If like me you were one of the millions of viewers who watched Blue Planet 2 and the final episode with the wonderful Sir David Attenborough on plastic waste and the impact it is having on the world’s environment, you too will have been stunned at the amount of plastic being used, dumped, thrown away and littered everywhere! But ultimately the devastating effect it is having on our oceans and marine life. Which is why doing our best to have a plastic free home can really help.
I have a great love and passion for sea life and to see the heartbreaking effect plastic is having on the creatures of the sea is tragic!
We are all responsible to minimise plastic by taking extra effort, time and care in our everyday lives. It will all add up to saving sea life all over the world.
I have always done my best to be mindful of plastic waste and instill this ethos in my family. And so I would like to share my top tips for recycling and how to reduce and ultimately eliminate plastic from your home.
My Top Tips for recycling and a plastic free home
- Always carry reusable shopping bags with you and keep some in your car for those trips to the supermarket.
- Always use reusable bags.
- Stop buying bottled water. We have amazing fresh clean water, which we already pay for (water rates) and comes straight from our taps in our home, use it!
- Always use reusable cups/bottles for when you’re on the go. Top tip – fill and keep in the fridge or put ice in the bottle for super cold water.
- Use a travel stainless steel mug or cup. If out shopping many well known coffee companies are now happy to fill and then refill for free in your own coffee cup. It helps them cut back as well.
- Only use paper straws or my preference, these drinking straws. GlassDharma makes drinking fun again! You can find similar options here at Amazon.
- For ice cream alternatives you can buy choc ices or ice lollies instead of plastic ice cream tubs.
- Reuse old ice cream containers for storage and avoid buying anymore.
- Reuse sandwich bags and silver foil, before stopping entirely. This drove my kids crazy but quite quickly my daughter kept her packaging and some of her friends started to as well.
- Buy as much package free produce as possible. Some supermarkets are slowly introducing paper bags, for example marksandspencer.
- If you do feel you need a separate bag see handmade bags on Etsy. Etsy sellers have a large collection of reusable organic cotton produce bags.
- Reuse plastic trays from produce where you have had to buy. They are handy storage for things like make up, lifelong foods, refrigerated foods, pens, stationery, toiletries & more.
- Take them to the supermarket and weigh and reuse them rather than use a bag.
- Buy fresh bread with no bags or paper bags.
- Buy milk in glass bottles or if this isn’t possible buy large 4/6 pints and distribute into previously saved 1 or 2 pint plastic bottles and then freeze. This is cheaper and reuses other bottles. Also larger bottles means less plastic overall.
- Say no to hangers if offered to you in a shop.
- If you order online and the packaging is plastic envelopes, cross out your address, turn them inside out and then reuse. Mango and ZARA use recycled cardboard and paper for deliveries.
- Recycle clothes to local charity shops, clothes banks and donations.
- Sell unused toys, clothes, furniture …anything in good condition on eBay or gumtree and earn some extra cash.
- Reuse dishcloths instead of replacing. Either stick them in the washing machine or place them safely in the dishwasher on a scheduled wash.
- Start looking for hand washing or cleaning products in refill packs. They use 75% less plastic and are cheaper. Carex and Dettol are 2 of many companies offering this. This is a great way of creating a plastic free home.
- There are also lots of totally natural cleaning alternatives online – https://www.biogreenuklimited.com/ is one of many.
- Use wooden or metal cooking utensils.
- Reuse old jam, pickles and sauce jars for storage of pens and pencils etc.
- If you have hanging baskets or tubs, don’t buy new ones, instead refill and reuse them from the previous year.
- Ensure you recycle all rubbish thoroughly.
You can also visit https://myplasticfreelife.com to see how Beth Terry changed how she lived after reading an article “our oceans are turning into plastic”.
I still have a long way to go with cutting down on plastic and recycling to create my own platic free home, and obviously there is much more to learn and do, but myself and the family are committed and aware of what needs to be done and have a much stronger interest in why.