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10 Steps to using less Plastic

10 Steps to using less Plastic 

The New Year has begun and we are all settling back into our working routines after the holidays. When that happens I always find myself more fraught than usual in trying to cut down on waste. I have a few changes that have worked well for us, and while some of them have required forethought, these are what we have stuck with. I hope you find some among these that would work for you.  

Milk in glass bottles – We are lucky to live in an area where farms abound and there is a great supply of fresh dairy and foods. We use wrendavis.co.uk who deliver milk and other groceries right to our door – and we don’t have the plastic milk jugs to recycle anymore. I am not affiliated with this business, just a happy customer.

Natural oils like Almond or coconut oil as moisturiser – I switched to almond oil for my then 5 year old, about two years ago, and haven’t looked back. It is odourless and if you prefer a scent (I like Lavender), you can infuse it yourself. A friend showed me that adding a few sprigs of fresh lavender makes it smell great. A 250ml bottle lasts me 3 months. Coconut oil has anti-fungal properties and is also a great moisturiser. I would recommend using a small amount to test for any allergies before using more.

Compostable dish sponges and coconut fibre brushes to do dishes - In the UK alone, 600 million dish sponges go into the landfill every year. When I use a compostable sponge, and I am done with it (usually 2-3 weeks of use), I just cut it up and throw into the compost. For baked on food stains I use my trusty coconut coir dish brush which has lasted over a year.

Reusable cutlery for travel or in the office – This may not quite apply if you are working from home at the moment, but having your own reusable set helps significantly to avoid the number of plastic utensils from buying lunch in. Added bonus when your fork doesn’t break while cutting into a broccoli stem!

Switch out toothpaste for dental tabs – If they contain fluoride (Denttabs, as well as Ben and Anna have fluoride options) they offer the same degree of cleaning as toothpastes do – I have been using toothtabs and natural floss for since 2020, and other than not quite foaming up like commercial toothpaste does; many dentist visits later, they work great. Moreover, you don’t have to worry that the kids will squirt a huge blob of it and empty it all because the tabs are premeasured as 1 per use.

Homemade glue for art projects – Did you know that cooked rice (actually, slightly overcooked rice) is a great adhesive. It is especially effective for sticking paper.

Handkerchiefs instead of tissues – Though tissues are not made with plastic obviously, but they do use finite resources and often are wrapped and / or packaged in plastic; but I also find they are a charming habit that we miss today.

Metal Razors – Metal razors last a lifetime and there are so many aesthetically pleasing options on the market today, you can even blend them into your décor. We like the Wild and Stone Shaving Razor which comes in different colours. The blades cost less than plastic razors do so they are the ultimate economical solution in the long run.

Natural deodorants – There are many natural deodorant options available today, thanks to some very talented essential oil mixologists (as I call them). Kutis has a variety of scents which we have tried and come in cardboard tubes which can, you guessed it, go into the compost or recycling.

Reusable cup or water bottle – When I am looking for a pick-me-up cuppa, I carry my reusable cup or in a pinch, my water bottle to get a cup of coffee in so I don’t have to use a takeaway cup from any café I visit. Most places oblige and are ok even if its your water bottle!

Photo by Mali Maeder from Pexels