10 simple ways to stop using plastic

Picture by cleanwateraction.org

You know it by now; plastic is toxic and takes hundred of years to bio-degrade into tiny - even more toxic - pieces of micro plastics. Plastic consumption is a huge problem and a massive threat to our oceans. So why are we still buying it in truck loads? We'll tell you why; convenience, laziness, lack of education. it's time to re-wire the way you think about plastic, and here are 10 easy ways to help.

Invest in a good tote bag

Single-use plastic bags are one of the biggest offender. And anyone that still uses them needs a good talking to. We use them once, for a matter of minuets, then throw them away. Buy yourself a good (strong) tote bag and bring it with you wherever you can and refuse plastic bags for good. We feel so strongly about this one that we designed our own tote bags, in the hope if we create a cool design more people may want to buy one. They are made from organic cotton and last a lifetime. We also donate 10% to Plastic Oceans to help with the preservation and educations of our oceans. Get yours here.

Switch to bamboo toothbrushes

On average people change their toothbrushes every 3-4 months. The number of plastic toothbrushes that get discarded every single year is in the billions. Most of those toothbrushes either end up floating in the ocean or filling up giant landfills. The manufacturing processes that are used to make brush handles and bristles impact the environment as well. Handles for plastic toothbrushes are made from hard plastics that get created out of crude oil. The rubber in the handle of your toothbrush also requires petroleum and crude oil, non-renewable resources, to be produced, which means oil wells are constantly being drilled and non-biodegradable products are being made just to be thrown away. Bristles that are made out of pure nylon undergo manufacturing processes that release greenhouse gasses like nitrous oxide into the atmosphere as well, which can contribute to global warming. It doesn't take many brain cells to figure out you should swap your plastic toothbrush to a eco-friendly one like bamboo.

Bring a water bottle with you

Everywhere. Pop it in your tote bag. Ask cafes/restaurants to fill it up for you instead of using plastic cups and STOP using bottled water. Also invest in a reusable coffee mug.

Take your time when grocery shopping

When you give yourself time to actually look at the options, you'll be able to recognise what is wrapped in plastic and what isn't. Grocery shopping is usually about convenience, but again this is about re-wiring the way you think when you shop. Go in knowing you are looking for plastic alternatives. Buy lose fruit and veg, glass bottles and jars, cardboard boxes and packets. THINK while you shop. And bring those tote bags. We recently did a plastic-free week and this is what we found the toughest - supermarkets are plastic prisons. Be smarter than them. Try to shop in local markets or green grocers. 

Say no to plastic straws. Suck on this instead

We use 500 million plastic straws a year in the US/UK. Most of these are too small to be recycled and end up in our oceans. It is a necessity you stop using these. Suck on steel straws instead. A pack of steel straws will last you a lifetime, allowing you to never to use a plastic straw again.

Plastic-free periods

Ever thought about how much plastic is in/on a tampon? A lot if you use the applicator one and even the non-applicator ones come individually wrapped in plastic! Diva cups are a great alternative to disposable pads and tampons and are latex-free, plastic-free, BPA-free, odor-free and free of colors and dyes, The DivaCup is made from healthcare grade non-absorbent silicone and is a lot easier of your wallet too. AND it is perfect to scuba dive in! Just ask the Girls that Scuba!

Switch diapers

If you’ve got a young baby, you know how many diapers can end up in the trash each day. Did you know disposable diapers contain harmful chemicals. These chemicals can irritate baby’s skin, causing diaper rash. Additionally, it’s estimated to take between 250 and 500 years for a single disposable diaper to break down in a landfill. AND cloth diapers are cheaper! Cloth diapers cost more upfront but save you considerably in the long run. 

Stop using plastic on your face

Much of the plastic that’s polluting the oceans is microplastics, tiny chunks that are next to impossible to filter out. These plastics can come from bigger items breaking down, but they are also commonly added to consumer products like face wash and toothpaste. Use scrubs that contain ingredients like apricot seeds, mango seeds, and papaya extract, OR make your own with coconut oil and sugar. There's even a handy app to use while shopping for face scrubs that will tell you whether there are microbeads in your scrub or not.

Shampoo bars

These little bars actually last as long as three 250mL bottles of liquid shampoo (!) and take up a fraction of the space. Perfect to travel with and with no plastic in sight! LUSH do some ammmmazing ones!

DIY house hold cleaners

Avoid continually buying plastic bottle cleaner and keep your last one then start making your own. Here's a great recipe for homemade three-ingredient laundry detergent - it's so simple. You can pretty much clean your whole home with all-natural ingredients that you might find in your kitchen like baking soda, lemons, and vinegar. Try it with soap too.

How many of these do you already do? Tell us some more you know about below

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