The road to a plastic free life certainly is a rocky one. A little while ago, I wrote a post detailing what hasn’t worked out for me so far over the last few months. Certain things continue to be an upsetting annoyance.
As I don’t want to be a wholly negative person, I want to counteract that now by celebrating the small successes. Thankfully, there’s been a few.
To commemorate Plastic Free July, here’s seven plastic free methods which work gangbusters. I’ve had a lot of success with these and now so can you!
The consumption of tea
It took me awhile to realise that teabags are not fully biodegradable and that 20-30% of the bag contains plastic. Ugh.
I found the answer for this in the form of loose leaf tea, which is much tastier in any case.
Having accumulated an array of tins, I take them to tea shops. The shop assistant fills the tin with my desired tea, rather than putting it into a plastic bag.
These tins looks quite cute when put on display in my glass cupboard. Plus, I can use them over and over again.
Crushing on my menstrual cup
Boys, scroll down. Girls, listen up. This menstrual cup has revolutionised my life.
I don’t know about you, but I was beyond over lugging a shopping aisle section of sanitary items around with me, whenever I went travelling. So, I thought I’d jump on the moon cup bandwagon. And I can tell you, I won’t ever be looking back.
If I’m going away for an extended period of time, I slip the cup into my toiletry bag. When Aunty Flow is in town, I have it on hand, ready to go. All you have to do is give it a rinse every 12 hours, then sanitise it with boiling water when you’re done. So, simple.
Did I mention the amount of money I now save through using is device? I was paying somewhere between $10-$15 dollars a month on pads and tampons. The cup cost me around $50 Australian dollars at the time and a year later, it’s still going strong. Apparently they’re good to use for around five years. Party, party.
One of the first disposable items I replaced was my useless plastic toothbrush. I love the bamboo toothbrushes I now use instead. Having sensitive gums led to a few bumps in the road when I first made the swap. Luckily my favourite brand soon bought out child-size brushes, which I was quick to invest in.
They’re so similar to conventional toothbrushes that I barely notice the difference.
Having a garden in London is a pretty rare commodity. So, I was pretty keen to make the most of it.
The first thing we did was buy a composter. It took awhile to get things going – particularly as we started in the winter. However a few months down the track I can safely say it’s going really well. It’s a relief to know that whatever food and sometimes paper waste we’re left with can be put to good use.
Better than having it sit in landfill to rot for all eternity.
Shopping at local markets
While I’ve a way to go before I’m fully satisfied with the food situation, our weekly market shop has gone some way in helping reduce our plastic consumption.
We manage to pick up quite a few vegetables and our weekly supply of fish plastic free. We ask our forever exasperated fishmongers to put our clams and fish into Tupperware containers. Produce goes in the bags and trolley we take with us to the market.
This means that a decent chunk of our shopping is done without accumulating unnecessary waste.
I finally understand why my Mum has spent large portions of her day’s off pottering around the garden. There’s something so satisfying about planting things and watching them grow.
You look at it proudly and think: “Yes. I made that.” Which is how I used to feel when celebrating small successes when baking in the kitchen.
Rosewater face toner
Rosewater has to be the most delightful scent out there. I’m quite pleased that I get to spray this stuff on my face on a daily basis.
To make it, I simply boiled some rose petals in water and poured that water into a reusable glass spray bottle, that had previously housed store bought toner. Simple.
My cloth bags have been a lifesaver when buying food on the go. They take up next to no room in my bag
People’s reactions to them have been quite entertaining. One man looked at me in horror and proclaimed: “But, you’ll get it dirty!” I laughed and told him that that was what washing machines were for.
It’s a shame that our perception of plastic use has become so warped in that we consider the use of it hygienic, in all cases. A little bit scary, too.
I tend to bring these things to mind whenever I fancy giving up, or experience a set back. It’s healthier to concentrate on the small successes, than lament every failure or setback.