If you’re here you’ve already taken a great step towards a more plastic-free lifestyle - welcome! Whether this is your first Plastic Free July or your fourteenth and you’re looking for some new tips to make things easier, we’re here to make sure you’re prepped and ready for the journey.
Plastic Free July is a global movement that helps millions of conscious individuals like you be part of the solution to plastic pollution. The community is growing by the day and in its 2019 report, the figures were gob-smackingly promising: 250 million people from 177 different countries took part! By jove that’s a lot of plastic refused.
We’re not going to tell you that you can just walk into Tesco or order a Deliveroo and everything is suddenly sustainably packaged. Unfortunately, we haven’t got that far yet (we’re working on it). We will however tell you that you can certainly still live your best life and go plastic-free, you just need to be a bit prepared...
Below we’ve got a shopping list of essentials, some foodie tips (our specialist subject) and some great resources for further research and support for you. These should help you join the challenge without feeling overwhelmed and hopefully love it so much you want to continue through August and beyond!
For when you’re out and about:
Grab yourself a snazzy tote bag like all the cool kids (other plastic-free bags are available) and make sure you bring it with you when you go to the shops. Keep one in every handbag or backpack so you don’t forget. And remember, reusable bags are not just for groceries! Use them to carry your toiletries, electronics, random charity shop purchases etc.
Have you heard? More than 150 scientists & health experts from 18 countries have now signed a Greenpeace UK led statement saying that it's safe to use reusable products during COVID19! Wahoo! This includes travel cups, bottles and food containers, as long as they are thoroughly washed. Check out this nifty covid-friendly idea from Little Black Caravan in New Zealand. Ingenious!
We might be teaching you to suck eggs here, but get yourself a reusable water bottleso you don’t have to purchase one of those evil plastic ones.
For us, this is where it all started. With a stainless steel lunchbox fit for a king. Carrying one of these bad boys around will allow you to triumphantly ask for your veggie sausage bap ‘sans plastic wrap’; your sushi bento ‘hold the box’; or even better yet, experiment with your own lunches made from plastic-free foods at home and save yourself some pennies.
You can’t eat your salad in the park with your hands. Well, you can - we won’t stop you, but there is a more efficient way. Opt for sustainable cutlery options to make sure you don’t end up reaching for those flimsy disposable plastic ones.
It’s easy to ditch the straws altogether, but no one likes the feeling of ice on your teeth when you're trying to enjoy your iced coffee. Level up your sustainable frappuccino game by adding rainbow straws.
Did you know the UK government has now approved the delayed legislation to ban the supply of plastic straws & stirrers in England? Win! This will come into play in October 2020, making it even easier to make the swap.
For the kitchen:
By December 2020 Riverford will use 100% plastic-free packaging on their veg boxes and already use 82% less plastic than supermarkets. We’d seriously recommend opting for a veg box delivery during this plastic-free challenge - it makes it so much easier to guarantee that you can get the fresh food you want without the plastic packaging you so often see in supermarkets.
Did you know you can now buy a concentrated kitchen cleaner that comes in a soluble bag? Game changer! Pop it in your spray bottle, dilute with water, spray onto a compostable sponge cloth and anti-bac to your heart’s content.
For the bathroom:
GQ wrote a great article recently comparing a few different eco toothbrush options which is definitely worth checking out. We’ve opted to stock the Brush with Bamboo toothbrushes since even their bristles are plant-based unlike others on the market.
Good Housekeeping just did some gruelling testing of 10 shampoo bars, with 300 testers putting them through their paces and giving their thoughts. They also give some handy storage tips too. We love these handmade bars from Funky Soap, a small company that started as a market stall in East London.
Since you can struggle to get the normal kind in supermarkets these days, it's the perfect time to make a plastic-free swap for your posterior. Who Gives A Crap is a premium plastic-free toilet paper supplier on a mission… and the best part? They have a subscription so you can have your TP delivered to your door at no extra cost and never run out again.
Unfortunately most takeaways are not plastic-free, which means that the safest bet when trying to go eco right now, is cooking our own food. Let’s face it, now we’re working from home, most of us are saving a good hour or two on commuting, which we’re currently using to lounge around in our underpants watching Friends. What we could be doing with this new-found time is batch cooking delicious recipes and storing them in the freezer.
Here's a little film showing how we made banana bread in our Elephant Box. We use Nigella Lawson's banana bread recipe (times again by a half - so we get more cake):
Here’s us making two veggie lasagnes for the freezer for some quick and easy midweek dinners:
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