How To Get Happier With Less Plastic

How To Get Happier With Less Plastic

As illustrated in Pharrell’s new documentary (yes, it is a documentary and it’s going to make you want to cry!), today we live in the age of plastic. There is plastic everywhere, it‘s all around us, it’s even in us. We have literally ‚plasticized‘ ourselves.

Scientists had a closer look on plastic pollution in the ocean of all sizes and it’s simply overwhelming how much is actually floating out there.

It’s indeed bizarre that the things we use for only seconds will be there for 1000 years to eventually be broken down if not eaten by that baby seal. We just throw it away, but where exactly is away.

This is a global issue and we are more connected in this than we might realize. While big organizations are still producing new plastic instead of using recycled plastic, some others are coming up with creative solutions to make positive changes. The 23-year-old Lauren Singer based in Brooklyn is a great role model and inspiration to us because she is even living free of plastic. She made two years of plastic trash fit in one single mason jar. Lauren says that since she is living a zero-waste lifestyle her life has improved a lot. She saves money, eats better and is happier than before.

As we all have demanding jobs and busy social lives, there is not always much room for making conscious choices. Here are some simple tips that will make you hop off the ‘plastic-train’:

1. Reuse glass jars

There is lots of prepared food you can buy in glass jars like peanut butter, pasta sauce or juices. If you end up buying these don’t throw them out. Simply wash and reuse them so you won’t need any plastic to store food. You can also bring them when you buy bulk food. If you have plastic containers leftover from yoghurt or other food, don’t throw them away you can use them to store food as well.

glass jars instead of plastic


Shop Smart & don’t buy Waste

2. Just BYOB (bring your own bag)

Luckily cotton bags are popping up everywhere. Go shopping with hip reusable totes while skipping all those plastic bags. If you don’t have these yet it may cost you a little, but there won’t be any extra costs for the environment in turn.

9 reusable bag


3. Opt for glass products

Yesterday I went grocery shopping when it hit me: Have you ever noticed how many products you buy that come with plastic packaging? Next time we do our grocery, let’s have a second look whether we can buy the same produce without the plastic e.g. oil in glass bottle versus plastic bottle.

 4. Go to a small shop or to the market

It’s much easier to resist the plastic packaging when doing your groceries in a small shop. Here you can just fill in your reused containers and bags with everything you need. Choosing to buy bulk food is the perfect way to avoid any packaging. Using a reusable wine carrier may make it easiest to carry all your glass jars home. What’s even better, see if you can make time to go to the local market and fill your own shopping basket.


Spot Hidden Plastic

5. Say ‘no’ to Straws

There are fancy, reusable stainless steel or glass drinking straws if you don’t want to give up on straws. If you are in a restaurant you may simply tell the waiter/waitress that you don’t need a straw.

9 plastic (3)

 6. Give up that Gum

Actually gum in its origin was made of chicle, a natural rubber. However, nowadays we purchase synthetic gum consisting of polyethylene and polyvinyl acetate which in fact makes us makes us chew and probably also on toxics. Healthy alternatives you might like are licorice root, sunflower seeds or nuts, mints or parsley for a fresh breath.

7. Check out the CrazyRussianHacker

You have already bought plastic bottles and don’t know what to do with them? Check out these 5 Recycled Life Hacks.

“Let’s stop this plasticization and instead challenge ourselves joining the zero-waste movement!”

Let’s do it all together. Are you in?

Nowconnected Expert of the Month: Nicoline Topholt

Nowconnected Expert of the Month: Nicoline Topholt

Meet Nicoline Topholt, Kundalini Yoga Teacher and Holistic Health Practitioner from Denmark.


1. Nicoline, what is your background?

I’m a registered nurse, biosignature coach, personal trainer, Kundalini yoga teacher, Reiki healer and holistic health and beauty practitioner. I have 4 years of experience as a Holistic Health & Lifestyle Mentor and I have helped more than 1000 women transform their body, mind and soul. You can find me on my website Soul-fitness.


2. What drove you to do what you are doing today?

The reason why I do what I do today is, I believe a personal total life crisis in the summer of 2011. Everything was falling apart. In the process of losing everything, I was finding myself. What did I really want to do with my life? My passion for health and spirituality was being ignited and I was at a point of no return.

Do you want live a life in security and comfort? Or do you want to live a life of passion and integrity? My job as a nurse was no longer serving me and there was a longing for more. This calling was answered by tearing everything down. This way nothing else was left but the wisdom of my heart. It told me to serve the world by being me and by being me I could teach everyone to be who they really are too.

3. When was the last moment you can recall when you really felt connected to your own wellbeing?

The last moment I can recall was this morning when I chose to get up earlier than I normally do and go for a walk. When I’m out in nature, especially in the early hours of the day, I feel connected to nature, and in return I feel like nature is helping me to feel connected within myself.

4. What makes you feel good?

Many things make me feel good, but I think the most profound thing is when I follow my heart. Every choice from my heart feels good, no matter what it is.

5. Being really honest with yourself, what is your favourite food and why?

Maybe this is silly but I think my favourite food is butter. Organic butter! I grew up believing that all fats are bad for you, so I never really ate that much of any kind of fat. I think that this has led to a deficiency, but the body is clever; it knows what to eat in order to feel in balance again. Now I eat a lot of healthy omega acids, but also butter. Sometimes I go butter crazy and eat half a package on my own (of course with something else, not only butter). I feel calm, like my nervous system gets healthily greased.

 6. Which kind of movement works best for you?

I was bitten by the yoga bug some years ago. I have always been very fond of exercising, and was brought up “in the fitness industry” with both parents working in the local gym. This made it a natural path to follow. Exercising is an important part of my life. As I matured personally, I quite naturally also sought development in my way of exercising. I needed more.

With yoga I get a whole extra dimension. The time I spend on the yoga mat allows me to tune in and restore my divine spark, the centre of the love that is within us all, always and every day. After many, many years of thinking negatively about my body, I had almost buried myself. When practising yoga, I find my true essence, the beautiful and true version of myself.

7. What is it that you would like to see more of in the world and how do you think we can get there?

I would like to see less stress and more authenticity. Way too many of us go through life just living on autopilot, without even having the time to do what we really love to do; what makes us feel connected. Yoga is a great way to learn to relax. Whatever you do with your body rubs off on the mind and vice versa. Therefore, slow physical movements let you slow down your pace, creating calmness and concentration, moving through the body and into the psyche. This decreases stress hugely at all levels. Yoga is about returning to your natural equilibrium. When your mind and soul is centered and your body is in harmony, it‘s playfully easy to maintain a healthy lifestyle and a happy life.

8. That’s wonderful! How do you keep yourself connected to your wellbeing?

I keep myself connected by my regular meditation practice. Meditation gives me the strength to control my mind. When you are in control it is you who decides what kind of thoughts you want to have. I love this way of thinking of it: You have to learn how to chose your thoughts every day, like choosing your clothes.

9. What would you like to tell your younger self

I would tell my younger self to embrace her perfectness with these words: I believe you are perfect just the way you are. Nothing needs to be changed, the only thing you need to do is to accept yourself, even those sides of you, you don’t like.

10. What is the greatest advice you have ever received?

The greatest advice I have ever received is to let go of the past. To truly let go of the past, you have to go into the dark recesses of the subconscious mind at a cellular level. This means rolling up your sleeves and feeling all the pain that is associated with these memories. The beauty of Kundalini Yoga is that it can work at the cellular level.

Thank you so much, Nicoline!