Plastic is everywhere in our society and a lot of it just isn’t that necessary. Here are my top ten swaps to cut down on plastic in your life! Of course, it is best to use what you currently have before buying new reusables so take a look around your home for what can be repurposed first!
1) Grab a reusable cup for takeaway drinks. I try to keep a mug in the car so if the need for caffeine strikes I can just use that instead of a takeaway cup. Sometimes I forget, and if I do, I ask for the coffee without the plastic lid. Does that mean hovering by the barista and shouting “no lid!” when they reach for one? Yes, but I’m OK with that!
2) Switch your plastic deodorant roll-on for deodorant in a tin. I have never looked back since trying No Pong natural deodorant. No more bulky plastic deodorant roll-ons and sticks, this tin takes up minimal space and unlike many other natural deodorants, it actually works! The price is great too.
3. Ditch plastic pegs for stainless steel Best Pegs. Plastic pegs can’t be recycled and they often break within a short time. Best Pegs are a permanent replacement to this problem. Sure, they cost more but buy them once and you’ll never have to buy pegs again! They’re perfect for Australian conditions as they’re made from quality marine grade stainless steel for rust resistance and they don’t heat up on the clothesline, even on the most stinking hot Aussie summer day.
4. Switch synthetic clothing for natural fibres. I do my clothes shopping at op-shops and seek out clothes made with natural fibres, such as wool. When I need new smalls I buy from The Very Good Bra who make compostable bras, undies and loungewear that are ethically made, super comfortable and look great!
5) Swap pads and tampons for period undies. Pads and tampons are often individually wrapped in plastic. This adds up to a lot of plastic waste. Instead, make the switch to period undies. You’ll save money and a load of plastic waste. I have a few pairs from local Gold Coast biz, My Nickerbot, the black ones pictured here are my favourite.
6) Keep your plastic bottles and glass jars and reuse them at refill stores. I am lucky to have an amazing zero waste cleaning store nearby: Consciously Clean Currumbin who have everything you need for a plastic free home. I am now in the habit of refilling cleaning products here, such as dishwashing liquid and body wash. They also have loads of eco friendly personal care products such as safety razors and soaps.
7) Switch plastic lip balm tubes for zero waste versions. I grabbed a lip balm from Gold Coast company Rustic Peppermint while at Consciously Clean Currumbin and it’s so good! It has a slight tint and is made with natural ingredients, but most importantly, the packaging is plastic free!
8) Use a bread bag when at the bakery. Next time you need to stock up on bread, take along a reusable bag and skip the plastic. I keep mine in my glove box and shove my sourdough in there. You can pick one up from Love Thy Earth
9) Swap out plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles for bars. Can you imagine just how many plastic bottles of shampoo and conditioner are thrown out around the world?! Surely it’s in the billions. Luckily there are now lots of shampoo and conditioner bars on offer. I really like Ethique, who offer concentrated blocks of shampoo from 100% naturally-derived ingredients that are equivalent to three bottles of liquid shampoo. They’re are soap free, pH balanced and foam just like regular shampoo, all without the plastic!
10) Wash your synthetic clothing in a Guppyfriend washing bag. So much of our clothing is made from synthetic fibres such as nylon, lycra, polyester and acrylic. These fibres can break off during washing and eventually reach our waterways where they are consumed by marine life. The Guppyfriend bag protects synthetic garments and reduces the amount of microfibres that may enter rivers and oceans from washing. The fibres collect in the seams of the bag and you can dispose of them in the bin.
That’s it! With a few small tweaks here and there and getting into some new habits you can help to reduce plastic waste in your home. Drop your plastic free swap suggestions in the comments below!