How Can You Make An Impact This Plastic Free July?

How Can You Make An Impact This Plastic Free July?

*Affiliate Links

If you have been around for a while you will be very aware that reducing our waste, becoming more eco-friendly, cutting out plastic and making a positive change for our planet have all become my mission and I love sharing all of these with you. I don’t think one person can or will save the world but collectively we can all do our small part to help (whilst putting pressure on those larger corporations to change their ways which WILL have a big impact). A great time to start looking at your plastic use and what products you could switch to is during Plastic Free July, a whole month dedicated to helping you reduce your plastic waste and here are some that we have come to love…

 

My Plastic Free July Solutions…

Reusable Nappies

I couldn’t not start with this one, could I? Cloth nappies are how my eco journey started. We made the switch after I found out that single-use nappies are made from plastic making them a huge environmental problem. Did you know that they can take up to 500 years to decompose in landfill which means every single nappy ever used is STILL here?!! Honestly, going reusable is so, so simple – I know you are probably thinking that’s easy to say but I never thought I would be converted and here I am years later still singing their praises. The modern nappies are very similar to disposables, you just wash them rather than throwing them away. There are a range of styles, designs and brands to choose from and lots of help and advice can be found online, in Facebook groups and via nappy libraries. If you are looking at making this swap I also have plenty of blog posts to help and my inbox is always open for any extra questions.

reusable nappies in a circle on the floor

Reusable Wipes

These follow on nicely from the above. Wipes are also plastic based (the majority at around 87% plastic) and if you missed the BBC War on Plastic programme please do catch up on it because if that doesn’t shock you into changing I’m not sure what will. I have a blog post on all you need to know about reusable wipes here and one on using them out and about here. Reusable wipes are usually cotton/bamboo mix, can be used for hands and bums as disposables can be, they are easily washed and are completely plastic-free.

Reusable Water Bottle

Reusable water bottles are such a quick and easy fix for an ever-growing plastic problem. Just always make sure you have one on you and find somewhere to fill it up when you’re out and about.

Bar of soap

I think everybody could achieve this during plastic free July. We do not need liquid soap, the only thing it does is add yet another plastic item into your household that is hard/impossible to recycle due to all of the components. Regular bars of soap work in the same way and will massively reduce your plastic.

Beeutiful soap bar with honey

Shampoo and Conditioner Bars

This can be quite a hard one to change but once you find the bars for you, this is a swap that will really help to reduce that plastic waste. If you have struggled with these in the past why not try visiting a Lush store? They sell both shampoo and conditioner bars and can explain what they have, chat with you about their products, ask about your hair type and recommend a suitable product. I struggled with the first shampoo bar I bought but Lush told me that I could go back in with the bar and swap it for another! I did this and found the ideal combo. What great customer service.

Cloth Sanitary Pads (CSP), Period Pants & Menstrual Cup

Disposable sanitary towels and tampons are also classed as single-use plastic waste. Alternatives to consider would be:

  • Cloth sanitary pads – These work in the same way as disposable pads as in they are placed in your knickers (fixed by poppers), they absorb the blood and can be changed as required. The only difference is that you wash and reuse them saving you both money and waste.
  • Period pants – These are pants with an absorbent layer sewn in. You can find these in a variety of styles, colours and absorbency levels and there are plenty available online and in shops these days. Again, you simply wash and reuse these every month.
  • Menstrual cup – This is your replacement for a tampon. It is a cup shaped device made from silicone which is placed internally to collect period blood. It can be worn for up to 12 hours and washed and reused.

For more information on all of these check out these blog posts:

Sustainable Toothbrush

There are 2 plastic-free options available:

  • Bamboo Toothbrush – The handle is made from bamboo rather than plastic and can be composted (the bristles cannot)
  • SURI Electric Toothbrush – Made from plant-based plastics, repairable, recyclable and sustainable. You can get 10% off by using this link for my readers.
SURI toothbrush and other plastic free bathroom items

Reusable Straws

These are usually made from silicone, metal, paper and bamboo so there are plenty of options for everybody.

Beeswax Wraps

Beeswax wraps are a great alternative to clingfilm (which is basically the devil of all plastics!) I’ve never liked the stuff and I am so glad I have rid my house of it.

Silicone Lids

Beeswax wraps may not be suitable for all your foods and you may not like the smell (my hubby doesn’t) so silicone lids are another great choice. These come in a variety of sizes and stretch over cans, plates, bowls, dishes and so on to provide an airtight seal for your food.

Homemade Cleaning Products

I love making my own cleaning products, they are safer for the children and pets, they save me money and reduce my plastic waste. I currently regularly make a kitchen surface spray, a cream cleaner, toilet cleaner and window cleaner. I also use bicarb, white vinegar and citric acid by themselves to tackle certain jobs around the home. For more eco-cleaning tips take a look at my printable graphics here.

flatlay of eco cleaning products all plastic free

Compostable Washing-Up Products

I hate to break it to you but those sponges we all use for washing up are also plastic. I know, there’s no escaping the stuff!! I must admit I was really surprised when I learnt this – I’m not sure what I thought it was made of but as I knew sponge is a natural product I guess I thought that’s what it was. I was naive. This is a manmade sponge and again takes years to break down. So swap these for coconut husks, bristled scourers, wooden brushes, compostable sponges and/or wooden scrapers – you can find a great range here.

Citric Acid for Descaling

I love this stuff! All natural, no chemicals, comes in a cardboard box and works absolute wonders on the limescale here (and we have a HUGE limescale problem). I wish I’d known about this sooner, I would have saved myself a lot of money, time and plastic.

Reusable Shopping Bags

This really is such a simple swap, cheap to do and will make a big difference for the environment not just during plastic free July but every month in the year!

Cloth Bags for Fruit and Veg

We do not need those annoying tiny plastic bags that the supermarket offer us. For starters, fruit and veg do not need another layer, they have one to protect them and second of all you could just buy cloth bags if you feel you need to pop them inside something. They look and feel so much better and you won’t be adding to the rising plastic bag problem.

Shop at Your Local Farm Shop

Loose fruit and veg, no plastic wrappings and no plastic bags. Need I say more?

loose fruit and veg all plastic free

Switch Back to the Milkman

I have just made our very first order for this week and I am so excited at the prospect of opening my front door to bottles of milk again! I have also ordered orange juice in a glass bottle too. Milk and More also offer boxes of fruit and veg, bakery items and more so you could easily reduce your supermarket shop by switching.

Take Reusable Containers to the Counters

Why not try taking reusable tubs to the supermarket and popping over to those counters and asking them to put your cheese, fish or meat inside? It can be easily done and once you have used it all up you can wash your container out and do it all again.

Eco-friendly Toothpaste in Glass Jars

Toothpaste is a pain, isn’t it? Not only does it come in a useless cardboard box it also comes in a plastic tube and yet it is an essential item. You can now purchase toothpaste in glass jars and these can be easily recycled.

Bath Bombs

Bath bombs are a great alternative to bubble bath that comes in a plastic bottle.

Washable Cloths for Cleaning

I am loving the fact that we now wash so much more and throw less away. There are plenty of reusable wipes on the market to choose from too. I particularly love reusable kitchen roll. Now I can clean any surface and just simply wash it each time rather than needing to buy more – no more plastic packaging either!

Honestly, this list could go on and on because once you start looking closely you start to see how much plastic we all bring into our homes that isn’t always necessary. Now, I am not saying that you now need to go and rid your home of plastic because that will just be adding to the problem. Things like containers, toys, bottles you can use again, utensils, bowls and plates, kids cutlery etc. are all reusable and all essential. The single-use is the problem and that is what needs the focus because this is the stuff that ends up in the bin after a few moments, a day or weeks. Let me know what you are swapping this plastic free July? I’d love to hear from you.

Let’s make going plastic free easy and simple!

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2 thoughts on “How Can You Make An Impact This Plastic Free July?

  1. This is a great list of things to start with.
    I’ve made lots of changes in the past month.
    From reusable wipes to using a washing egg instead of gels. I’ve had a reusable water bottle for a couple of years now.
    I’ve also just made my first batch of cleaning fluid.

  2. Brilliant, Emma. I feel the same and find myself seeing more and more ways to make improvements.

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