With Plastic-free July fast approaching, I thought it would be a good time to share some of my recent swaps to try and reduce the amount of plastic we use at home. I think it is helpful to know about small and simple swaps that maybe seem trivial but if they are implemented by loads of people, will make a big difference. Also, once you have done one swap, you’re more likely to try another swap and so it grows. So, let’s start with some really easy swaps I’ve already done:
Bamboo toothbrushes – I have been using these for years but finally they have gone mainstream with Colgate and Aquafresh having bamboo versions for adults and kids at many supermarkets.
Loofah washing up pads – these are available at plastic-free shops and are great for the dishes and totally compostable as from a loofah plant. I’m trying to grow my own in the garden with the kids but so far only two seeds have sprouted and one has been munched by a hungry slug or snail! My green-fingers need a bit more work before I can grow my own!
Plastic-free deodorant – Deodorant sticks in cardboard tubes. They are not my favourite swap and they are pretty pricey and a bit crumbly but they are getting better!
Toothpaste in glass jars – I spent a lot of time trying toothpowders and tablets and I haven’t really liked any. Recently, I found Ben and Ana’s toothpaste in jars (https://benandanna.uk/) which is perfect for me. They have fluoride and fluoride-free and have even started making a kids version with fluoride which I will soon be trialling. The jars are so nice too, I have saved them all up and am working on what to use them for. I’m thinking jam!
So, onto my most recent swaps.
Milk delivered in glass bottles. I have recently started using a milk delivery service (https://www.mcqueensdairies.co.uk/). I get Oat milk, orange juice and milk for the kids in 1 pint glass bottles. We simply rise the bottles once finished and put them back out for collection and re-use. Even the bottle tops are foil and get popped in the recycling bin. They even do yummy flavoured milk in bottles for a wee treat! I can really easily see how much plastic I am saving using this scheme as the plastic milk bottles filled up the recycling bin very quickly in my house.
Organic Veg box. We completed the Greenpeace Big Plastic Count (https://www.greenpeace.org.uk/challenges/plastic-pollution/)
and identified that most of our plastic waste now comes from food packaging. So in an effort to reduce this I have signed up for an organic veg box (https://macleodorganics.scot/). This was our first delivery.
It made me try some different recipes instead of sticking with our family favourites.
This week we have had celery soup, rhubarb crumble and beetroot risotto. The kids are not quite convinced, yet!
Toilet paper. I recently signed up for a ‘Who gives a crap’ toilet paper delivery (https://uk.whogivesacrap.org/), because well I give a crap. Profits from this paper are being used to ensure that everyone has access to clean water and a toilet, which should be a basic human right. I received a massive box of lovely paper wrapped (these will be used for crafts for sure) recycled paper toilet rolls . The only problem? they all say crap on them, a lot! So the kids have learned a new word!
Simple swaps are easy to do and they WILL make a difference if we all start thinking about the simple swaps we can each make at home. The harder challenge….. reducing plastic waste in the lab! Watch this space…..
These are great ideas, Tammy! Well done. It must be so hard when there are kids in the household too.