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Living without plastic is one of the most common goals between those who are engaging with the trends to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Is it easy? No, it isn’t. But is it possible? Here are some tips!
Climate change, melting ice caps, endangered species. It’s not hard to see that our world is suffering at the moment and in part this is due to the type of lifestyles we lead; using large amounts of resources including materials, water, food, and non-sustainable fuels. While this hot topic is being talked about a lot, especially with the amount of media attention being given to Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist, there are still more households that can be doing to reduce their carbon footprint and use fewer resources in their daily life.
Plastic is one of the most harmful materials on our planet, for a long time, materials that were made of plastic couldn’t be recycled and wouldn’t break down naturally over time like other natural materials like wood and bamboo. The worst affected are our oceans which have become full of plastic and microplastics that make their way into the ecosystem and even onto our plates through seafood cuisine. Living a plastic-free life is challenging but not impossible and there are plenty of companies and corporations also in support of reducing the number of plastics they use.
How to start your plastic-free life?
If you have been wondering how to reduce the amount of plastic in your household, consider these tips to help you:
1. Replace the plastic with bamboo & reusables
Toiletries are some of the worst offenders, plastic toothbrush handles and bristles, plastic containers for consumables (shampoo, body gel, shower lotion), and the plastic wrapping that accompanies loo roll.
Luckily there are plenty of ways you can reduce plastic use in your bathroom, the best method is to throw away your plastic toothbrush and invest in a quality bamboo one instead. Usually, these are made with natural fibers or biodegradable bristles and most environmentally friendly bamboo toothbrushes can be chucked on the compost heap once replaced. Some suggested brands are: Bogobrush, The Toothbrush Project, Brush Mable.
2. Choose loose fruit & veggies
The kitchen isn’t the worst offender, but supermarkets certainly don’t make it easy to reduce your plastic use by sealing individual fruits in plastic-wrapped packaging. Invest in some paper bags that you can use to store loose fruit and veg and if you go to a local butcher, ask them to wrap your purchases in grease-proof paper, rather than a harmful plastic bag. Some great brands for reusable bags are Onya, and Atlas & Ortus.
Before your next shopping trip, invest in some foldable, pocket-friendly shopping bags that you can chuck in the boot of your car or in your handbag or backpack for easy access whenever you need and prevent the need for plastic bags.
3. Choose eco-friendly cleaning products
Cleaning is present in every household, and quite often we think that more chemicals will keep our house cleaner. Starting with the laundry and its wastewater, which are of serious concern.
With the average household washing 7.4 loads per week (about 50 pounds or 22 kilograms of laundry). If we put this into perspective, just US consumers wash more than 660 million loads every week. This equals about 35 billion wash loads a year, totaling 100 million tons of clothes. That translates to 1,000 wash loads started in the United States every second of every day. Geeez!!
So please consider zero-waste detergents & DIY toxin-free laundry alternatives that will do the magic for you, no worries.
4. Ditch the plastic party gear
When organizing a party, it’s easy to pick up plastic plates and cutlery that can be thrown away at the end of the evening. Unfortunately, this creates waste, and considering the number of parties and special occasions that occur across the world every day, this is a huge amount of plastic waste being generated.
Invest in quality bamboo or reusable plates and cutlery that can be cleaned and stored for the next event. While it requires a bit more effort, it will cost the party organizers much more, in the long run, to continuously buy plastic, so consider the planet and your pocket and buy sustainable.
Here some ideas to organize the perfect eco-friendly event for the festive period or even some great ideas to organize your zero-waste wedding.
5. Plastic-free periods
This is an important message we need to share, and this is not just the environment but your own health.
Plastic-free periods is going to have you saving 16,000 single-use menstrual products in your lifetime. Furthermore, menstrual products are the 5th most common type of waste washing up on beaches?
Overall, 45 billion menstrual products are disposed of every year. An incredibly positive impact for more healthy menstruation! So please take care of yourself if you are a user, here’s the guide on how to choose plastic-free period products.
6. How to level up your eco-friendly skills?
There are many things we can do for the planet. If you decide to get into the journey of living more sustainably we’d encourage you to set eco-friendly lifestyle goals and take small steps, always improving and celebrating. If you want more inspiration to live sustainably here are is the ultimate eco-friendly bucket list to go green in 2020.
And before you head off, here are 58 tips to reduce waste this Plastic-Free July!
We are getting there and together we can be the difference the world needs to be healthy and green again.
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