Plastic Free July begins tomorrow, and while we do try to live as free from waste and plastic year 'round, this month presents a great opportunity to kick things up a notch, embrace new habits and reduce your plastic usage and waste levels at home in an ongoing, sustainable way.
If you're new to Plastic Free July, or if you're already living relatively waste-free but want to implement new and sustainable strategies in your home, it can be difficult to know where to start and how to go plastic-free. Read on for easy swaps you can make in the kitchen, bathroom and even your makeup bag to start reducing your plastic usage today.
Easy Swaps for the Bathroom
The bathroom is where so much household plastic and packaging lives- which also makes it one of the easiest places to swap out conventional plastic products for sustainable, plastic-free alternatives.
Essential items like sanitary items and dental hygiene products seem like unavoidable sources of plastic waste, but there are so many plastic free products available to replace them! Menstrual cups, period underwear and bamboo toothbrushes are all environmentally friendly alternatives to everyday products, and can dramatically reduce the amount of household waste you produce that ends up in landfill.
- Thinx Organic Cotton Bikini Black. This period underwear has been designed specifically to provide a comfortable, environmentally sustainable and entirely plastic-free alternative to traditional period products. The Thinx Period Undies provide maximum absorbency to help reduce worry about unexpected leaks while fighting both odour and bacteria. After use, they can simply be thrown in the wash like regular underwear.
- Lunette Menstrual Cup - Coral. An eco-friendly, plastic-free alternative to sanitary pads and tampons, menstrual cups can last for up to 10 years if cared for properly (by washing your cup with the Lunette Feelbetter Cupwash)- saving you 10 years worth of plastic!
- Life Basics Bamboo and Charcoal Toothbrush. Where traditional toothbrushes are comprised of both a plastic handle and plastic bristles, this Life Basics plastic-free alternative is made from a bamboo handle and charcoal bristles, making it entirely biodegradable and better for your dental health!
- Ethique Hydrating Shampoo Concentrate Ethique have created innovative concentrated bars that save 700ml of water and one plastic bottle from manufacture and disposal into landfill. How does it work? Simply mix the concentrated bars with boiling water, and you've got a fresh batch of liquid shampoo – minus the plastic bottle! You can use any empty bottle you see fit.
- Life Basics Stainless Steel Pegs are the perfect plastic free alternative to conventional clothes pegs.
- Tru Earth Fresh Linen Laundry Detergent is a convenient, eco-friendly alternative to bulky plastic jugs of laundry powder and liquid detergent. These pre-measured strips are ultra-concentrated and mess-free, just toss one into the wash and your clothes will be clean with a lovely fresh linen scent.
The kitchen is another hotbed for household waste, so make it one of your Plastic Free July priorities. In addition to purchasing grains, cereals and legumes in bulk and choosing fresh produce that is not housed within cling wrap or other packaging, there are plenty of kitchen products that make maintaining a plastic-free kitchen easy.
Our favourite reusable and sustainable kitchenware includes silicone straws, market-friendly produce bags that can simply be washed after each outing and reused, BPA-free water bottles and snack storage, reusable food wraps and eco-friendly dishwashing brushes.
- Life Basics Reusable Bamboo Cutlery Set. A plastic-free alternative to disposable plastic cutlery, this reusable bamboo cutlery is perfect for storing in your bag so you never need to use plastic cutlery on the go.
- Life Basics Silicone Straws. Another great option to take on the go, these silicone straws are a reusable, sustainable alternative to regular plastic straws.
- Life Basics Mesh Produce Bags. Purchasing fresh, organic produce is a great way to cut back on unnecessary packaging- but storing that produce in a plastic supermarket bag is just undoing your good deed. Instead, opt for these reusable mesh produce bags.
- Cheeki Classic Single Wall Bottle - Pistachio. Keeping a reusable, eco-friendly water bottle on hand means you'll never have to purchase a plastic bottle again. We love this Cheeki option, made from food grade sustainable steel.
- Stasher Snack - Hibiscus. While traditional zip lock bags can be reused, they'll end up in landfill eventually as they begin to disintegrate with use. This plastic-free alternative is made entirely of silicone and is dishwasher safe, so it can be used 100 times without losing its shape or integrity.
- Full Circle Suds Up Brush. Unlike traditional dishwashing brushes, this brush is made from natural and recycled plastic bristles and a bamboo handle.
- Agreena 3-in-1 Wrap. Made from platinum silicone, this three in one wrap roll can be used to create reusable, airtight covers over bowls, to seal leftovers and line baking trays- without plastic.
Makeup and skincare products aren't the only culprits when it comes to beauty and personal care items that may cause environmental harm. Other items such as makeup removal pads and deodorant also contribute to landfill once they've been used and disposed of.
To reduce your waste, choose reusable cotton pads and facial cleansing sponges alongside plastic-free deodorant. Want to make sure the whole family is going plastic free? Try Ethicque's Bow Wow Shampoo Bar, specifically formulated for your furry friends!
- Life Basics Makeup Pads. Traditional makeup pads and cotton rounds may not seem all that bad for the environment, but they can only be used once and end up as waste. Instead, choose this reusable alternative that can be placed in a washing bag and thrown in the machine again and again!
- Life Basics Konjac Sponge. Instead of a plastic loofah, this sponge is made from 100% Konjac Potato Fibre- a simple Plastic Free July swap!
- Woohoo Plastic Free Deodorants. Not only are these deodorants free from plastics, they are all natural to ensure your sweat glands aren't being blocked by nasty toxins.