Do you want to start making greener choices and use less single-use plastic, but are unsure where to start, or which products might work for you? Here is Our Reusable Home’s quick top 5, easy, product swaps to reduce the amount of single-use plastic which ends up in your bin.
1. Toothbrush – With dentists advising you to change your toothbrush every 3-4 months, a family of 4 will be throwing away between 12 & 16 toothbrushes a year. A simple switch would see these go in your compost bin or home garden collection bin instead. A bamboo toothbrush will last as well as a plastic one but kinder to the environment when being disposed of.
2. Plastic-free Sponges – Most of the standard colourful sponges are usually made from 2 separate layers of artificial polymer polyurethane or other foamed plastic polymers and the scourer section of a harder polyethylene mesh. Sponges are well known for being bacteria magnets and are often thrown away sooner than necessary because of this. A washable sponge, made from natural materials such as cotton, hemp, and hessian makes for an eco-friendly alternative to plastic . Our plastic-free sponges are fully washable, helping to keep those germs at bay, and extending the life of the sponge. Once the sponge does reach the end of its useful life it can be cut up and added to a home compost bin.
3. Bar Soap – With many soaps, handwash and shower gels coming in plastic bottles the bathroom is place where a simple swap can make a big difference. Bar soap has a lower proportion of water to liquid soap and therefore tends to last longer and more cost effective. The soap bars are lighter in weight per wash than liquid soaps/gels and therefore have a lower carbon footprint when it comes to transportation. As soap bars can often be bought from farmers markets and local businesses they are also a great way to support small and local businesses. All products which are made for use on the body must be cosmetically tested so please do make sure whoever you buy your bar soaps from have had them properly tested and they are safe.
4. Shampoo Bars – In the same vein as soap bars, these condensed bars of loveliness mean a big reduction in plastic in the bathroom. With the average person using around 11 bottles of shower gel and 10 bottles of shampoo per year its easy to see how these 2 swaps can make a big difference. Some shampoo bars (*cough* ours! supplied by the amazing Nelly Belly) are suitable for all over body use, so you could swap your bottles of shampoo and shower gel for 1 bar in a lovely reusable tin! Winner, winner!
5. Reusable cups/bottles – This swap takes a little more fore-thought and planning to your day, but can in the longer term not only help save the planet but also help save you money! If you are going out and know you are likely to end up buying a take-away coffee then having your own travel cup with you will mean you don’t have the disposable cup and plastic lid to throw away but most of the big coffee shop chains offer an incentive to use your own cup. From a monetary saving to additional loyalty points these little bonuses all add up. If you’re not one for hot drinks then the same can be done with a water bottle. Save even more money by making your drink, hot or cold, at home before you leave.
Different swaps work for different people. We recommend you start with 1 swap which you feel is sustainable for you and when that is embedded into your routine add another swap and build your greener lifestyle from there. After all a re-usable coffee mug isn’t going to save you money or save the planet by sitting in a cupboard because you forget to take it with you. Make eco easy and it will soon become natural instead of a conscious choice.
Everyone can make a difference not matter how big or small, so why not share these tips with your friends and family.
Unless someone like you cares a whole aweful lot, nothing is going to get better. Its not.Dr Seuss.