Plastic Free July: Discover How to Go Plastic Free When You’re Out and About

plastic free out and about

Plastic free July is in full swing and in this article we’ll be talking about plastic free options when you’re out and about.

plastic free out and about

Previously we’ve discussed about how to have a plastic free kitchen and a plastic free bathroom. We’ll be discussing a lot of plastic free options this month. If you would like to be notified in our upcoming newsletters, simply subscribe. 👉

Plastic Free Out And About

Plastic bags

Shopping bags & reusable bulk bags

Onya reusable eco bag

Getting rid of single use plastic is the key to starting a plastic free living. About 8 million tons of plastic waste leaks into the ocean every year. The equivalent of 15 plastic shopping bags for every meter of coastline on Earth.

By getting rid of single use plastics, you are making a big impact to the environment. You can start by looking for reusable options like Onya shopping bags available in small, large, and reusable shopping tote bag. Ever Eco also has some awesome tote bag cotton net options.

Produce bags

Onya produce food bags

Produce food bags are a necessity if you’re looking to buy grains, sugar, and other produce. A good alternative to plastic shopping bags are Ever Eco and Onya.

Lunch and snacks

Lunch bags

KeepLeaf Organics Insulated Lunch Bags-min

You need a lunch bag to keep your lunch hot or cold until it’s time to eat. While this is not obvious, most lunch bags actually uses plastic foam to keep your food hot or cold. An eco friendly lunch bag is one of the more difficult things to find. Keepleaf Organic’s insulated lunch bags are 100% made from organic canvas. They have 6 different designs and colours to choose from.

Lunch boxes

Most lunch boxes comes in plastic form. If you’re looking to move away from plastic, one great alternative is stainless steel. Stainless steel lunch boxes are actually more durable and sanitary. Aside from these, it’s plastic free. Green Essentials has a wide variety of stainless steel lunchboxes. Another brands that holds stainless steel lunch boxes is Ever Eco.

Ever Eco Stainless Steel Bento

Cutlery

Looking for cutlery that you can bring with you without it being plastic or disposable? Try Ever Eco Bamboo Cutlery Set With Organic Cotton Pouch.

Food wrap

Ditch that single use plastic wrap for your sandwich and switch to a more plastic free option. KeepLeaf has 3 designs available: Bloom, Mesh, and Planes. My personal favourite is actually Bloom. Onya also has amazing options available in 5 colours: Chilli, Pink, Purple, Indigo, and Apple.

Plastic bottle, cups, and straws

Every second 1,000 plastic water bottles are being added as trash in the US alone. The Great Pacific Garbage patch in the North Pacific Ocean is now twice the size of Hawaii. Most of the garbage there came from single use plastic like water bottles. The sobering truth is we need to drastically cut the usage of plastic.

via GIPHY

Water bottles

While we all need to be hydrated on the go, we also need to consider that a plastic water bottle’s lifespan is 450 years. That trash we used, is going to be there a long time after we’re gone. A tip to avoiding plastic water bottles is planning ahead. Before going out make sure to bring a container of your own. There are lot of options out there. U Konserve has glass water bottles with silicone sleeves.

U Konserve glass water bottle

If you’re looking for something lightweight, try stainless steel water bottles like Onya. Onya’s Stainless Steel Water Bottles ranges from 500 ml to 1 Litre. Cheeki also has a wide variety of insulated water bottles, it’s a little bit heavier but it will keep your drink hot or cold for longer. Going out for a picnic? Instead of using plastic cups, go for Ever Eco Stainless Steel Drinking Cups – 4 Pack.

Coffee Cups

Too busy to have that cup of coffee at home? While it’s tempting to just go out and order a cup coffee, there are ways to avoid single use cups on the go. Get reusable coffee cups like Joco Reusable Glass Cups.

joco glass coffee cups

You can also ask your local barista to just put the coffee in your reusable cup instead. If you’re looking for stainless steel options, Cheeki also has coffee cups.

Not really a coffee person? If you’re looking to make infused water or brew your own tea on the go then Fressko Glass Flask is your answer.

Fressko Glass Flask

Straws

Do you know that about 500 million plastic straws are thrown daily in the US alone. That’s a lot of plastic straws! What’s more devastating is the fact that because plastic straws are so small some animals ended up digesting these and making them sick. A shift to more eco friendly straws will create a big impact to our environment. If you’re looking for alternative options, you can use stainless steel straws or bamboo straws. Ever Eco has both stainless steel and bamboo straws.

Starting your journey to a plastic free living? Share your experience with us in the comment section below. 

Like this? Why not Pin it?

Main image credit: Ever Eco

Other images credit: Onya, Keepleaf, U Konserve, Cheeki, and Fressko.

Plastic Free July: Rethink the Plastic in Your Bathroom

plastic free bathroom

Plastic Free July started with just a few participants from Western Australia, and now it’s a worldwide movement. This July, take the challenge! We can all stop and think about our plastic consumption and by making a few small changes in our lives, we can make a big impact on our planet.

This month we’ll be releasing a series for Plastic Free July so if you’re after inspiration, feel free to join our newsletter which can be found on the right side of the screen. 👉

plastic free bathroom

Last week we talked about steps you can take to work towards a plastic free kitchen.

This week we’re going to talk about taking steps towards a plastic free bathroom.

Plastic free bathroom

Plastic Free Dental Care

Do you know that in the US alone, over 50 million pounds of plastic toothbrushes get dumped into landfill every year? That’s billions of toothbrushes! But don’t worry, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t brush your teeth. You can take care of your teeth and still be eco conscious.

via GIPHY

Here are some alternatives to your plastic toothbrush and floss:

Go Bamboo Toothbrushes. Has two variants one for adults and one for children. This is a fully biodegradable toothbrush with bamboo handles and its bristles are made from a biodegradable polymer.

Pearlbar, like Go Bamboo, also has two variants for their toothbrushes. They also have for adults and one for children. For adults, you can pick between soft or medium bristles. Their handles are also fully biodegradable and their bristles are infused with charcoal for that extra whitening action.

There’s also The Natural Family Co, with biodegradable resin toothbrushes; Jack ‘N Jill’s biodegradable toothbrushes for kids; and My Magic Mud’s bamboo toothbrushes.

Biodegradable floss is a little trickier. We haven’t been able to find a fully biodegradable floss. But we do have floss picks from Pearlbar with biodegradable handles, and dental floss from Noosa Basics and Dr Tung’s that are in fully biodegradable packaging, which is a step in the right direction!

Plastic Free Haircare

Are you still using plastic combs and brushes? Why not make the shift to wooden ones? Wooden combs and brushes aren’t just eco friendly, they look great, too. Using a wooden comb or brush can also help to pull oils on your hair from root to tip.

via GIPHY

When it comes to static, plastic combs and brushes actually adds a positive charge to your hair which causes the hair to be more frizzy. This is not the case when it comes to wooden hair combs and brushes.

There are lovely wooden combs available, as well as plastic free hairbrushes at Bass Brushes. For children, there’s the lovely Fawn & Milk Goat Hair Brush and Comb Set.

Another way to cut waste is by shifting from your traditional shampoos to shampoo bars. The Australian Natural Soap Company (ANSC) has some great shampoo bar options, and they’re all plastic free.

Plastic Free Facial Care

It can be hard making the switch when it comes to facial care. But there are plenty of eco friendly options out there that can compete with your favourite brands.

ANSC has a ton of great facial soaps! For great natural cleansers, we recommend  ANSC’s Pink Clay and Black Clay facial soaps. If you’re looking for an antibacterial soap, then their Salt Cleanser is your best bet. They also have a Charcoal facial soap for acne prone skin. Charcoal is also good at drawing those toxins from your skin.

The Australian Natural Soap Company
The Australian Natural Soap Company

Instead of using disposable facial wipes, why not remove your makeup with Black Chicken’s Reusable Face Cloth. Just use it with your favourite cleanser and viola!

Plastic Free Personal Care & Feminine Hygiene

Think plastic free for your period, too. Your ordinary tampon is actually not pure cotton. Most common brands have plastics in them like rayon, polyester, and and other synthetics. Each woman will use an average of 11,000 tampons in her lifetime and it will be in the landfill long after we’re gone. Not to mention the packaging that these tampons comes in as well.

A much more eco friendly option for periods are menstrual cups. They’re getting more and more popular, because aside from the fact that they’re reusable, they’re also wallet friendly. You can use your menstrual cup for up to 10 years! Why not try Lunette Menstrual Cup?

via GIPHY

Now if a menstrual cup is just too much to contemplate if you’re making the switch, there are also great options for plastic free tampons and pads in the market. Natracare, Organyc, and Tom Organic tampons and pads are completely plastic free, including their packaging.

You could also try Modibodi’s leakproof period underwear. Another option are reusable pads like Hannahpad. These are washable pads made out of 100% cotton. They’re washable and reusable and can last you 2-3 years.

Plastic Free Body Care

Deodorants, soaps, and body wash normally comes in plastic packaging. Not to mention plastic loofahs and and microbeads in body scrubs. There are a bunch of plastic free options for body care in the market.

Instead of using plastic loofahs, choose to go for a more natural option. How about a Bass Body Brush instead?

Aside from shampoo bars and facial soaps, ANSC also has a ton of variety when it comes to body soaps from refreshing peppermint to  moisturising avocado they have it.

When it comes to deodorant, there are also plastic free options available. Physic Garden has 3 varieties; Revitalise Deodorant, Sensitive Deodorant, and Relax Deodorant. Also, Physic Garden’s products all comes in glass packaging.

The Physic Garden Relax Deodorant
The Physic Garden Relax Deodorant

Plastic Free First Aid Kit

You can even go plastic free in your first aid kit. Popular adhesive bandages are mostly made out of plastic. Instead of using those try Patch Organic Strips.

This brand’s adhesive bandages are 100% biodegradable because they’re made from organic bamboo fibre, and their packaging, while it looks like plastic, is actually a fully biodegradable cellulose. Another option is Everyday Good Co Biodegradable Bandages.

Plastic Free General bathroom

The bathroom is such a small space, but you’ll be surprised at how much waste it can produce. From soap holders to bath mats – they all contribute billions of tonnes of waste to our landfills. Here are some alternatives.

Instead of buying a plastic soap holder, you can get Bass Body Care Sisal Soap Holder. For bath mats, you can try Hevea’s bath mat, this bath mat is 100% free from PVC and is made of naturally biodegradable rubber.

Organyc also offers biodegradable cotton pads and cotton buds. If you’re looking for another brand, Go Bamboo also offers bamboo cotton buds.

Also, think about your toilet paper. It might be made of recycled paper, but if it comes packaged in plastic what’s the point? Try something like Who Gives a Crap, packaged in paper and delivered in a cardboard box.

You don’t have to try and do everything at once. But small changes made by lots of people add up to a big difference. So what can you change?

Main Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Other images from: The Australian Natural Soap Company and The Physic Garden

Plastic Free July: How to Work Towards a Plastic Free Kitchen

plastic free kitchen

Do you look at the rubbish bin in your kitchen and see plastic waste overflowing? It’s plastic free July, and we’ve got heaps of great tips on how you can get yourself working towards a plastic free kitchen.

With a bit of forward planning, you can drastically reduce the amount of single use plastic that you use in your household. Here’s how!

plastic free kitchen

Plastic Free Kitchen

Food storage

  1. Only use washable or biodegradable containers and jars.
  2. Save jam jars and use them for storage.
  3. Eliminate the need for cling film by committing to containers with lids. And yes, I know that you can never find the lids when you need them. So have a look at something like Agreena or a beeswax wrap to use in place of cling film when you can’t find the lid!

Food Storage and Reusable Wraps

Apiwraps Reusable Beeswax Wraps
Apiwraps Reusable Beeswax Wraps

Cleaning

  1. Choose your dish cleaning equipment thoughtfully and buy natural bristle bottle brushes and washable dishcloths.
  2. Choose Biobags for the rubbish bins.
  3. Get maxi compost bin for the green scraps. Get a worm farm for scraps, too.

Plastic free brushes and dishcloths

Ecococonut plastic free cleaning brushes
Ecococonut plastic free cleaning brushes

Cooking and Food

  1. Choose wooden cooking utensils over plastic ones.
  2. Avoid using non stick cooking ware. The stuff that makes a cooking ware ‘non stick’ is actually plastic.
  3. Try shifting to bamboo cutting boards. Aside from the fact that it’s more eco friendly, it is also beautiful and can function as a serving board as well.
  4. Choose reusable silicone mats like Agreena instead of baking paper or cupcake papers.
Apiwraps Reusable Beeswax Wraps
Agreena 3 in 1 reusable wraps

Shopping

  1. Never use plastic bags. Instead, always have a stash of reusable carry bags on hand for toting your produce. There are some lovely ones from Apple Green Duck or Onya Reusable Bags. Ever Eco also have some great options. Or you can simply grab a cardboard box.
  2. Only buy fresh food loose or packed in cardboard.
  3. Avoid buying processed food. Almost always processed food comes in a single use plastic packaging.
  4. Try to choose products in glass instead of plastic, or cardboard. For example, I choose my pasta based on the fact that it’s in a cardboard box, not a plastic one. And I’ll choose jars of tomatoes instead of tins (tins are lined with plastic). My local farmer’s market even sells milk in glass bottles (with the cream on top – delicious!).
  5. Speaking of local farmer’s market, when it comes to produce, shopping at your local farmer’s market is the best option. Simply put, less transportation is less packaging. I stopped shopping at the supermarket long ago, and it’s heaps easier to go plastic free when you shop in bulk or at the market.

Want to see more? Check out our range of plastic free products here.

Image credits: Main image: Deposit Photos, Apiwraps: Apiwraps, Ecococonut: Ecococonut, Agreena: Agreena.

Like this? Why not Pin it?

A to Z of Hints, Tips and Swaps for Plastic Free July

plastic free july

Plastic Free July is almost here! Started back in 2011 with just a handful of people in Western Australia, Plastic Free July has grown to reach millions of people across more than 150 countries.

All you have to do to join the Plastic Free July challenge is to ‘Choose to Refuse’ single use plastic across the month of July. It’s easy to do, and every small step makes a difference.

plastic free july

To get you started, I’ve come up with an A to Z of things that you can do to meet the challenge:

A  –  Agreena wraps. Silicone wraps that take the place of glad wrap. They stretch over the top of bowls and plates and reseal them. You can use them as sandwich wraps or to keep single things fresh in the fridge, like a half a lemon. Or use them to replace baking paper in the oven. Genius!

B –  Biobags. Can’t get your head around lining your rubbish bin with newspaper? Or like me, never buy the newspaper? Well, Biobags are completely compostable. Much better for the environment than plastic rubbish bags.

CCoffee cups. Reusable ones, of course. Say no to the takeaway cups and go with one that you can use over and over.

DDrinking cups – stainless steel ones that you can take with you; or D is for deodorant in tins or jars; or D could be for decanting bulk packs into smaller jars at home.

E – Eggs – okay, so this is a bit of stretch, but I buy my eggs at the farmers market. I buy lots of fruit and veg, too, and it’s all plastic free. And did I mention that they are the most delicious eggs ever, laid by happy hens who are watched over by alpacas and maremma dogs?

FFilter jug. Get yourself a filter jug so that you can have filtered water at home, and then you can fill your reusable water bottle up for getting out and about with. A filter jug also works a treat with a Soda Stream so you can have fizzy filtered water if that’s your thing (it’s definitely one of mine!).

GGlass baby bottles and sippy cups. Okay, so these aren’t usually single use plastic items, but glass is better for your baby by far.

HHair brush. You can skip the plastic entirely by choosing a wooden hair brush or comb.

IInsulated food jars. Brilliant in winter for warming soups and stews. “I” could also be for individually wrapped snacks (just say no!).

J – Jars. Save all your jars and use them for storage, for dinky salads for lunch, for making salad dressing. Or even for making your own jam from all the extra fruit at the end of summer.

KKeepleaf. This great brand will keep single use snaplock bags and sandwich wraps out of the bin! Cute, easy to use and easy to wash, too.

LLunchboxes. From stainless steel to long lasting plastic, nothing cuts down on single use plastic day to day like a lunchbox.

M – Milk. Okay, so I’m back to my local farmer’s market. But how good is this – Schultz Organic Dairies sell milk in glass bottles. With the cream on top, too, I’m happy to add!

NNappies. Even if you used a cloth nappy just once a day, think how many disposables you could keep out of landfill!

O – Oranges, apples, lettuces … Use a produce bag instead of grabbing a plastic bag, or instead of buying prepacked fruit.

P – Personal care. There are so many plastic free alternatives for personal care these days. Try Natracare or Organyc for plastic free single use tampons and pads. Or go with some Hannahpads, a Lunette menstrual cup or Modibodi period undies.

Q – Quinces. My neighbours have a quince tree, and they don’t cook them up, but I do. And then I go all old school and share them around as poached fruit, jam and jelly. And of course I store them all in my saved jam jars. Delish!

R – Refuse, reuse, reduce, rot and then finally – recycle.

SStraws, shampoo bars, shopping bags. Plastic straws are a scourge. Go with stainless steel, bamboo or even paper. Shampoo bars are my new love – no plastic, they last forever and my hair loves them! Shopping bags – I won’t let anyone leave the house without a shopping bag.

TToothbrushes. There are so many biodegradable toothbrushes on the market now that there’s just no excuse for using a plastic one.

U –   Um – umbrella? Okay, so now we’re at the tricky part of the alphabet. But my point here is to buy good quality things that will last, rather than buying throwaway items. I bought a windproof umbrella years ago, and I still have it (thanks to my name in permanent marker on it!)

V – Volume. Buy in bulk and save on packaging. Although I have to admit that it did take us a while to get through 15kgs of porridge oats, it was totally worth it. And I do love porridge!

WWaterbottles and Wipes. Don’t buy water. Just don’t. And for wipes – get biodegradable ones, because the non biodegradable ones are made from plastic cloth. Or better still, make your own wipes.

X – X Ray Fish. Okay, so this has absolutely nothing to do with anything but my children had an A to Z caterpillar train that had animals for each letter. Much to my amusement, X was an X Ray Fish. Never caught one of these myself, but who knows? Or you could have X for Xylophone – sustainable toys that can be handed down for generations.

Y – Yo Yo bags. Otherwise known as boomerang bags. My local farmers market always has a stash of bags that you can borrow or you can hand in.

Z – Zzzz. Because you’ll sleep with a clear conscience if you can manage even a few of these …

Like this? Why not Pin it?

Main Image Credit: Deposit Photos

17 Tips for Plastic Free July

tips for plastic free july

tips for plastic free july

It’s Plastic Free July and I’m inviting you to join the challenge.

The challenge is simple… refuse single-use plastic in July.

It may seem daunting, but there are lots of little steps that you can take to reduce your use of single use plastic. Here’s 17 ideas to get you started:

1. Say no to teabags. Did you know that most teabags have plastic in them to stop the bag ripping when it’s dunked in hot water? Go with looseleaf tea instead. As a bonus, you’ll get a better cuppa. Loose leaf tea uses better quality leaves than the powdery stuff that gets shoved into tea bags.

2. Choose reusable coffee cups. Take your cup with you when you get a takeaway. You can do this with takeaway containers, too. Getting noodles for dinner? Take your own container rather than getting a throwaway plastic one.

3. Skip the packaging at the fruit and veggie shop. Instead of buying bags of prepacked apples, buy them loose and reuse produce bags. If you’re the handy type, you could make your own produce bags. If you’re not, check out Onya’s reusable produce bags.

plastic free july banner
Image Source: Plastic Free July

4. Buy in bulk and freeze. I love chickpeas and I buy them in bulk. I do a batch in the pressure cooker then freeze them in portion sizes in old jam jars. I make soup and freeze them in jam jars or mason jars. I even make and freeze stock in jam jars. Even though I work full time, I still make time to do this kind of stuff. In the end, it saves time because I shop less, and I can grab stuff from the freezer when I need it.

5. Skip the straw. Each year, Australians discard millions of plastic straws.  As The Last Straw suggests, sip, don’t suck. If you must suck, try a reusable glass straw or stainless steel straw instead.

6. Take a water bottle with you! My kids know that I hate buying water. Hate it so much that I make them go into the toilets and drink out of a tap (not the toilet!) instead of buying bottled water. We’ve got water bottles floating around everywhere at our place – bedside tables (so the cat doesn’t knock over water glasses in the night), in the car, in schoolbags.

7. Use a wooden comb. I’ve had a bamboo one for years. It’s lightweight, and easy to carry, plus it’s gentle on my hair.

8. Aim for no waste lunches. Use stainless steel containers, glass containers, even reusable safe plastic lunchboxes. That may not sound like Plastic Free July, but the idea is to refuse single use plastic (because we get that kids are kids!). And reusable plastic is so much  better than plastic baggies or glad wrap.

9. Say no to snacks. Individually wrapped ones, at least. Why not learn to make some of the snacks that you buy individually wrapped? Think muesli bars and mini cupcakes. Send kids to school with yoghurt that you’ve bought in bulk and put into reusable containers. Say no to individually wrapped cheese portions and cut them squares off a bigger block. Buy potato chips in big bags and pop them into a smaller container for kids. You’ll save money by buying in bulk, too!

Infused Fruit Waters
Image Source: DepositPhoto

10. Don’t buy juice! Rather than buying popper style juices, get them a refillable bottle instead. Or squeeze your own juice. Or even better, go with water instead. Or you could even try infused fruit waters, which taste great but don’t have all the sugar of juices. And before you scoff, and tell me that your kids would never go for that, let me tell you that I serve fruit water at kids parties and they’re always a huge hit!

11. Take a bag. Grab some reusable bags to go shopping with (preferably not the ‘green bag’ style ones that you get in the supermarkets as these are actually made with plastic). Try something like the Envirosax, which I’ve had for years and still use and love.

12. Use a razor with disposable blades, rather than a disposable razor.

13. If you surf, think about using a bamboo surf wax comb. When you lose your plastic one, it immediately becomes part of the ocean’s plastic waste problem, but if you lose a bamboo one – no impact, dude.

14. Go eco with your dental care. Choose a biodegradable toothbrush, like the ones from Pearlbar or Go Bamboo. You can even choose biodegradable dental floss and floss picks.

15. Think about using cloth nappies and training pants, even if only part time. Nappies, even eco disposables, contain plastic and there’s not yet a fully biodegradable nappy.

16. Buy cleaning products in boxes, not bottles. Using a laundry powder, you can choose ones that come in a cardboard box, that is more easily recycled. Whereas if you use liquid, it comes in a bottle.

17. You can also think about buying cleaning products in bulk and refilling containers you already have. Or choose cleaning products that have concentrated versions that use less packaging. Check out Melbourne brand, Resparkle, with their unique refill pod system.

What are your ideas on how to go plastic free? Comment below and share your best tips with me!