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  • 4 min read

    Although many people are already making small changes to their routines to remove planet-harming plastic, there is still more we can do. Granted, some things are much easier to swap than others. That’s why we’ve put together 8 life hacks that should help us all move closer to a plastic-free lifestyle this July and beyond.

    We’ve tried to pick tips that are less obvious, that you may not have heard before and that are genuinely helpful. We’ve also picked tips that should save you money rather than being a financial burden so that everyone can take part.

    If even one of these tips become part of your daily routine, we’d be delighted!


    1️⃣ Reusables at the ready!

    First off, have your reusables packed and ready for whenever you go out. A water bottle, coffee cup, lunchbox and spork in it, whatever  you use on a daily basis, so you’re ready for any eventuality. Have it all in a bag and hang it near your front door so you can literally grab and go.  


    2️⃣  Borrow a book

    When was the last time you visited your local library?! If you're looking for a new book borrowing from friends or the library is way better than buying. Saves you money, packaging (if you're buying online). It’s also great to get recommendations from a librarian or friends when you’re struggling to know what literature to get stuck into.


    3️⃣ Vinegar - the wonder liquid

    One of the biggest life hacks I’ve learnt recently is the power of vinegar. Honestly, you can swap the majority of your cleaning products in your home for white wine vinegar. It can shine up cutlery, unclog drains, clean mirrors for a streak-free shine. It is truly a wonder liquid! Here are 20 ways to use vinegar around your home.


    4️⃣  Choose compostable

    Another easy kitchen swap is to get compostable washing up sponges. They are now easily available so it requires almost no effort to swap! You can throw them on the compost when they begin to fall apart. They last a little less time than the normal plastic ones but it’s negligible.


    5️⃣ Glass over plastic

    A nostalgic hack that’s sweeping the nation recently - milk deliveries! Lots of local farms are going back to glass bottles and doing doorstep deliveries, reducing plastic in the supply chain and meaning that your milk won’t have travelled so far to get to you. You can also check apps likeThe Modern Milkman to see whether they have plastic-free deliveries in your area. Alternatively if you don’t eat or drink dairy, you can alwaysmake your own oat milk and store it in a reusable container. 


    Gardening is often a way we can get closer to nature, however it often involves mountains of plastic pots, which pile up in your garden and will only wind up at the local landfill. So hack number six does involve a bit more effort, its true, but you'll thank us for it!


    6️⃣  Get your green fingers on

    The cheapest and most effective way to raise lots of plants is to propagate them yourself, by sowing seeds, taking cuttings or dividing established plants. That way you don’t need to buy them from a store in plastic pots that will only be thrown away seconds after planting. It’s also way more rewarding!


    Makeup and toiletries really can be the hardest things to swap but there are some really easy ones that are just as good and won’t break the bank.


     7️⃣ Coffee makes a great exfoliant

    Ditch plastic-filled scrubs and instead simply mix coffee grounds (even better if they are waste grounds) with a little water and some coconut oil - it works a treat.


    8️⃣ Make your own reusable makeup pads

    Change your old cotton or linen clothes into makeup pads. If an old top or pillow case has got a hole in it, no need to throw it all away, save some of the material and use this guide to turn it into reusable make up remover pads.


    9️⃣ Plastic-free pits

    Deodorant bars are so much better than standard plastic covered deodorant. I bought a large one from Lush for £7 with a small storage tin and it has lasted 4 months already and I still haven’t finished it. One of the best value swaps I’ve ever made. Go into a store to have them cut off the exact size of bar you need.


    🔟 Browse the aisles

    Plastic-free shops always have great options for refillable shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser, floss, mascara, eye liner etc. Even if your closest shop is a little walk away, since all of these things don’t need filling regularly, it is easy to make a weekend of the trip and grab a coffee on the way.


    Share your successes on social and tag us so we can celebrate! @elephantboxuk on instagram and @elephantboxdorset on Facebook. 

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