In this week’s post, we’ll be looking how to go plastic free in the home. Let’s take tips from the Zero Waste Wanderess (who we interviewed earlier this year) and go through the home room by room. This is the first of two blog posts, in this one we will be looking at the bathroom and the kitchen, then next week the living room and bedroom.
It’s worth remembering though that it’s not worth throwing things out until they’re broken! We don’t want to generate even more rubbish. Rather it’s about replacing current items with more sustainable ones.
Let’s start with the bathroom.
Plastic Free Bathroom
The bathroom is a hotbed for plastic pollution, here are some ways that you can reduce your plastic waste.
One of the biggest culprits for plastic pollution in the bathroom is disposable razors.Two billion plastic razorsare disposed of in the US alone every year. That’s just the impact of the pollution at the end of their life - they also contribute to pollution in their production, transportation, and sale.
How to reduce plastic waste from razors
Switch to stainless steel razors with stainless steel razor blades. The blades in these will last for several shaves (at the minimum) and can be recycled. There are loads of options out there but start with having a look atThe English Shaving Company. Just make sure that you dispose of the blades carefully.
In addition to containing microbeads, which are in various stages ofbeing phased out by the industry, shower gels, for the most part, come in plastic bottles. These get thrown out when finished and almost inevitably end up in the landfill.
What can you do to reduce plastic waste from shower gel?
Switch to soap. To really reduce the amount of waste you are producing consider buying a packaging free, organic alternative, such as those produced by Lush -38% of their products are currently available packaging free.
On average, each woman will use approximately16,000 tampons or pads throughout her lifetime,
this works out at around 7 billion tampons or pads ending up in landfills each year. The majority of these containplastics and other synthetic materials
meaning that they take ages to break down.
What can you do to reduce plastic waste from sanitary products?
Switching to reusable options such as menstrual cups, or reusable cloth pads are one option.100% cotton tampons also represent a greener alternative although these also can’t be flushed down the toilet.
Plastic Free Kitchen
The kitchen can be one of the most plastic dominated spaces there is. Let’s take a look at how to cut back.
Shopping bags and shopping in general
By now most people are used to the idea of taking a reusable bag with them when they go shopping. Often though, the products you’re buying either come wrapped in plastic or are wrapped in plastic for you!
What can you do to reduce plastic when shopping?
Aside from obviously taking your reusable bag shopping, you can also try to buy items that come with no, or a minimum of, plastic packaging. The easiest way of doing this is to shop at local markets and grocers rather than supermarkets and just take your time.
Elephant Box alternative
Take your Elephant Box with you when you go shopping and ask for the item to be placed in there rather than wrapped in plastic. Most independent retailers will happily do this for you.
Ah, Tupperware and other such plastic containers - great for storing leftovers and saving food but terrible for the environment. If that wasn’t a good enough reason to get rid of them then they also potentially pose health risks.Minute particles of BPA from these plastic containers
can leak into the food stored inside them. The UK government, some what unconvincingly, states “these levels of exposure [to BPA] are not considered to be harmful”, but why take the risk?
Plastic free alternatives to Tupperware
Switch to food-grade, stainless steel containers (just make sure that they’re ethically made - like Elephant Box). These are not only recyclable, they will last you a long time, are easy to clean, stackable and very tough.
Use Elephant Box as an alternative
Our range of leakproof and airtight containers are perfect for storing away leftovers and taking with you on picnics and hikes.
What have we missed?
Let us know in the comments section what other plastics there are in the home that can be replaced with eco-friendly alternatives. Keep an eye out for next week’s post where we look at plastics in the bedroom and the living room.