Now before I begin this post I have to put out a disclaimer that I am in no way a plastic-free expert, and I’m fully aware that there are many things we do in our lives that have a huge impact on the environment. Such as go on planes when we going on holiday and buy fast-fashion.
The fact is, we are all becoming increasingly aware of how our small existence in this world can actually make a big impact on the world we live in. You may be completely naive to think so, I certainly did. I used to think, quite literally – “what’s the point? It’s like turning up to a natural disaster with a dustpan and brush.”
But that was small-minded of me, and it wasn’t until I calculated how much rubbish I make on a monthly basis that I was shocked into wanting to change my ways.
There may be a bigger trigger for you. Perhaps you watched Blue Planet or have become disgusted by the amount of litter that we seem to collate. Whatever it is, I was there too and decided that I needed to start making small steps to make my lasting impact on this world a positive and healthy one.
Don’t worry I’m not living in the woods yet like a hippie just yet, but in order to make sustainable changes, they have to start small. Otherwise, it all seems like too much hard work and resort back to our lazy ways of consuming and binning everything we come in touch with.
So if you’re like me and at the beginning of your plastic-free journey. Here’s what I’ve started with;
1) Switched from aerosol to the Lush deodorant bar
Yeah, I know this isn’t plastic, but aerosols are still bad for the environment, so I’ve switched to Lush’s T’eo-wel Dry deodorant bar. Not only is it lasting me far longer than any aerosol I’ve ever had, but I found it far more effective.
It does feel bizarre to begin with. As though you’re exfoliating your armpits, but once you get used to the sensation you’re smelling dreamy all day.
2) Ditched the baby wipes for muslin cloths and flannels
I’m sure you’re all well aware of the impact of baby wipes on the environment. Not only are the majority of them made of small plastic fibers, but they are also full of all sorts of chemicals. I used to use three per day to remove my makeup, so you can imagine how many packs I got through.
Instead, I’ve now begun to apply coconut straight to my face, and then wipe off my makeup with warm water and a flannel.
Not only can these go straight into a wash, but I’ve also found that my skin is in much better condition.
I’ve also switched from using cotton wipes to apply my toner, to using a muslin cloth. Again, something you can put in the wash and re-use.
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. – The Lorax
3) Swapped toothpaste to Lush Toothy Tabs
I didn’t realise that tooth paste tubes cannot be recycled. So when I learned this I swapped our toothpaste for some Lush Toothy Tabs. However, I have seen many eco variations online from plastic-free retailers, which all promise to work just as effectively.
These do come in a plastic bottle, but you can either re-use the bottle or take it back into Lush where they will recycle it.
4) Changed bottled cleanser to coconut oil
I used to purchase a plastic bottled cleanser, which wasn’t able to be recycled. Therefore, I decided to simply go au-natural and use coconut oil. Not only does it come in a glass jar which I can re-use in the kitchen for all sorts of purposes, but it’s also far more effective for my personal skincare routine.
5) Stopped using plastic bags
This is something I feel we’re all doing now that plastic bags have been chargeable. But I don’t leave the house without one just in case I have to do a quick shop or purchase something.
The world owes you nothing. It was here first. – Mark Twain
6) No longer purchase water bottles
As someone that drinks water religiously, I used to purchase huge packs of waterbottles from the supermarket so that I would consistently know how much I was drinking. I even used to take a 2-litre bottle to work and put it on my desk so I would drink the entire thing and know I’ve drunk my required amount. However, this has been nipped in the bud completely, and I now just use a refillable bottle. To ensure I drink enough, I simply set myself an hourly reminder to drink up.
7) Swapped shower gel for Lush soaps
As many shower gels come in plastic packaging, with some being recyclable and some not, I just decided to ditch them all together to avoid anything ending up in the bin. I’ve also heard that Lush will be bringing out plastic-free shower gels, so I’m keeping my eyes peeled for them.
8) Switched to Lush Shampoo & Conditioner bars
Again removing any plastic bottles from our household has been my mission, and this has by far been an easy one to get used to. As both my partner and I have different hair types we’ve selected our own individual shampoo bar. The one for his psoriasis prone skin is working wonders, and the lemon one for my fair hair has naturally lightened it beautifully.
9) Began composting and become super recyclers
While this isn’t specifically about plastic, this step has been more about reducing our black bin size and what we put into landfill. Not only have we started a compost bin, where all our food waste goes, but we’ve also become very conscious about what can and cannot be recycled. This step has been so dramatic as we’ve managed to only create one black bin bag per month.
Leave nothing but footprints. Kill nothing but time.
I hope these steps have helped, and if you would like any other tips or websites for plastic-free products I have posted some suggestions below. However, if you’ve got any plastic free advice please post a comment below as sharing is caring and it’s great to hear what others are doing.
Suggestions Websites / Social Accounts
Instagram – @small_sustainable_steps – Fantastic for just general plastic free advice
Plastic Freedom – www.plasticfreedom.co.uk – @plasticfreedom_ – Awesome plastic free retailer
Wild Source Apothecary – www.wildsource.co.uk – @wildsourceapothecary – plastic free beauty
- No More Plastic by Martin Dorey (Amazon Link)
- Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson (Amazon Link)
- Turning The Tide on Plastic by Lucy Siegel (Amazon Link)