On average, an Italian produces 500 kg of waste per year, equal to 10,000 plastic bottles (ISPRA). Of this amount, plastic accounts for nearly 60 kg, placing us in the world’s top 10 for per capita plastic consumption. Altogether, this does not seem like a figure to be proud of, especially given the fact that more than half a million tons of plastic is leaked into the environment each year.
Hence, here 5 plastic-free items to carry with you on your trips to the woods
- Water bottle (thermal)
Our best friend. The stainless steel water bottle, which keeps our drinks cold in summer and warm in winter, is essential for staying hydrated during walks outdoor. A hard plastic version is also a great alternative to disposable bottles. In the absence of a drinking fountain where we can refill it, we can ask for it to be refilled at cafes and huts. Do you know how long it takes to degrade if dispersed in the environment? 450 years.
- Reusable cutlery and containers
What hike would it be without a tasty break? We suggest enjoying your meal outdoor by putting it in a rigid, reusable container, in Italian we call it “schiscietta”. The same goes for cutlery, whether rigid plastic, wood, or steel, it’s convenient to carry around in a cloth case. There will be no more need to buy disposable cutlery all the time, because you will always have your own on hand.
Still about snacks, should you need to wrap something in cling film or aluminum foil, there is a truly innovative solution: bee wraps, cotton sheets soaked in beeswax. Thanks to the wax, they become waterproof, shapeable, and even washable. The waxed sheets can last about a year, after which you can “refill” them by soaking them again in edible wax. Alternatively, you can break them up and throw them in the organic bin.
- Silicone airtight bag
We have become accustomed to using plastic zip-lock bags, not thinking that sooner or later they will have to be thrown away. A viable alternative can be a reusable, airtight silicone bag. Extremely versatile, it can hold snacks and meals, or it can be used even to cook! In fact, it is suitable for the microwave and freezer. After each use, it can be washed by hand or in the dishwasher. As if that were not enough, it serves to store personal care products when we are away from home.
- Cloth tissues
Whether for blowing your nose or dabbing sweat on a hot day, having tissues with you is always necessary. Too bad they are always enclosed in plastic wrap! The solution is to have reusable tissues made of cotton (better if organic) enclosed in a reusable and washable silicone case. The beauty of these cases lies in the small separator, which allows you to store dirty tissues separately from clean ones.