Do you want to reduce your plastic waste? How long have you been thinking about it? While millions of us have good intentions, a starting point is often hard to find. It’s understandable. When we go to the supermarket, plastic-free items aren’t exactly accessible. Plastic-free, convenient, and inexpensive aren’t always in the same sentence. But that’s why we’re here. We want to bridge the gap between plastic-free and accessibility. So, here’s how you can start your journey to a plastic-free lifestyle. Read through a typical day for most of us and we’ll pinpoint areas where changes can easily be made.
Wake up in the morning and reduce your plastic waste
We all have a morning routine. It doesn’t matter if you shower in the evening or at night, we’re all waking up in the morning and using these items. Take your first step to reduce your plastic waste as soon as when you wake up.
How often do you replace your toothbrush? It’s recommended every three months. It means that in the UK, we’re sending 200 million toothbrushes to landfill every year. Yes, we can’t recycle these at kerbside. Ultimately, there are two options for having a plastic-free toothbrush.
Swap to an electric toothbrush. These last far longer, and you can buy recycled toothbrush heads rather than virgin plastic. It’s better for the environment and can help those who have sensitive teeth.
The second option is to use a bamboo manual toothbrush. However, you must dispose of these properly. It depends on which bamboo brush you buy as to whether it’s biodegradable, compostable or recyclable. Always check with your local authority before contaminating a bin. One thing’s for sure, it’s a much better idea than buying plastic! These are two of the easiest and budget-friendly ways to reduce your plastic waste when it comes to your toothbrush.
Another difficult item is tubes of toothpaste because they cannot be recycled at kerbside. You can either take them to a recycling bin where they are collected – usually in a supermarket – or you can opt for a plastic-free item. We recommend the latter.
Toothpaste tablets were one of the first forms of plastic-free toothpaste but weren’t very popular with the Greenredeem team. We tried, but there was something about chomping on a tablet to clean our teeth that felt strange. Instead, we found Truthpaste. A plastic-free, vegan, palm oil-free, and all-around super eco toothpaste in a glass jar that we can reuse and recycle again and again. Plus, they accommodate for sensitive teeth.
There are a lot of plastic-free flosses out there. Corn Starch floss, Truthbrush interdental floss, and biodegradable vegan floss. The most important thing with flossing is that you don’t put your dirty floss in your toilet and instead pop it in the bin (or compost if it’s compostable) we don’t want to block our drains with floss!
Reduce you plastic packaging waste with eco toilet paper
After you’ve sorted out your teeth – which, let’s be honest, is a very plastic-intense process – it’s time to reduce your plastic waste for the other wake-up-essential. Your loo pit stop.
There are lots of eco-friendly toilet papers out there, but it’s important to investigate them. Some brands will block your toilets because the paper doesn’t break down. So, if you have older plumbing, test the paper before flushing a large bunch of it.
At Greenredeem, we’ve tested Who Gives A Cr*p. It’s a product that we’ve used in a few homes, all at least 50 years old. We love the subscription service that they provide and the funky recyclable packing that it comes in.
Get prepared for the rest of your day and reduce your plastic waste
After you’re all fresh and ready to start the day, you can start looking ahead. One of the easiest ways to reduce your plastic waste is to be prepared. Lunchbox, bottles, bags, they’re all going to be needed throughout the day, so be sure to pack them in your handbag, car, or pockets if everything you need will fit!
Fully stock on fluids
It’s time to grab your reusable water bottle and coffee mug, and pop them in your bag. You may opt to buy coffee on the way to work, or make it at home, either way, make sure you have a reusable mug to use. This will remove your demand for plastic takeaway cups. Plus, your water bottle with you means you have a free drink for the entire day – perfect if you’re on a budget!
Prepare your lunch
A reusable lunchbox is essential to reducing your plastic waste. There’s just so much in those pesky meal deals! Recycling the packaging of a sandwich box is incredibly inconvenient, so why not just head to a local sandwich shop. Ask them for a sandwich, and instead of them popping it in a bag, they pop it in your reusable lunch box. Perfect.
This works the same for a salad bar or wherever you end up grabbing a bite. Reusable cutlery, reusable straw, and don’t forget you’ve still got some water in your bottle that you filled at the start of the day. If you need to carry lunch back to the office, whip out your reusable bag that you packed earlier too! When you break it down, there’s never any need for a single piece of plastic at lunchtime, even if you’re buying out.
Perfect your evening and reduce your plastic waste
On your way home there are several routes you might take. You may head to the local store where you’ll need a reusable bag to carry your items. You might go to the pub where you can use your reusable straw. Or better yet, you’ll nip to a zero-waste store, grab some dry nuts as a snack, and then take them to the pub to nibble on instead of grabbing an overpriced bag from behind the bar!
On the other hand, your route home might involve grabbing what you need for a quiet night in. Collecting meat from the butchers/deli counter where you don’t need to buy any plastic meat trays. Then you’re off to create the perfect relaxing eco-bath.
Eco bath bombs
The trend of bath bombs is huge. But so many come with chemical nasties wrapped in plastic packaging, which is why we purchase straight from the Doctor at Prescrib’d. The 100% vegan, cruelty-free, recyclable packaging bath bombs not only look and fizz great, but a lot of profits are donated to various charities.
Eco bath accessories
Of course, there are plenty of other items that are essential for a bath. Most you can find plastic-free already. There are certainly not many plastic candles out there – they’d melt! But you can grab more sustainable ones from places like The Mewstone Candle Company who make theirs in Devon. Not forgetting an eco-friendly scrub and facemask – keeping with the handmade theme, Blushberry Botanicals make their scrubs and masks in Scotland, 100% free from plastic.
There you have it. 3 steps to reduce your plastic waste. In the morning, during the day, and in the evening. Remember, there are so many plastic-free options out there. You can search for them online or check out some of our previous blogs. We share all our tips and tricks, so you don’t need to spend money testing various products. If we missed your favourite, let us know in the comments below, we’re always looking to try and test new products!