Things To Do in Barnes, Battersea, Cheam, Clapham, Epsom, Fulham, Kingston, Putney, Surbiton, Sutton, Wandsworth, Wimbledon

The war on plastics

Every day approximately 8 million pieces of plastic pollution enter our seas and oceans affecting sea wildlife from fish to birds, and ultimately entering the food we eat through micro-plastics. Although we are quite far from the seashore in south west London and Surrey, the best way to prevent this ocean pollution is at an everyday level, reducing our consumption of single-use plastics, and making simple lifestyle changes that ensure that the next generation of children still have a planet to enjoy, with more fish in the sea than plastic. Enjoy this comprehensive list and help to do your bit to save the planet.

For the weekly shop
First thing’s first, say no to packaging. Supermarkets often wrap their food in lots of plastic, particularly their fruit and veg, making it difficult to reduce the amount of plastics while shopping as many are pre-packaged in store. To reduce your plastic usage, buy vegetables and fruit loose, choose food with the least packaging, or buy food in glass and tin containers. Eco-warrior Instagram account @pointlesspackaging tackle the war on waste by shaming supermarkets into action with puntastic posts where they take photos of what they deem to be pointless packaging. Why not take to Instagram and tag them the next time you see an unnecessarily shrink-wrapped lime on your local supermarket shelf? If you’re keen to cut out packaging entirely, another option is zero-waste shopping. Hetu in Clapham is a zero waste vegan food and household store, and Refill Larder offers cleaning, dry goods and bathroom essentials in Teddington which provide jars and containers to decant your food into. Another top tip is to take along reusable shopping bags every time you hit the supermarket. Not only will this save the planet, but also money on plastic bags. Finally, be sure to source your food locally, at spots like Sutton Community Farm, Osterley farm shop, or your local farmer’s market. This will prevent excess packaging required for transport.

For the home
From the bathroom to the kitchen, there are plenty of sustainable options to explore to reduce waste and stay green. Next time you’re on a hunt for bathroom necessities, why not pick up a shampoo bar? These are visually similar to a bar of soap, which condenses 80-100 washes into a handful-sized block. Lush offer a good variety of different options which they claim replace three 250g bottles of liquid shampoo which amounts to a whole lot of plastic. When it comes to cleaning your teeth, the Pearly White Club offer a sustainable subscription service where you pay £2.50 a month for a biodegradable bamboo toothbrush to be delivered to you every six months. Kit out the rest of your house by checking out the No Plastic Shop – a website which offers a variety of plastic free alternatives for the essentials in the kitchen, bathroom and home, delivered to your door.

For out and about
When you’re on the go, it’s easy to forget to make sustainable choices, opting for a meal deal instead of making your own lunch, or buying a bottle of water which is then disposed in a bin on its way to landfill. Start from the bottom and make these everyday plastic-conscious decisions and you’ll find it gets easier and easier to be the environment-friendly green activist you strive to be. One top tip that will make a massive difference is to carry a water bottle. Swell offer some sleek styles with fun patterns and bright colours in the hope that one by one, people would ditch the plastic in favour of a stylish accessory. To complement your new purchase, download The Refill App - a map-based app which pinpoints locations nearby where you can refill your water bottle instead of buying a new one. Another top purchase is a reusable coffee cup. These cups can give you up to a 50p discount on your drink when you use it in stores, and are made from sustainable sources.

For the eco-conscious foodie
If you enjoy eating out, there are plenty of local sustainable and environmentally friendly restaurants and food options just waiting to be explored. Tiny Leaf London is a zero-waste restaurant serving organic veggie food and cocktails, on the move from their south London lodgings they will be opening soon in a new location. If you’re wanting to cook at home, find out the whereabouts of your local community fridge. The People’s Fridge located at POP Brixton, and affectionately nicknamed Freddie, is the place to drop off or collect left over food that would otherwise go to waste. Zero-waste dining doesn’t just stop with the food though, and you can enjoy a pint without the environmental guilt by visiting Tap 13 - a zero Waste Tap bar in Tooting where they use recyclable kegs and a simple tap system to prevent waste. What’s more, food festivals are splendid community events bringing you food using locally grown produce.

For the little ones
Children’s toys and the kiddie industry are notoriously plastic dominated, but you can bring up your little one to be a mini-eco warrior with these simple handy hints. First off, ditch the plastic straws at children’s parties and opt for cardboard – or if these don’t cut it, go reusable. London-based Seraphina’s Kitchen have created a reusable silicone smoothie straw, which is perfect for any drink, with a larger circumference so you can still enjoy all the yummy fruitiness of a smoothie. They are dishwasher safe, and come with two manual cleaning brushes, so don’t worry about it getting dirty. Another tip is to stay sparkly with biodegradable glitter. Eco Glitter Fun, set up by two festival-loving friends conscious of the negative effects of glitter on the environment have created a biodegradable glitter, which reduces the micro-plastic littering that glitter causes.