My quest for reducing the amount of single use plastics I use in my home, is slowly becoming part of my everyday life. I guess it is like any new skill, you just keep at it until it becomes a habit and feels the natural thing to do. I find this new way of doing things has impacted on what and how I buy products or food for the home. We have started to go to our local Sunday morning markets and I take re-usable cloth bags for any fresh produce. I also take jars to be refilled with honey and tea and I take the egg cartons back to the egg man. It is a slow process but I am really wanting to reduce our reliance on single use plastic in our lives.
I also have a monthly subscription to Mighty Nest, and I have received some fantastic ideas that lessen the amount of toxic household products from coming into our home. They encourage slow, small steps, making one change at a time, which I think is a great way for real change to occur. I now think about everything I use in the house, cook with, wrap or seal food in, and clean the house with. For everything you do, there is an alternative that is kinder to the planet.
I have been making household cleaners for a year now, making a home made alternative as I ran out of a bought cleaner, and I haven't missed any of them. I am sure by doing this I have saved money and stopped toxic products from coming into my home. I have also thought about our personal hygiene products as well and so far have replaced shampoo and conditioner, facial cleaner and moisturiser, makeup foundation, shave foam, toothpaste and plastic toothbrushes with fantastic alternatives that do an exceptional job.
There is still some items that I buy that are packaged in plastic and I happened upon this recycling program at my local supermarket that accepts plastics that some fresh produce and groceries are packaged in. It is still not ideal, but at least these types of plastics will not go to landfill to sit for hundreds of years, leaching toxins, making our earth even more sick. It's a balancing act, on one hand I want to be completely plastic free and on the other I still need to stick to a budget, what is the right thing to do?
I have watched these clips that Morag from "Our Permaculture Life" put up last week and boy, does it bring the message home that we are going to reap what we sow in a big bad way, we all need to change the way we do things if we have any hope of our childrens, children inheriting a functioning planet. I fear it may be too late.
So, with all this information in mind, this is my list of what I don't buy anymore and my alternative to for it.
Plastic wrap-I use beeswax wrap, both bought and home made ones to wrap food in. I also use a plate to cover a bowl in the fridge
Dish washing liquid-I purchased one of these, they are such a simple old fashioned idea and I just love it
Wash up sponges and pot scourers-for washing up I use these full circle cloths that I received from my Mighty Nest subscription. I love them, I have 5 of them, so as they need cleaning I just pop one in for a soak and I grab a clean one. I soak all my tea towels and cleaning clothes in a bucket with a solution of bicarb and vinegar before being washed on a long hot cycle in the washing machine. For the pot scourer I have just ordered some of these. Once the agave scrubber has had its day it can be composted
Plastic wrapped toilet paper and paper towels-I now order these kind of products from "Who gives a crap". I love that their products are not wrapped in plastic
Deodorant in plastic bottles-I make my own deodorant and keep it in a glass jar
Hand wash in plastic bottles-I just use a cake of soap at the basins. I buy a cake of soap without packaging
Shampoo and conditioner in plastic bottles and shave foam for lovely hubby-I now use Ethique products
Bliss Bar-Face Cleansing Bar
Tea bags-I buy my loose peppermint and liquorice tea at the markets and just bring along a glass jar for them to fill it
Plastic garbage bags-I have just ordered some of these to use for items that can't be recycled or composted
So, that is my list of what we don't buy anymore, I am sure my journey will continue and as I discover a better way of doing things, I will make it a part of my normal life. Over to you, what planet saving idea have you implemented into your everyday life?