Plastic Free July
Started by the Marine Conservation Society this is how to do Plastic Free July. There is an Instagram version of plastic free living and it is hard to achieve; especially if like me, you have a fairly large family. The recent BBC1 show War on Plastic with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall showed that we do need to try and reduce our dependence on single use plastics. Let me tell you the easy ways I have found to drastically reduce my plastic waste I am throwing away.
- Reusable dish cloths
- Reusable wipes
- Tupperware storage boxes for shopping
- Reusable cup
- Bars of soap and shampoo
- Easy shopping swaps
Reusable Dish Cloths
Not the plastic scrubbers I have bought in the past. A good old cotton dishcloth that can be thrown in the wash afterwards. It doesn’t have to be a massive investment – a trip to your local pound shop will kit you out.
I cut up a worn out towel! But in fact you can use anything. Have an old t-shirt? Don’t throw it away cut it up into wipes. I have sewn myself some prettier wipes out of my fabric stash with a lovely towelling backing. I have some for sale in my Etsy shop.
Buying meat? Get it put in your own container. So many people do this in my local butcher it’s become his norm. Even supermarkets are getting on board with their customers using their own containers. Why not do this at the deli counter too?
I love mine. It’s taken months but I finally remember to take it out more often than I forget it. Some are better than others and for bottles it is often worth investing a bit more. My favourite thermal cup cost me £15 but it keeps my tea warm for a full day.
Soap and Shampoo Bars
Soap is an easy no brainier swap. Shampoo bars have been a bit trickier. It takes some getting used to a shampoo bar because they don’t clean your hair in 5e same way as conventional shampoo. Some of them left me looking a bit dull and greasy. I’ve recently starting getting re-fill shampoo from my local zero waste store instead.
Easy Shopping Swaps
One example – pasta in cardboard boxes and not plastic bags. Ketchup in glass bottles, salad dressing in glass bottles. I’m lucky that in Cardiff there is a brilliant zero waste shop for me to buy pasta, rice and other cupboard essentials. That shop has saved me a lot of plastic waste!
Fruit and vegetables loose and not wrapped in plastic. This is hard! I’m stubborn and our diet is compromised because most fruit and veg come wrapped in plastic. You used to get mushrooms loose. I can’t remember the last time I saw a loose mushroom in my local supermarkets!
So, there are some ideas for an easy way to do Plastic Free July. A lot of those swaps are easy to carry on doing forever. I have reduced the amount of waste I put out on bin. On average I have two black bin bags per fortnight. Remember there are five of us – including a toddler who wears disposable nappies overnight. Two recycling bags go out as well every week. I always have a full food bin! Not full of wasted food but peelings.
Good luck and enjoy #plasticfreejuly