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Simple changes to reduce plastic in your home

Do you think we can live without plastic? Plastic pollution is a huge issue for oceans and wildlife, and of course, humans too. Companies use plastic as a cheap way to create products, but it’s time to take a stand and change the way we look at things. As July is a plastic-free month, we’d like to share some tips to reduce plastic in your household. From switching to reusable bags to buying second-hand products – we’ve got you covered.

Carry reusable shopping bags

This is one of the easiest things you can do – all you have to do is carry a reusable shopping bag with you at all times. As we use around 140 single-use plastic bags per year on average in the UK, it’s easy to see how switching can make a big difference. Plus, it saves you money!

Use a reusable drink bottle

We can all agree that plastic water bottles (and fizzy drinks too) are one of the biggest reasons for plastic pollution. Switching to reusable drinking bottles will make a huge difference! Plus, using stainless steel will prevent the chemicals from plastic from leaching into your drink, so again, it’s a win!

And while we are at it, carrying a reusable travel mug for those moments when we want a quick coffee from Starbucks would be preferable too!

Save your glass jars

Glass jars make for brilliant zero-waste food storage. They can store just about anything; cereal preserves through to dry goods. You can even use them to store your leftover food in the fridge.

Use a reusable straw

Reducing your room temperature by just 1ºC can lower Reusable straws are available in most shops nowadays and they are a fantastic alternative to plastic straws. Get some for your home, and your handbag too – you never know when you might need them! 

Buy second-hand

Buying second-hand furniture, clothing, toys and appliances reduce demand for new resources, and it comes without packaging.

You would be surprised how much plastic there is in new clothing – from polyester to nylon. When buying pre-loved items, you not only prolong their lives but also save the planet. And when your clothes are at the end of their life cycle – make them into cleaning clothes and kitchen towels!

And let’s not forget that buying second-hand is also budget-friendly!

Buy produce without packaging

Whenever you can, avoid getting products in packaging. Most supermarkets have a section of fruit and veg which are not pre-packed in plastic. If you can, try to get your meat from butchers too, and take your own packaging with you.

But if you can’t find products package free, try to go as eco as you can. From washing powder in a cardboard box to toilet roll in paper wrapping – every little change counts!

Carry your lunch in reusable containers/wraps

Use reusable stainless containers or natural beeswax wraps. If you work at the office, keep plate, bowl, glass, and utensils to keep at your desk.

Buy non-perishable goods in bulk

Buying in bulk reduces the need to go to the shops as often, and it will decrease the amount of plastic used overall.

Stop buying frozen meals

Most frozen meals come in plastic containers. We all enjoy a ready meal when we’re just too busy to cook but try to skip it. Not only are ready meals more expensive, but they are also not as healthy as meals prepared from scratch, so it’s time to ditch them!

Clean your house with natural products

Ever heard of white vinegar and baking soda mix? They are a fantastic alternative to chemical-based cleaners, and they are amazing for everyday cleaning! There are a lot of other natural cleaners, you can find some great ideas here. You can also use natural cleaning cloths and scrubbers instead of plastic scrubbers and synthetic sponges. Better for the planet and your health.

Remove plastic personal care products

Did you know some facial scrubs and other personal care products contain tiny plastic beads? Avoid anything with “polyethene” listed as an ingredient and look for alternatives. As we mentioned above, you can find a lot of products in bar form which are plastic-free!

Have a look at a guide to microplastics here.

Think about your smile

Bamboo toothbrushes have been around for some time now, and trust us, they work just a good as any other toothbrush, and they help save the environment too. Finding a plastic-free toothpaste might be a bit harder and more expensive, but even switching to one with less packaging is a step in the right direction.

Use bar soap/shampoo

Bamboo toothbrushes have been around for some time now, and trust us, they work just a good as any other toothbrush, and they help save the environment too. Finding a plastic-free toothpaste might be a bit harder Switch your bathroom staples with bars. Many companies are creating alternatives to their usual beauty products, so it’s much easier now to find bars of soap, shampoo/conditioner or even body lotion!

There are many way to cut plastic in your household, but these are a few good ideas to start with!

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