity
Here’s a fact for you: every person in the UK has, on average, 57 items of clothing in their wardrobe that don’t get worn. Every single one of us! Bypass Fast Fashion (and the petrochemical based man-made fibres that come with it) and opt into buying only sustainable clothing from now on, whilst donating or selling your unworn clothes too.
Walk it off
If it’s within a half an hour walk, why not leave the car at home? It’s really good for your mental and physical health to get outside and active, so instead of driving why not hop on your bike, pull on your roller-blades, dust off your skate board or grab some comfy shoes and walk instead. You’ll be doing yourself and the earth a world of good.
Planet positive pearly whites
Did you know that on average you’ll use 300 toothbrushes in your lifetime? To make matters even worse, probably only about 2 of them will be successfully recycled whilst the rest end up in landfill or our oceans. Try using a bamboo toothbrush instead (the handle is biodegradable!), or buy your electric toothbrush heads from one of the several brands that now have a take-back recycling scheme.
Do a bin audit
Go on, put on your marigolds and have a good ol’ root around! We think its worth doing this every year, or even twice a year, as it really helps highlight any areas of your consumption that may have developed some bad habits. Lots of food wrappers? Go to your local greengrocers. Black plastic trays? Take your own Tupperware to the butcher. Too much postal packaging? Give up your internet habits and buy locally (and save all the carbon from the van too!). Give it a go and you’ll soon find another simple swap to try out to make your footprint on the earth even smaller.
We miss the milkman!
In the U.K. we drink BILLIONS of litres of milk every year, which in turn come in BILLIONS of plastic bottles. If even 10% of us switched to a glass bottled service, we would reduce the number of plastic milk bottles by over 340 MILLION!
Shake up your shower
There are loads of plastic free alternatives for your favourite bathroom products. Plastic free deodorant, shampoo, conditioner and toothpaste are all readily available and will wash you just as well! We love shampoo bars, glass jars of natural toothpaste and eco-floss.
Spread the word!
Half of the challenge is making the changes yourself, the other half is getting everyone else to do it too! Spread the word by telling your work colleagues about your awesome new lunch box, remind your friends about when the milkman was a thing and point your family in the direction of this blog! Together we can make the world a better place.
Our three favourite R’s
First of all, reduce. Do you really need that? If you need it, and now it’s finished, can you reuse it? It’s been reused to within an inch of it’s life (or it can’t be repurposed at all) so now it’s time to recycle. Make sure it’s clean (and recyclable) and pop it in the right bag or bin!
Plastic free periods
Tampons, pads and panty liners, along with their packaging and individual wrapping, generate more than 200,000 tonnes of waste per year. To make matters worse, in 2010, a beach clean study found an average of 23 sanitary pads and 9 tampon applicators per kilometre of British coastline. Ew, no thanks! Make the swap to reusable menstrual products such as period pants or a Mooncup and save a lifetime of period plastic from ending up where it shouldn’t. Check out 2 Minute friend and period campaigner Ella Daish for more info and inspiration.
Download our BeachClean App
Our BeachClean App is a way for you to log the litter you find. Through the data we collect we are able to see trends and correlations, therefore helping us to minimise and prevent littering in highly polluted areas! You can download the App by searching BEACHCLEAN on the App Store. Let us know what you think!
Seek out the alternative
So many items nowadays come wrapped in plastic packaging. However, so many places now offer an alternative too. Try to buy things that are unwrapped or come in paper, you’ll be surprised by how many options there are if you simply look a little further afield.
Bigger is better
Not everybody is lucky enough to have a zero waste shop in their local area but there is still so much you can do to help reduce your plastic footprint, even in your regular supermarket. Buy bigger bags of stuff like pasta, rice and flour. You’ll not only save money but you will end up with less plastic packaging too. Oil, toiletries, snacks and cheeses are the same. Shop smart and go BIG!
The 2 Minute Catch Up
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Plant a Tree
Our #2minuteregeneration challenge is well underway. We are crowdfunding a forest! If your saplings have started sprouting we’d love to see your snaps, and if you haven’t got involved yet it’s not too late! Spring is a great time to sow seeds and the more the merrier at our planting party!
Don’t be a loo-ser
Seek out eco-friendly toilet paper and help save the planet one flush at a time! Lots of companies make it out of recycled paper and supply their loo roll in cardboard boxes or paper wrapping instead of plastic bags. Be kind to the planet and choose a greener option for your bum!
Do a 2 Minute Litter Pick
Let’s get right back to the 2 Minute roots! Head outside and do a litter pick. On the beach, in the park, down the street, up a mountain – every single time you pick up a piece of litter you are directly contributing to cleaning up our planet, 2 minutes at a time. So thank you!
We hope some of these ideas will help you make small, sustainable changes, resulting in a more eco-conscious lifestyle. If you try any we’d love to see. Tag us on social media using #2minutesolution and @2minutesolution. Plus, if you have any extra ideas of your own, please let us know too!