At Thought, we’re passionate about helping our community to find ways to care for the environment. After all, we believe that it’s the small changes that add up to make a big difference. Plastic Free July® is a global movement that encourages millions of people to be part of the solution to plastic pollution. Here, we round up five ideas for reducing your use of plastic this month… and beyond!
Upgrade your beauty routine
From toothpaste tubes to your favourite moisturiser, most bathrooms are home to too much single use plastic. One way to dramatically reduce plastic waste is to swap your liquid shower gels, soaps, shampoos and conditioners for bar alternatives. An added bonus? These versions will last for much longer too. Also look out for bamboo toothbrushes and toilet paper that doesn’t come wrapped in plastic – we like Who Gives a Crap.
Create a kinder kitchen
Another place plastic is rife is in the kitchen. Consider shopping at local farmers’ markets and bakeries for your weekly essentials, where fruit, vegetables and bread are less likely to be wrapped in plastic. Bulk buying grains, flours and seeds at a health food shop and storing them in glass Kilner jars is also a great tip. Over time you may find yourself needing to replace plastic Tupperware or utensils, so opt for wooden or glass versions when you do.
Shop for clothes consciously
If you’re shopping for new clothes online, look to retailers who use recyclable, plastic-free packaging before you hit the checkout button. When it comes to storing dresses and shirts, choose wooden hangers. In terms of laundering, did you know that many items of clothing contain microplastics that can leak into the water system through your washing machine? Using a washing bag can reduce the amount of microfibres that enter our rivers and oceans.
Break up with takeaways
Your takeaway habit might seem convenient, but have you considered the impact it’s having on the environment? Most of the time food ordered from local restaurants will arrive in packaging that contains plastic. Cooking from scratch is not only better for your health, but it’s better for the planet too. Also get into the habit of carrying a reusable water bottle and coffee cup with you when you’re out and about to avoid falling into the trap of buying single use versions.
Clean up your act
Many of us stock up on cleaning products from the local supermarket every few months without giving it a second thought. From washing up liquid to window cleaner, almost all of these products come in single-use plastic bottles. Find a local zero-waste store where you can refill your empties with detergent and all-purpose cleaners. Alternatively, reassess your regime by researching recipes for natural cleansers – lemon juice and apple cider vinegar concoctions can both work wonders.
5 books to help you go plastic-free
Looking for more ways to reduce your plastic consumption? Here are five of our must-read books to help you to live more sustainably.
A look at the worrying impact of plastic on our environment, with positive solutions for making a difference.
Simple and effective tips for reducing your plastic usage on a daily basis. Covering everything from shopping habits to mealtimes.
From the founder of Plastic Free July, this book looks at how ordinary people have taken action within their homes, communities, businesses and beyond.
This handy resource offers more than 100 easy swaps for home, travel, dining, holidays and more. It’s easy, accessible and digestible.
Kate Nelson has lived without disposable plastic for more than a decade. Adopt some of her strategies with this inspiring guide.