Seven Plastic Free Methods Which Work Gangbusters

jasmine-tea

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.

Bamboo toothbrushes

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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.

Composting

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.

Gardening

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

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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.

Snacks

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.

Posted by LC
July 11, 2016
LC

LC can often be found nursing a cup of green tea, with her head in a book. She is a writer, video editor and professional cheese eater. Her life's aspiration is to one day live on a farm in Tasmania with 11 dogs, a Shetland pony and several pygmy goats.

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Larisse Espinueva - August 2, 2016

Wow. Your commitment on living a plastic-free life amazes me. Especially on the menstrual cups and the last part on cloth bags. Though personally I find it okay to store snacks on cloth bags. Well, as long as they’re dry anyway. I’d love to find myself some of those bamboo toothbrushes. I don’t think they’re available here where I live though. Anyhow, just passing by! Looking forward to see more from your “plastic-free lifestyle” pieces in the future. 🙂

Reply
    LC - August 2, 2016

    Aw, cheers Larisse. I got mine from “Brush with Bamboo”, which is an American store, although I believe there are similar popping up all over the world. Take care!

    Reply
Pam De Guzman - August 10, 2016

I like the bamboo toothbrush it is both useful, sophisticated and plastic free. This is a good way to lessen the pollution. There are many ways to help the environment and this is a good way to start. Thank you for sharing this. Good Read!

Reply
    LC - August 11, 2016

    Thanks for your comment, Pam. The toothbrushes are super cool. 🙂

    Reply
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