Our YOLO Compost Tumbler is like a ‘gateway drug’. If you recycle your kitchen peelings and garden trimmings by composting, you are likely to support the 5 Rs of #zerowaste by Refusing what you don’t need, Reducing your general consumption, Reusing what you can, Recycling what can be recycled and Rotting (composting) your organic waste.
Rotting (composting) is covered by your YOLO Compost Tumbler. Recycling should be last on the list. If the other four Rs are taken care of, there will be little left over to recycle. It is the first three that take the most thought and effort because they demand a change in our behaviour.
It only becomes possibly to say no (refuse) plastic shopping bags, takeaway containers, plastic straws and dozens more single-use, disposable items if you have an alternative. This is where Reuse comes in because there are superb single-use alternatives. But, don’t be greenwashed. Let’s take paper straws instead of plastic straws as an example.
Plastic straws have been the target of public outcry and consumer campaigns. Under pressure, major retailers, takeaway brands and restaurants made the switch a few years ago to hand out paper straws with milkshakes and beverages instead of plastic straws, which featured in beach clean-up images and shocking photographs of the stomach contents of marine birds and sealife.
The problem is that paper straws are single-use items, like plastic straws.
Paper straws – and those made from cellulose and other bio-based plastics – are abundant. They’re handed out as a better alternative to plastic straws – playing to greenwashing – but they are not. Paper straws get soggy. To make them more durable, they are coated or made thicker, which can render them uncompostable and difficult to breakdown – in nature and in the home composting environment.
It is not alright to replace single-use items like plastic straws and plastic bags with other single-use alternatives – like paper straws and paper bags. These products could be equally as harmful to the environment like through driving the demand for paper, which elevates rates of deforestation, or being uncompostable (and unrecyclable).
It is not alright to dump these disposable products on the recycling industry either by thinking that after use and once disposed they will just be recycled. Very little of what is disposed is recycled and not all recycling facilities have the means to recycle everything you send their way. Consider too that plant-based, look-alike ‘plastics’ end up in landfill and under piles of trash where they do not compost. There is an overload of waste and our primary responsibility is to reduce what we send to recycling depots and trash, not just to swop one single-use item for another single-use item.
What we need is to change our behaviour where single-use products are concerned. We can do this either by cutting out the use completely of the single-use product entirely or replacing it with long-lasting, reusable alternative.
Our YOLO shop includes a number of reusable products that we’ve found have helped us to change our behaviour where single-use items are concerned. These are long-lasting, reliable alternatives to some everyday products that can be hard to let go of.
LastSwab replaces cotton buds, glass Restraw replaces plastic and paper drinking straws (lips work well too but, if you must have a straw, this is a great alternative), SUPA’s bowl covers work better than clingwrap, LastRound replaces facial cotton rounds and SUPA’s Forget-me-not Pouch offers shopping bag and barrier bag alternatives with their fabric and mesh bags tucked into a convenient pouch.
Live a good life, with YOLO.