5 ways to reduce plastic at home that you might not have thought of that are quick, easy and don’t require you remembering a keep cup every morning.
5 ways to reduce plastic that you might not of thought of
It’s #plasticfreeJuly and to be honest, this is the first time I’ve really even thought about participating. Maybe it hasn’t been around before but it’s certainly never been on my radar.
I guess some of the most obvious things about plastic-free living, are pretty much part of our everyday life now but I know that for a lot of people, remembering to bring their keep cup to the coffee shop every day – especially if you’re racing out the door to get kids to school or kindy – can be really tricky and a hard thing to get used to.
Yes you can refuse plastic straws and reject those 15c plastic bags at the supermarket but there are a few really easy things you can do at home to cut down on plastic too that you might not have thought about.
As you probably know already, I’m all about making it as simple as possible to live a more sustainable, less-toxic life so here are 5 ideas (ok 6 because I can’t help myself) to reduce plastic in your home that will take very little effort or time.
1 Make your own foaming hand wash
Making your own foaming hand wash at home is ridiculously easy. I think it’s one of those things we figure must be too hard to DIY or everyone will do it right? Why make it when it’s so easy to pick up a bottle from the supermarket?
Well I can name a few reasons:
It comes in a plastic bottle which you either replace every time you need handwash, or you buy another plastic bottle to re-fill it with.
The chances are pretty high that it contains some endochrine-disrupting ingredients.
What does that mean? It means that there are probably some nasties in there that could be messing with your hormones, contributing to a whacky cycle, headahces, skin conditions… the list goes on.
How do you know? One of the easiest ways to know is to check if it contains fragrance.
It might not list the ingredients on the bottle but if you see anything on the front that mentions any sort of scent or fragrance or sea breeze… it’s likely got some nasties.
Also, the ‘kills-all-the-germs’ property that these products usually promote isn’t actually something we need and can in fact, be killing the good bacteria along with the bad. Good old soap and water are effective in killing most common germs.
Homemade hand foaming hand soap works out at about $1.20 for 500ml (that’s the max price!) which is a lot less expensive than most of the brands on the markets.
2 Ditch the plastic razor
I don’t know many people who don’t have a razor in the shower (maybe I’m old-school?) but if you buy it from the supermarket chances are it’s made of plastic.
I also recently discovered that the moisture strips in most common razors contain harmful chemicals like Polyethylene Glycol, Titanium Dioxide, BHT & Fragrance.
Here’s why that’s so bad:
Let’s say someone is shaving their armpits. The moisture strip makes direct contact to the delicate tissue under the arms, where a high concentration of lymph nodes reside.
The chemicals in moisture strips then make their way into our lymphatic system, as well as the tiny capillaries and veins (even more so if a cut is made).
Combine this with the fact that hot water opens up your pores and allows outside particles to enter your bloodstream more quickly, and you’ll be quick to ditch the razors with moisture strips.Live Love Fruit
The solution is better for your health and better for the planet – get yourself a safety razor. It’s a good old razor like your Dad probably had that’s made entirely of metal and you change the individual blades.
Personally, I am still using my old toxic razor but I’m on the last head and it has been going for I’m going to say more than a year.
I keep it upright up high in the shower so it can dry out properly after each use and once it has had it, I’ll move on to the safety razor.
Another trick to make the blades last longer and stop them from rusting is to store them in olive oil.
3 Replace your dishwashing brush
A few weeks ago, I saw a Facebook tutorial to make a Tawashi dish scrubber. It’s a Japanese-style scrubber with no handle kind of like a good-old sponge but never containing plastic.
What I loved about this one was that it was made out of old socks and looked pretty easy to whip up. So yes, one of our school holiday projects was to whip up a few Tawashis out of some socks from the lost sock drawer.
They were really easy to make and if I’m totally honest, they were kinda fun (yes I’m a nerd). Just ignore my kids arguing in the video.
I’m not sure that I’ll make the total switch from our scrubbing brush to these but I will definitely give it a go.
Regular scrubbing brushes contain plastic bristles which are really bad for the environment and break down into microplastics (i.e. teeny tiny pieces of plastic) which often find their way into our waterways and into wildlife.
It’s the same with most plastic and one of the reasons we need to reduce the amount we use.
If you want to have a go at making your own Tawashi, check out the tutorial in my free Facebook Group. Alternatively, if you just want to buy something that’s more eco-friendly and plastic-free here are two options:
4 Ditch the produce bags at the supermarket
Why do we need to put two apples in a plastic bag? Or a banana??? This one really baffles me but I think it comes down to habit. We most definitely do not need to be putting fresh produce into bags at the supermarket and it’s a really simple thing you can do to reduce plastic.
If you don’t like the idea of them rolling around in your trolley, grab a basket to put in the trolley for all your fresh produce.
If you’re purchasing something like beans or loose leaves that really need a bag, grab a brown paper one from next to the mushrooms that can at least be thrown in the recycling or added to your compost bin if you have one.
If you really need bags for all your produce then you can get something like these:
These reusable produce bags weigh the same as a plastic bag and come in a cute little bag that can be attached to your keyring so you don't forget them.
5 of 5 ways to reduce plastic – Save your glass jars
The one is something I’ve been doing for a very long time but you can use glass jars in the kitchen and around the home for so many different things to save on plastic use.
I use them in my pantry, fridge and freezer but I also use them to make my own skincare products, pack snacks and even house bugs the boys find outside.
You might also be interested in how to remove the labels from glass jars quickly and easily and without ruining your nails.
I know I said I had 5 ways to reduce plastic at home but I’m throwing in a bonus tip for you.
6 Use soap berries
I love soap berries so much I wrote a whole post about how to use soap berries in place of washing detergent. They are a really good, quick and easy way you can reduce plastic because you’ll no longer be buying bottles of liquid detergent (I suppose switching to powder also reduces plastic).
There you go – 6 ways to reduce plastic really easily around the home. I’d love to hear what you’re doing to reduce plastic.
Remember, we don’t have to be doing it all perfectly. What matters is that we all try, that’s what’s going to make a real difference.