Don't know where your car jack is? Don't worry, we don't either! As long as you've got your reusable straws and water bottle, you're good to go. Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration - we should all know where our car jack and spare tire are, but planning ahead and having a car kit filled with reusables can get you out of many a single use plastic pinch!
We've found that making sustainable choices and being able to refuse single use plastics often just requires a little bit of planning ahead. Car kits are a perfect example of this. Of course none of us want or plan to use a plastic straw or styrofoam cup, but sometimes we just don't have the option not to. Keeping some basic supplies with you gives you options and makes it a lot easier to say no to single-use plastics.
We remember when we first starting incorporating reusable bags into our shopping routine, and more often than not we would forget them and end up using plastic shopping bags because we had nothing else with us. It takes time to change your habits, so make it as easy on yourself as possible. We now keep extra reusable bags in the trunk of the car to make sure we're never left without one. The car kit is another staple that we just leave in the car, and it lives right next to those reusables. If we end up eating on the road, needing a tupperware for some leftovers, or stopping somewhere for coffee, we're covered!
Y'all know we love stats, so here are a few to help encourage you to bring a car kit into your life as well.
Straws: Americans use 500 million drinking straws every day. This is enough to fill 46,400 school buses with straws every year! That's just the US straw consumption.
Plastic cutlery: six million metric tons of plastic utensils end up in oceans every year. Americans alone throw away 100 million plastic utensils every day. On the other hand, metal cutlery lats for decades and is a great eco-friendly alternative.
Disposable coffee cups: paper coffee cups aren't recyclable because of the plastic lining inside, so at best each one ends up in the landfill. 16 billion disposable coffee cups are used each year.
Be creative and add any supplies to your car kit that you would often use and could help you eliminate plastic from your daily routine. Remember, changing habits takes time so don't be too hard on yourself! Just keep at it and before you know it, whipping out your reusable coffee mug to avoid using a disposable cup will be second nature to you!