You know that plastic and waste is a problem and something needs to be done to slow down its impact.
But what can you do and where do you start?
The answer is to be waste-free, and you can find simple steps right here.
My name is Laura and I am an avid nature lover who believes in looking after our planet by changing things we do in everyday life. I’ve been practising this for many years and I’d love to share what I’ve learnt with you.
I grew up in a busy family with lots going on, now I live abroad while trying to set-up my own business. I know that it can sometimes be really hard to get around to changing any aspect of daily life without it feeling overwhelming.
Let me assure you – the steps below are easy and can be done at your own pace. Just take it one step at a time!
This is based on my personal waste-free kit which I have built over the last 5 years. I hope it helps you find plastic and waste-free alternatives that work for you. Just so you know, I get commissions for purchases made through some of the links in this post.
Honestly, what could be easier? These are widely sold by different retailers and can usually be found next to the check-out at supermarkets. This particular one was given to me free at a festival in 2012! It’s been all around the world with me and is my go-to choice for trips to town, the beach, to work, and also as an extra carry on bag on planes. As you can see, it has enough space for all my other waste-free items too.
While one bag can have multiple purposes, I would recommend getting a few different sizes. I usually carry another easily collapsible bag inside this one just incase I end up doing some unplanned shopping. You can find some great designs on the high street and online.
Bonus tip: Why not keep a small collection of bags where you can see them and where you’re most likely to need them? I always keep one in the boot of my bike. You could keep some in your car, by the front door or in a coat pocket.
The next easy solution to being more waste-free is to get yourself a reusable bottle. In the UK it’s super easy to refill from the tap, but when traveling this is not always possible since tap water is not well-filtered in all countries. Bottled water is therefore very difficult to resist.
Bring a reusable bottle when you travel, and where possible fill it up from the drinking water facilities in your hotel, hostel or resort (good news, their water containers usually get reused or recycled!).
Bonus Travel Tip: Look out for the Trash Hero logo! By bringing your own Trash Hero bottle you can get free refills of drinking water from any business that’s part of this awesome scheme. Check out their website to see if there’s a Trash Hero set-up near your travel destination.
Tupperware Food Box
I’ve only had this item for a month and it’s been great. It’s perfect for pack lunches and a good size for takeaways too. Just ask them to pop the food in the container! Ditch the plastic food bags, say no to polystyrene and switch to something reusable.
I invested in mine after trying them out at a local vegetarian cafe called Happy Veggie. This small business has strong ethics and does all it can to reduce waste and environmental impact. Metal straws, I found, improve the drinking experience by keeping the liquid extra chilled as it travels up the straw. Happy Veggie also sells them (along with a handy cleaner), so I had no trouble in deciding where to buy them. You can find similar styles of straw here.
I will admit that buying a metal straw is just step 1. The real challenge is to get into the habit of asking for no straw as this is often put in the drink automatically. Get your straw out as soon as you can and show it to the waiter or waitress! This will make it less confusing and help you remember to use it.
One of my absolute favourite purchases! Once you own a few of these you will wonder why on earth they went out of fashion. Easy to clean, softer to use, much nicer that tissue which usually breaks up and irritates the nose even more. Plus you’ll feel so classy!
Again, this one is so easy. Plastic-free toothbrushes are literally no different to your average toothbrush, except they won’t have a negative impact when you eventually have to throw them away. They come in all kinds of materials from bamboo to wheat and have some really cool designs. Where possible avoid purchasing ones that come wrapped in plastic packaging – it sort of defeats the point!
Bars not Bottles
You can smell good without any unnecessary waste! For this Lush is my absolute go to. If you have it in a bottle, they’ll probably have it in a bar (or powder) not dis-similar in looks to a bar of soap. I switched at the end of last year. 7 months on I haven’t looked back. They smell AMAZING, work wonders and are so easy to travel with.
one less liquid to worry about when you pack your bags!
Bonus Travel Tip: Using bars instead of bottles also means
Just to make it clear how long these products last, I’ve been using the same deodorant bar for 7 months, with at least 3 months of use left and it still smells great! I’ve had my Soak and Float shampoo bar for just as long and still have half left! Once that’s done I’ve already got my next bar lined up: the limited edition SOS bar, only sold in Asia. I couldn’t resist this shampoo since all profits went to the Sumatran Orangutan Society.
The final Item on this list is a game-changer. Life-changer even! MoonCups are simply silicon cups that can be used during the menstrual cycle in place of single use tampons or sanitary towels. They are chemical-free, good for your body, and with proper care you will probably only need one for the rest of your life.
The first time I used mine it was a little daunting, but I got used to it in no time. I highly recommend you check out the YouTuber Precious Star Pads if you want to learn more. She helped me a lot when I first got mine and has so much advice on everything from insertion to cleaning.
Reusable items won’t just save the environment, they will save you money!
Buying just one 50p bottle of water a day adds up to £183 per year. Meanwhile, a good reusable bottle can be bought for £10 or less! I can’t even do the maths on how much a lifetime’s worth of sanitary products would cos. It’s a real win-win situation.
So there we have it – a simple, waste-free kit you can use at home or while travelling!
Which of these ideas will you be trying? I’d love to know!