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Here are some simple, common-sense ways to reduce your plastic use. How many can you integrate into your life?
In the bathroom
- Use solid shampoo, conditioner and soap instead of bottled liquids.
- Make your own toothpaste (there are many recipes online) and store in a glass jar.
- Use a wooden or bamboo toothbrush.
- Switch to solid deodorants or deodorants in glass containers.
- Use a wooden toilet brush rather than plastic.
- Make and use washable makeup wipes.
- Use razors with replaceable blades, rather than disposable razors.
- Buy toilet rolls wrapped in paper, not plastic.
- Choose perfumes and beauty products that come in glass rather than plastic.
- Use reusable nappies and sanitary products.
- Make homemade lip balm, or get lip balm in tins rather than tubes.
Food and drink
- Get cooking oils in glass bottles rather than plastic.
- Buy foods that are packaged in card or paper bags rather than plastic.
- For packed lunches, use boxes or tubs rather than cling film or plastic bags.
- Avoid buying drinks in plastic take-away cups.
- Avoid plastic straws – you can get a metal or bamboo straw to take with you.
- Buy loose fruit and vegetables, rather than wrapped in plastic.
- In cafes, go for loose cakes from the counter, rather than packaged cakes.
- Buy loose tea (in paper bags or jars) instead of teabags.
- Buy teas that do not have plastic wrapped around the box.
- Refill a metal flask or water bottle instead of a plastic one or single-use bottles.
- Choose drinks in glass bottles rather than plastic bottles.
- Buy birdseed in paper bags rather than plastic.
- Use refillable pens or fountain pens.
- Choose greetings cards that are not wrapped in plastic sleeves.
- Choose greetings cards without glitter, rhinestones or other plastic embellishments.
- Cancel magazine subscriptions that arrive wrapped in plastic.
- Use card folders rather than plastic folders.
- Choose diaries and notebooks that are plastic-free.
- Make your own laundry powder (there are recipes online).
- Use terracotta or compostable plant pots rather than plastic.
- Buy wrapping paper in rolls or sheets rather than packs wrapped in plastic.
- Use wrapping paper that is not glossy or glittery.
- Use reusable fabric wraps to wrap presents.
- Use washi tape or paper tape instead of sellotape.
- Download digital music and films instead of buying physical disks.
- Use wooden coat hangers.
- Buy clothing that has cardboard and string tags, rather than plastic.
- Get card tissue boxes rather than plastic ones.
- Buy plants and cut flowers that don’t have a plastic sleeve.
- Get clothes made from natural materials.
Out and about
- Find and support companies that sell plastic-free products.
- Bring your own bags when shopping.
- Buy in shops rather than online, where possible, because that saves on packaging, and you are more in control of the packaging.
- Buy things second hand to save buying new plastic products/packaging.
- Decline free pens and other promotional plastic items.
- If something only comes in plastic packaging, buy the largest pack, to overall save on packaging.
- Keep tissues in a small purse in your bag, rather than buying small packs of tissues that are plastic wrapped.
I hope you find these tips useful, and have fun experimenting with all the different ways to eliminate unnecessary plastic from your life! If you have any more ideas, feel free to share them in the comments!