Updated: Jan 6, 2022
Calling all beginners!
42% of people say that using products that use sustainable materials are important when it comes to their day-to-day purchases but lots of us don't know where to start. It may sound like a costly task but there are some really affordable and easy swaps that you can make to reduce the amount of plastic you buy and subsequently recycle or throw away. Just take a look at our list below: 💚Laundry Did you know that washing powder can be replaced with soap nuts? ! Essentially they are berries that make a natural detergent and can be reused before being composted.
They also don’t come in a plastic bottle and are better for the environment than washing powder. You can buy them from me 😉 or make your own if you’re feeling really thrifty!
There's also an Ecoegg Laundry Egg; although these are made of plastic they come with a 10 year guarantee and are fully recyclable and refillable, so they will cut out lots of unnecessary plastic and save you money at the same time.
💚Teabags Did you know that most tea bags contain plastic? There are teabags that don’t contain plastic that can be composted or biodegraded. However, they can be pricy and if you drink as much tea as I do, you could end up spending a small fortune. One cheaper alternative would be to switch to loose tea and infuser, which in my opinion makes a better brew.
💚Kitchen storage You can use food wraps (either beeswax or leaf wraps) instead of cling film. These are plastic free and reusable – but possibly best of all they come in pretty patterns!
Otherwise save old tubs, pots and jars for your food and save food and packaging. 💚Washing up Plastic sponges for washing up release micro plastics into the environment and are typically only used for a week before going in the bin. One alternative you could try would be a coconut scouring brush which lasts longer, is naturally antibacterial and can be composted once you’re done with it. Or how about an Unsponge that can be washed and used again? Or there silicone scrubbies that are durable and effective. There are loads of alternatives out there which will have you saving money over the year as well as being more environmentally friendly.
We have a selection of these on our website at an affordable price if you're looking to make the switch. 😊
We've also switched to a Primal Suds Dish Splash washing up bar for a totally plastic free washing up experience!
💚Water bottles and flasks
These should be a given by now, but if you haven’t yet invested in a reusable coffee cup or water bottle, now’s the time! You can pick them up easily and in most cases they will save you money over time. Your local coffee shop will serve your drink in your reusable cup, and there are increasingly free water stations so you can fill up your water bottle while you’re out and about. Find out more and download the app to find your nearest refill station.
We have both bamboo coffee cups and insulated flasks available so there really is something for everyone.
💚Baking paper Instead of using one-use baking paper there are lots of varieties of reusable or biodegradable options. For example, silicone mats or compostable parchment baking paper. 💚Kitchen towel Yep. You can even buy reusable kitchen towel on our website that can be washed and used again! OK so this isn't plastic but if you think about how much kitchen towel you buy (and ultimately throw away), reusable options such as bamboo ecotowel or even reusable cleaning clothes are much more environmentally friendly. 💚Dental Care If you use a manual toothbrush you may want to switch to one that is biodegradable as shockingly 80% of our plastic ones end up in the sea! Bamboo or beechwood toothbrushes are a good swap for plastic ones. They can be composted after use, except for their bristles which are nylon and must be removed. Use an electric toothbrush? There are toothbrush heads that some companies will accept back from you and recycle – like these recyclable toothbrush heads which are compatible with Oral-B electric toothbrushes. Simply post them back to their return address and the company will recycle them.
Personally, we also use toothpaste and mouthwash that comes in glass and aluminium; it does get a little bit of getting used to but there are some fantastic alternatives to traditional tubes out there.
There’s also a scheme called TerraCycle that you can use to recycle your toothbrush heads, toothbrush tubes and more. 💚Reusable wipes From baby bottoms to surfaces and even make up removers if you want to cut out plastic, save money and reduce your waste, I would highly recommend switching to reusable wipes or cloths. These come in a range of materials, sizes and even colours but there really is something for every situation! 💚Razors Do you use disposable razors for shaving? Switching to a safety razor can save you money as well being more environmentally friendly. They look a bit scary but they're called safety razors for a reason!
We have a gorgeous bamboo handled razor which has a longer handle for extra grip and offers a close, clean shave.
💚Shampoo, conditioner and soaps Bars of shampoo and conditioner are a great alternative to their bottled counterparts. They do tend to last much longer bottled shampoo too so will save you money in the long run.
Switching to soap bars is also another simple yet effective swap. If you really can't manage with soap bars, consider using liquid soap refills which will cut out the need for lots of plastic packaging. We sell liquid refills locally and we have a whole range of bars in our online store so there's bound to be one that suits you. 💚CSP and Cloth Nappies
Did you know that period products are up to 90% plastic? Sanitary towels and nappies will sit in landfill for hundreds of years.
Cloth pads and nappies are an excellent way to reduce the amount of plastic disposables you use and will save you money over time too.
There's also menstrual cups you can buy if you prefer those; made of silicone these will last a lifetime and cut out SO much waste!
You can find out more from our Positive Periods blog or speak to your local nappy library for more information and support. I would also highly recommend The Nappy Lady website.
Of course the best advice is to use what you already have; the most sustainable item is the one you already have, even if it is made of plastic. Try to keep the plastic you own out of landfill as long as possible; use, reuse, repurpose and then recycle.
But if you're ready to make some switches check out our Eco Alternatives starter kits and specify plastic free! We can send you some to try without any hassle or stress for you (we even include an instruction guide).