101 realistic ways to reduce use of plastic in your household

Oundle author Kim Grove has demonstrated that it’s never too late to make big changes in life, from education or career directions to small or impactful lifestyle choices. Inspired by David Attenborough’s Blue Planet, she has almost completely eliminated single-use plastic, and has published I Found 101 Ways to Reduce Plastic, You Can Too, encouraging others to do the same.

Ms Grove started her journey after learning that by 2050 there could be more plastic in the sea than fish. Her book documents the journey to change her lifestyle. “When I looked around my house and looked at what plastic I could cut, and thought I might as well capture my journey.”

She gave up her social-care job to pursue her writing career and is now, at 59, studying for a degree in Environmental Science.

Her book focuses on everyday ways to reduce plastic consumption, from swapping cling film for beeswax wrap to pressuring local supermarkets to improve their offerings. There are small but impactful changes that everyone in Oundle can make. Ms Grove suggests starting with reusable bags, containers and cups when shopping or getting coffee.

“Just take it one step at a time. Try to reduce one thing and keep up with that.”

Ms Grove suggests visiting Refill Revolution at the Oundle Wharf, where you can refill bottles of kitchen and bathroom products, such as washing-up liquid and shampoo, find plastic-free alternatives for a multitude of household items and restock common non-perishable foods such as rice, pasta and sugar in your own reusable containers.

The most difficult step for her was finding a plastic-free toothpaste, and she is now experimenting with making her own.

Her book’s release was delayed from a planned March date due to the coronavirus outbreak. “I didn’t think it would be fair to release a book on how to reduce plastic when people were struggling.” The pandemic has also made it more difficult to completely eliminate plastic, she has realised.

“Sadly, we now have a problem with disposable PPE, which is also made of plastic and seems to be littering the environment in ever greater numbers! I would implore people to buy reusable masks, and wash these regularly. Alternatively, make your own.”

She warns about feeling pressure to go all-out though. “It’s better to do something and take it slowly, than do nothing at all,” she stresses.

“There are over 66 million people in the UK,” Ms Grove pointed out. “If each person made just one or two of these changes, we’d have 120 million fewer pieces of plastic floating about in the air, clogging up roadside verges, or entangling turtles in the sea.”

I Found 101 Ways to Reduce Plastic, You Can Too is available from Amazon: Kindle edition £3.99; paperback £4.99.

Noa Anderson
1 December 2020