Here are some simple and easy steps you can take that wont take much effort to help get you on your way to living a plastic-free lifestyle.
1. Stop using plastic bags and start using reusable bags
This is a big one that will have a lot of impact. Find yourself some colourful re-usable produce bags and get into the habit of using them. So often you have them in your car or ready to go at home – but so many people simply forget to actually take them into the shops!
Another good step is to stop justifying using plastic bags as bin liners, just because you're using it twice doesn't make it sustainable! There are alternatives - why not try high quality durable bin liners made from fabric if you have to put things in the general waste
But the goal is to reduce the need for this completely so that nothing goes to landfill.
2. Use a Keep Cup and a re-usable take away kit (utensils, straw & container)
Coffee cups are a huge one - just make a rule for yourself, if you’re not sitting in to have coffee or you didn’t bring a keep cup, no coffee for you today. So if you enjoy drinking coffee and don’t often have time to sit-in – you’ll soon make it a habit to bring the keep cup. Same for any other kind of take-away, either dine-in or use your re-usable kit!
3. Get a re-usable water bottle
Plastic water bottles are one of the most damaging things currently in the environment because the quantity is so prolific and everyone needs water. I love the Vesica brand, one their main goals is to reduce the need for plastic water bottles, so they have
Awesome high quality plastic-free alternatives.
4. Buy local, organic & whole foods – not packaged and processed food
Start shopping at the local farmers market, organic produce store and whole foods pantry rather than the supermarket. This will dramatically cut down your plastic consumption – as well as instigate and promote healthier eating patterns.
Just don’t bring into the house food that comes in packaging. I challenge you to try it for a month and see the difference it makes.
5. Buy things second hand rather than brand-new and try to reduce shopping online
Not only will you save the packaging that usually always comes with buying things brand-new and especially online (all those styrofoam chips, plastic inserts and bubble wrap), but you’re also not increasing the demand for the resources to produce those new products.
Not to mention all the other kinds of waste and pollution that goes along with the manufacturing and transportation process.
As well as that, it will force you to do more research when you want or need to buy something and start thinking more consciously about what you buy, if you really need it and where it comes from. Plus opp-shopping, thrift stores and garage sales are so much fun to scope out and find those gems that you wouldn’t find at the mall!
6. Buy local, handmade and artisan goods
Not only are you supporting artists and the community, but often these products are much better quality, last way longer and have that uniqueness and creativity that you simply cannot get with mass produced products.
7. Don’t buy fast fashion - support sustainable ethical brands and clothes made from natural fibres
I think this one is pretty self-explanatory and ethically it’s a no-brainer. So easy to incorporate into your life, because there are many amazing brands out there these days creating high quality affordable clothing products for every day wear. Bamboo and hemp products are amazing, high quality, durable, comfortable, and some of the more sustainably sourced.
8. Stop using plastic toothbrushes and make your own toothpaste
9. Make your own alternative cleaning products
10. Make your own beauty, hygiene, body care products and shampoos
Each of these last three points are super easy and fun, plastic-free and toxin free. It’s absolutely surprising what you can use to clean your body and house – and so much cheaper! Try vinegar, lemon and eucalyptus oil (or any essential oils) for degreasing and disinfecting surfaces. Diluted eucalyptus oil is also a great natural mosquito repellent. Mix essential oils with coconut oil, bentonite clay and bicarb soda for toothpaste and you can use anything like coconut oil, coffee grounds, bentonite clay, oats, avocados, apple cider vinegar, bi-carb and much more to make all kinds of yummy body scrubs and shampoos… it’s amazing!
I heard the saying once “If you can’t eat it, then don’t put it on your skin and body”
and this goes for cleaning products too. So have fun with these ones – and eventually you can start coming up with your own recipes and solutions to things – The possibilities are endless!
11. And an EXTRA BONUS tip for any parents out there – reusable washable cloth nappies!
And remember to take these things step-by-step and don’t be too hard on yourself
Have fun with it, enjoy the process of discovery and learning as you add more and more plastic-free solutions and alternatives to your life!
Check out my FREE Eco Conscious Living Guide here!
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