Last post we talked all about Plastic-Free July and how you can join the party. But, we decided to take it even further - make it even easier!
We picked out 31 of the most common plastic items that you use in day to day life and compiled a "This for That" list.
31 plastic-free swaps, 31 days in July - coincidence? Absolutely not! Each day presents a new challenge for you to tackle.
By the end of the month, you'll be rocking a set of plastic-free habits that will carry you throughout the year. So, what are you waiting for - let's get started!
Instead of a plastic toothbrush, switch to a bamboo toothbrush! A lot of bamboo is held together with formaldehyde glue, but Brush with Bamboo is my pick because they're certified organic.
Most floss doesn't just come packaged in plastic, it is plastic! It's also coated with Perfluorochemicals (PFCs) the same non-stick coating found on teflon pans. Yuck! Switch to a natural floss like silk, and you can pick some up in a glass container too.
3. Cotton Swabs:
Did you know that most cotton swabs are joined by a plastic stick? Instead, try to go without using a cotton swab at all or opt for the cotton swabs with a paper stick - they're compostable!
Did you know that there's a plant called loofah? The plastic loofahs are inspired from the plant version which is totally compostable! So, instead of a plastic loofah, opt for a plant-based one.
5. Menstrual Products:
A lot of menstrual products are made of plastic. Did you know the average menstrual pad contains 4 plastic bags worth of plastic!?!?
Instead, opt for organic cotton tampons which can be composted or switch to reusables like reusable period panties and menstrual cups.
Check out this post for more information on zero waste periods.
Are you ready to say goodbye to your pink plastic razors? Good! Because this swap is going to save you a ton of money and give you an even closer shave. Pick up a stainless steel safety razor and it will last you a lifetime.
7. Toilet Paper:
Most toilet paper comes wrapped in plastic. Instead, opt for paper-wrapped TP! You can find this at an office supply store or online from an eco company like Who Gives a Crap.
Instead of using liquid soap bring it back to basics and opt for a bar of soap. Bars of soap tend to come naked or wrapped in paper which can be composted or recycled. My Pick!
Did you know you can buy shampoo concentrated into bars? You can buy them naked at LUSH. You can also get shampoo refilled at your local bulk store or you can buy refillable shampoo in the US from Plaine Products.
When you're out, just ask for "No Straw," with your drink order. If you like straws or need them opt for a reusable. They make stainless, bamboo, silicone, and glass. My Pick!
Remember to bring your bags not only to the grocery store but to every store. I find that keeping a bag or two attached to your keychain is perfect for all of those last-minute situations. My Pick!
12. Produce Bags:
Don't forget about produce bags too. A lot of produce doesn't even need a bag, you can just put it naked in your cart. My Pick!
13: Water Bottles:
Phone, Wallet, WATER, Keys. Got it!?
I always leave the house with a full water bottle. If you love the convenience of bottled water buy several reusable bottles and keep them full of filtered water in the fridge so you can just grab and go.
My favorite type of bottles are double insulated so they can double for hot drinks. My Pick!
14. Coffee Cups:
Did you know that coffee cups are lined with plastic? If you have your double insulated water bottle on you, you can grab coffee while you're out. Just ask them to make it in your bottle.
If you forgot your bottle, you can always ask for a real cup at the cafe and drink it in. My Pick!
15. Plastic Cutlery:
Instead of plastic cutlery, opt for reusable cutlery. There are cute packs that are perfect for a takeout meal, but you can always roll your regular silverware in a cloth napkin and take it with you. (That's what I do!)
16. Takeout Containers:
Instead of grabbing a disposable take out container, why not bring a reusable container with you. If you bring your own thermos for coffee, why not bring your own plate or tiffin for take-out?
It's much easier than it sounds. Check out this video proving how easy it is.
17. Plastic Wrap:
Want to phase out plastic wrap? There are a bunch of simple solutions! Beeswrap is one of my favorite plastic wrap alternatives.
It lasts for a couple of years, and once it wears out you can compost it!
18. Plastic Baggies:
Packing a lunch can be tricky. Instead of using plastic baggies for your sandwich and snacks, why not put them directly into a metal lunch box like this or opt for a reusable silicone sandwich bag.
Instead of gross kitchen sponges opt for bamboo scrub brushes. They're compostable at the end of their life and last for years!
They make reusable k-cups or you can also brew coffee in a non-trashy way like pour-over, drip, and lots of espresso machines are zero waste too.
21. Water Filters:
Instead of a plastic water filter like a Brita, you can use a glass carafe and filter your water with charcoal sticks. These Kishu sticks come plastic-free.
22. Teflon Pans:
Instead of using Teflon pans which can flake apart quickly and are toxic opt for cast iron. As a bonus, it lasts forever.
23. Plastic Spoons and Spatulas:
Instead of plastic cooking ware opt for wooden or stainless. These items last a lot longer than their plastic counterparts and you don't have to worry about them melting under high heat.
Try making your own nut milk! Nuts are pretty easy to find in bulk bins so you can whip up a quick batch of plastic-free, non-dairy milk. My favorite nut milk is cashew because it take about 30 seconds, requires no straining, and costs about $1. Here's a video.
25. Tea Bags:
Did you know that most tea bags are plastic!?? EEK! Instead, opt for a cup of loose leaf tea. You can use a tea strainer or a french press my personal favorite method. My favorite sustainable tea brand is Arbor Teas they ship loose leaf tea in backyard compostable packaging. Drink up!
In true zero waste style, I don't recommend throwing your plastic tupperware out, but you might want to downgrade it for health reasons. Instead of using it for you food, use it to hold other things like bobby pins, knick knack, buttons, etc.
Instead opt for glass containers like snapware or mason jars.
27. Synthetic Clothing:
Did you know that a lot of our clothes are made from polyester - which is plastic!? Synthetic clothes like polyester, fleece, spandex, acrylic, etc shed micro-plastic particles in the wash which make their way out to the ocean.
Grab a guppy friend washing bag to prevent micro-plastic pieces from making their way out to the ocean and opt for natural fibers like cotton, wool, silk, hemp, bamboo, tencel, and viscose when shopping.
28. Cleaning Products:
It is so easy to make your own cleaning products. You can ditch the toxins and the plastic by mixing your own up.
Did you know that you can buy spray bottles tops and screw them onto upcycled sauce bottles like soy sauce and buffalo sauce?
29. Phone Case:
You didn't think we were going through this whole list without mentioning phone cases right now?
You can make that simple switch with us! My favorite cases are the turtle ones.
Instead of plastic ball point pens opt for a fountain pen. You can buy ink in a glass bottle so you can refill your pens. Once you're through the ink you can recycle the glass bottle!
Plus these pens last forever!!
31. Air Purifier:
Instead of a plastic air purifier, opt for some natural greenery! House plants are great for purifying the air and they add a nice touch of greenery.