Are you thinking about going plastic free? Wondering what to do or how to get started? Well, if that’s you, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog, I present to you 45 steps to make your life plastic-free!
These 45 steps aren’t meant to be overwhelming, rather to show you that it is possible. Every sustainability journey starts somewhere, so choose some that seem manageable for you and then you can go from there!
1. Carry reusable shopping bags – Choose the bag that works for you! Some people prefer canvas bags, whilst others opt for backpacks. Keep them in your handbag or car and bring them to the store with you! Remember, carry them for all of your purchases – reusable bags are not just for supermarket shops – they can be used for all of your household needs!
2. Give up bottled water – Get a reusable bottle and fill it up with water when leaving the house. You’ll be surprised just how many places will be happy to fill up your bottle when on the go too!
3. Carry your own containers for take-out food and leftovers – Request that takeaway places use your container instead of their disposable ones!
4. Carry a travel mug for coffee or any other hot beverages – When getting your morning coffee make sure to bring with a reusable mug. Lots of cafes will also give you a discount on your drink if you do this – so that’s a little incentive to do it too!
5. Carry reusable utensils and glass drinking straws
6. When ordering pizza, say no to the little plastic “table” in the middle of the pizza box. – it’s a simple request and most pizza stores will be happy to cooperate!
7. Ice Cream cone – Instead of buying tubs of ice cream, why not just have the occasional ice cream cone when out. Ice cream cones require zero container or utensil waste, whilst the tubs aren’t too good for the environment!
8. Say no to plastic bottled beverages – Rather than buying bottled juices why not squeeze them yourself. Perhaps invest in a Soda Stream or something similar – what’s more, the reusable CO2 cartridges are returned to the manufacturer for refilling.
9. Shop at your local farmers market – Farmers markets are a great way to buy fresh, local produce without plastic! Just remember to bring your own bags!
10. Return containers for berries, tomatoes and other small fruits and veggies to the farmers market to be reused.
11. Bring your own containers for meat and fish. –
12. Buy fresh bread and baked goods that come in either paper bags or no bags!
14. Say no to plastic produce bags – you don’t need to put your apples in a separate bag to your tangerines. Just but them directly into your cart and then into your reusable bag!
15. Bye Bye frozen convenience foods – They pretty much all have some form of single-use plastic used in their packaging! Also it means you’ll be eating healthier too!
16. Choose milk with returnable glass bottles – time to go back to the olden days, where we used glass bottles instead of plastic ones (cardboard ones are coated inside and outside with plastic).
17. Choose plastic-free chewing gum – fun fact, almost all chewing gum is made of plastic! When you’re chewing gum, you’re actually chewing on plastic. Plastic-free chewing gum is an option however!
18. Clean with vinegar and water – Mix 1 part vinegar to 3 parts of water for an all-purpose spray cleaner (storing it in a reused spray bottle)
19. Baking soda is a great scouring powder!
20. Used powdered dishwasher detergent in a cardboard box!
21. Hand wash dishes without plastic – Use baking soda or bar soap instead!
22. Use natural cleaning cloths and scrubbers instead of plastic and synthetic ones – good old rags made from old clothing are probably the greenest option, but Skoy cloths and natural fibre brushes can be bought too.
23. Wash clothes with homemade laundry soap and stain removers
24. Instead of using a Swiffer mop, switch to a reusable pad.
25. Use natural rubber gloves, not latex single-use ones
26. Switch to bar soap instead of liquid soap.
26. Give up shampoo in plastic bottles – there are plenty of plastic-free options available.
27. Colour hair with henna purchased without plastic packaging
28. Choose lotions and lip balms in plastic-free containers.
29. Switch from a plastic razor to a second-hand safety razor.
30. Choose toilet paper that’s not wrapped in plastic
31. Try natural beeswax coated cloth wraps instead of plastic cling film.
32. Avoid non-stick cookware.
33. Learn to preserve foods without plastic – such as freeze producing without freezer bags or dehydrating produce to keep them through winter.
34. Make your own soy or nut milk
35. Make your own condiments – e.g. chocolate syrup, mayonnaise, mustard and ketchup
36. Repair things when they break – when a plastic item breaks, try to repair it instead of buying a new one.
37. Avoid disposable plastic pens – switch to a refillable fountain pen that allows the pen to refill from the bottle of ink rather than buying new plastic cartridges.
38. Avoid feeding pets from plastic bowls
39. Shop from thrift stores
40. Request zero plastic packaging when ordering online. – just contact customer service and they’ll be happy to assist!
41. Make your own clothes – get to grips with a sewing machine and be sure to choose natural fabrics.
42. Use a handkerchief instead of a paper tissue – or at the very least buy a box without the plastic window!
43. Bring your own snacks on the plane – avoid plastic packaged food when you’re travelling!
44. Don’t forget your headphones when flying – most planes will offer you new headphones in plastic packaging, but if you come prepared you won’t need them!
45. Find do-it-yourself alternatives for over-the-counter remedies – you’ll be sure to reduce your plastic consumption!
Good luck on your plastic free journey! We hope this blog helps you and let us know if you think of other great ways to go plastic free!