In my post 7 easy ways to be more eco-friendly, I talked briefly about how you can help the environment by avoiding plastic. This month, to coincide with the #PlasticFreeJuly campaign, I’m bringing you 31 relatively easy and manageable ways to minimise the use of plastic in your life. We have already taken some of these steps as a family and some of these steps are still on my list of things to explore, so don’t worry about trying to follow everything all at once. This is definitely not an exhaustive list but I think it contains the main areas that we can all address and is a good place to start. Living a more plastic-free life is definitely a journey as plastic is just everywhere and so difficult to ditch completely, so take your time – start with small steps. I’d love to find out how you avoid plastic in your life so please leave me a comment below.
So here are my 31 ways to use less plastic:
- Don’t buy a plastic water bottle ever again. Instead, invest in a stainless steel bottle and enjoy water on the go at no cost to the planet! (Plus you can avoid that awful plasticky after-taste too!) We love our Klean Kanteen water bottles from Babi Pur.
- When possible, buy cleaning products in bulk and refill existing bottles.
- For kids’ toy storage, opt for alternative materials, such as wooden or wicker baskets rather than plastic trays.
- Swap cling film and kitchen foil for reusable/ washable beeswax food wraps. We absolutely love these Abeego wraps from Babi Pur which keep food fresh for longer and, as a result, have prevented so many of our foods from going off.
- Use glass or ceramic containers for storing food in the fridge.
- Swap plastic sandwich bags for reusable sandwich wraps. We have a couple by Keep Leaf from Babi Pur and we’re really pleased with them.
- Stop using plastic straws. I’ve just ordered some Klean Kanteen stainless steel straws from Babi Pur as my older son Leo just loves using straws for his drinks. Also, say ‘no straw’ when going out for a meal or a drink. (Or carry your own reusable straw if you’re brave enough!)
- When shopping for groceries, avoid packaged fruit and veg. Instead buy fruit and veg loose and avoid the plastic bag to carry them.
- Swap cotton buds for a more eco-friendly alternative where the plastic stem is replaced by recyclable cardboard. The Organyc ones from Babi Pur are a perfect swap.
- Carry a reusable cotton shopping tote bag that you can fold, or use those extra large jute bags for a bigger shop.
- Upcycle existing plastic containers. Find alternative uses for them, be it in the kitchen, in the garden, in the shed or anywhere else. My younger son currently loves playing with our old plastic tupperware containers by drumming on them with wooden spoons or simply putting items into them. Who needs fancy toys, right?
- Talking of toys – assess if your child needs yet another plastic toy and if so, see if you can find an alternative one made from (ideally sustainably sourced) wood. We have a range of wooden toys such a building blocks, sorting cups, animal figurines, stacking rings and, in my opinion, they are just so much more beautiful, tactile and durable than their plastic equivalents. Babi Pur have a beautiful selection of ethical toys.
- Swap your usual plastic toothbrush for a bamboo one such as these ones from LoveLula.
- If you have small children and you’re weaning them, swap their usual plastic cutlery or crockery for bamboo ones. We love our bamboo feeding set by Close Parent from Babi Pur and the Onco baby bowl with a silicone suction that can be attached to a high chair/ table to stop baby from tipping the contents.
- Switch to cloth (reusable) nappies and save not only millions of disposable nappies ending up in landfill EVERY SINGLE DAY but also hundreds of pounds in your own pocket!
- If you need new clothes pegs, buy wooden ones rather than plastic ones.
- Switch to cloth sanitary pads or a silicone menstrual cup. I’m currently testing a couple of brands of cloth pads and the OrganiCup from Babi Pur.
- Use a stainless steel sippy cup for your child/ baby. My younger son has been drinking water from this lovely Klean Kanteen sippy cup from Babi Pur (the purple one in the top picture) since he was six months old and now at nearly 11 months, he’s learning to hold it by himself.
- If you have a baby, you can go as far as swap usual plastic baby bottles for alternative glass ones. I haven’t tried these Life Factory ones from Little Green Home but they seem to be quite popular among green parents as they’re made from thermal shock resistant borosilicate glass.
- When buying online, choose companies that use zero plastic packaging.
- Avoid using disposable cutlery when having a party. Instead, opt for compostable versions, such as these ones by Little Cherry who specialise in eco-friendly party supplies. Or you can just wash and re-use your ‘disposable’ plastic cutlery instead of throwing it away.
- Use biodegradable rubbish bags.
- If you have a baby and use disposable nappies, opt for biodegradable nappy bags, such as these ones by Naty from Big Green Smile.
- Buy fresh bread (and ask for a paper bag to store it), instead of the conventional loaf in a plastic wrapper.
- Swap your shower sponge or buffer for a natural sea sponge. We love these unbleached ones from Ecco Verde.
- Use natural rubber washing up gloves, such as these ones by Traidcraft from Ethical Superstore.
- Say no to the tiny plastic micro beads found in many exfoliators.
- Ditch conventional plastic razors and use a recyclable one instead, such as this Preserve one from Ethical Superstore.
- Choose a plastic-free wooden hair brush, such as these ones from Boobalou.
- Avoid the use of sellotape and wrapping paper for gift wrapping. Instead, choose alternative items such as brown craft paper and string, or reuse gift bags given to you.
- Choose clothing made from natural rather than synthetic materials.
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Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post and I purchased products that I use myself. All views expressed in this post are 100% mine and honest.