Living plastic free is a great way to live an eco friendly life, minimize our impact on the environment and make simple swaps that can reduce waste that ends up in landfill. The ultimate guide to living plastic free starts with small steps and easy changes that moves towards sustainable living.
Top 14 swaps to live plastic free
Bringing a reusable coffee cup when you are out or grabbing your reusable shopping bags will become easy the more often you do it.
Swapping plastic out from your live and living plastic free is a great aim and this article will help you on your way.
There are some great an easy swaps that you can make in your own life to start living plastic free. The best way can be to start with one change and try another when you have made the first a habit.
Here are my top 14 swaps to live plastic free.
- Swap to a bamboo toothbrush
- Choose recycled toilet paper with paper wrapping
- Swap to natural soap bars
- Choose lip balm in reusable metal tins instead
- Use Pyrex dishes for freezing and storing food
- Use mason jars to store food or carry snacks
- Use beeswax wrap instead of plastic wrap
- Swap to a natural or reusable sponge
- Bring reusable shopping bags
- Use reusable produce bags
- Swap to a reusable coffee cup
- Stainless steel straws
- Bring a bento lunchbox
- Bring a reusable water bottle
A great way to approach it is to look at your house room by room and as well as our life out and about. This guide will talk through swaps you can make in each room of your house to swap out plastic to a more durable long lasting product.
Living Plastic free in the bathroom
A great place to start is the bathroom. This is an area where we can make some great swaps to go plastic free.
Swapping over to a bamboo toothbrush has been a bit of revelation for me. I have been using it for months now and am loving it. Bamboo toothbrushes come in many different varieties. The first one I have tried has come with nylon bristles, (still a plastic I know) but with the removal of these I plan to pop my toothbrush in the compost bin after I’m finished and let it break down naturally.
Toilet paper that does good
A great move is to choose a recycled toilet paper, this means that we are using up a paper product that has already been recycled. Seeing as it is going down the toilet, literally, we might as well choose something that is helping to reduce waste.
When choosing toilet paper make sure you choose those that are paper wrapped rather than plastic. The toilet paper below is actually made from bamboo and sugarcane which are sustainable resources that are fast growing and trap carbon.
If you have been using body wash in a plastic container, swapping to a bar of soap is a great way to avoid the plastic packaging. Whether you choose a naturally handmade soap or even one from the supermarket, go for one with minimal packaging.
I have been using soap bars for as long as I can remember. With the warm weather coming around however I find my skin tends to dry out with the regular supermarket soap I have been using. I am looking into trying a natural handmade soap to add moisture back to my skin. The good thing is, a natural soap shouldn’t be plastic wrapped so the environment benefits as well as my skin.
Swapping your lip balm in the regular plastic packet to a small metal container is a great way to avoid using a hard plastic that can’t be recycled. Small metal containers have endless uses, you could even make your own lip balm once you have finished and keep reusing the container over and over again.
Living Plastic Free in the Kitchen
The kitchen is another great room in the house to focus on avoiding plastic. Check out these easy plastic free kitchen swaps.
Storage and leftovers
One of the best things I now use in my house to store food is Pyrex dishes. These are made of a toughened glass and can be used in the oven, freezer and fridge to store and cook food.
A completely plastic free option and endlessly durable is stainless steel. The stainless steel lunch box that I have been using for years barely looks used, is still shiny and has survived some epic drops without a scratch. Great for storing food these shiny containers will gradually start to fill my cupboards, completely plastic free.
Glass jars and containers
Mason jars are so popular and for good reason, they come in lots of sizes are endlessly useful and can replace plastic storage containers, particularly those that hid in your cupboards or pantry.
These are also great for eating yogurt and muesli out of, carrying salad dressing or transporting salads to work.
Beeswax wraps are an amazing invention that will slowly take over the use of plastic wrap (I hope). These amazing little wraps are literally material covered in beeswax which can be placed over food containers just in the same way plastic would. Cover leftovers without creating waste with these cute covers.
Normal old kitchen sponges are a synthetic material that will end up in landfill. Swapping this for a cellulose (natural fiber) or unsponge will help avoid this waste ending up in landfill.
Check out my previous article here on how changing your kitchen sponge can help reduce waste and save you money in the long run.
Living Plastic free Out and About
Whilst we are away from home sometimes our best intentions for living plastic free give way to having little choice but to use plastic. On the go coffee or food seems to inevitably come with a throw away packaging. This can be avoided however with a bit of forward thinking.
Reusable shopping bags
Recently there have been plastic bag bans in place in some cities here in Australia. This has been a great encouragement for people to look into an alternative to the single use plastic bag.
In my previous article we explored about all of the different materials that reusable bags can be made out of. Check it out here.
My favourite material is Jute, it is a sustainable natural fibre and can be used over and over again. It is hardy, like hessian and will biodegrade when you are eventually done with your bags. If you already have reusable bags, keep using the ones you have. If you need to add some to your collection try Jute or cotton.
Reusable Produce Bags
Whilst I was out looking for reusable coffee cups to test out I have been slow to discover reusable produce bags. These simple little mesh bags are the answer to the question of ways to replace plastic bags provided in produce aisles of supermarkets.
These can be reused over and over again. Just fill them with apples or potatoes or whatever you want to buy and head to the checkout as usual.
Reusable coffee cups
If you have been reading my blog for a while you will know that I am obsessed with reusable coffee cups. These little inventions will help save the billions of disposable coffee cups heading to landfill each year. There are heaps to choose from.
Stainless steel straws
Metal straws are a great alternative to plastic, for more on this check out my previous article here on stainless steel straws. They are reusable, do not taste like metal and are easy to clean. The ones I bought came with a little scrubbing brush. Especially if you or your kids are drinking milk out of them. Be sure to give them a wash when you get home if you are out.
Swap a plastic water bottle for reusable
I have recently swapped my whole family over to stainless steel bottles. I’ve actually had my bottle for 6 months now and it is still going strong. The kids too will be drinking from stainless steel, I just got this new bottle for my one year old and he loves it.
If you have access to clean tap water or filtered water then go ahead and refill your bottle instead of buying plastic.
Living plastic free in kids rooms
Kids seem to attract bright and shiny plastic things. As I enter my son’s room, the primary colored glow of lovingly gifted toys shines through and shows just how much plastic has become part of our world. I have tried my best to avoid adding more plastic toys to an already full room so I thought I would run through great swaps or ways to avoid more plastic entering our kids lives.
We are living in a very busy world with so much information coming at us at all angles, lots of kids are consuming an overwhelming amount. The best gift for kids is often just spending time with you and ideally that is outside. Time to explore the bugs and leaves in the backyard or a slow walk in a local park are amazing ways to connect with your kids without the toys.
Another great thing to think about is to start looking at activities that you can do with your kids that use up materials that would otherwise be thrown away. Recycling old corks, milk bottle caps, cartons and boxes will give these products new life and encourage your kids to be mindful of their impact on the planet.
Living Plastic Free – Summary
Reducing the amount of plastic we throw away is a heroic quest and one I congratulate you on beginning, Keep in touch with my blog for more tips on ways to reduce your plastic waste and other ways to live an Eco Friendly Life with your family.