It’s week seven of 52 Weeks for Earth, the 52-week challenge to gradually reduce your impact on the planet. And this week’s challenge is an easy one! Let’s quit using plastic cutlery, by bringing reusable cutlery with you.
Already we’ve quit the habits of single-use plastics like straws and coffee cups, so extending that too plastic cutlery should be too far a stretch. Like with quitting those disposables, all it takes is a little forethought and pre-planning. Simply replace all those single-use cutlery items you might use in a week, (each with a life span of hundreds of years on the earth) with their reusable metal counterparts.
You can pick up cheap single pieces of cutlery from the thrift store. Choose something small, so it can fit into whatever bag you’re taking, or even a pocket. What utensils you’ll need depends of what you eat. I, for example, carry a small flat-screen fork with me, and a straw. The flatness means it can occasionally be used with softer foods, in place of a spoon, and anything too liquidy I would either use my straw, or just drink out of the container. I also don’t eat meat, so I don’t find need for a knife on-the-go, but add one to your pack if you think you do.
Multi-tools like a camping utensil might be useful to you, but I warn that these items can sometimes prove less convenient and functional than the individual items. I also encourage you to choose products purchased second-hand and plastic free.
Plastic cutlery is not recyclable and is one of the top disposable plastics contributing to polluting our oceans and filling landfill. Luckily, it’s an easy item to go without when you come prepared with a reusable cutlery alternative. Remember to refuse disposable cutlery when you make your food order or are picking up your food. Doing so might feel a little awkward at first, but just remember you request to go plastic-free doesn’t just go unheard, hopefully one day the businesses we frequent will make the eco-choice to stop using plastic cutlery and disposables altogether!