I must admit from the offset, a lot of the time we certainly aren’t the most eco-friendly family, which is really disappointing. Today’s busy lifestyle makes it easy to forget about the environment and take the easy options rather than the eco-friendly ones. However, recently I have been thinking more about small ways in which we can start to work towards a more eco-friendly way of living and reducing our single-use plastic usage is one of these. After all, as the old Chinese proverb says, “It is better to take small steps in the right direction rather than take a great leap forward only to stumble backward.” With this in mind, here are 10 ideas for families to encourage small steps towards plastic-free living.
How to Reduce Plastic in the Bathroom
Dentists suggest replacing our toothbrushes every 3 months. So in an average 4 person family that’s 16 plastic toothbrushes being thrown into the bin and sent to landfill every year. It doesn’t sound like much, but if every household is throwing away 16 plastic toothbrushes per year the total amount of non-biodegradable plastic toothbrushes being sent to landfill will soon add up! Plastic toothbrushes are actually one of the leading causes of plastic waste.
These colourful and stylish Bamboo toothbrushes can be bought from Wearth London and have Moso bamboo handles & BPA-free Dupont nylon bristles. This pack of 4 costs £18 and 10p of each sale is donated to conservation efforts promoting sustainability & habitat restoration.
Shampoo Bars are the perfect plastic free, zero-waste alternative to bottled shampoo. These 2-in-1, shampoo and conditioner bars from Soul and Soap are handmade, suitable for vegetarians and not tested on animals. They’re enriched with Cacao butter and honey extract and come in a variety of luscious scents, such as Passionfruit, Floral Freesia and Fresh Lemongrass. Such a simple way to help the environment with no effort at all! You can get yours from Etsy for £5.99.
Planet Friendly Safety Razors
Initially, these are quite expensive, costing £40 from noteworthy.style but the bronze razor is designed to last a lifetime and replacement blades are a fraction of the cost vs. cartridges. The razor and blades are plastic free, the blades are recyclable and the packaging of both blades and razor are recyclable too. They are designed to reduce irritation and to give a close and clean shave whilst reducing the occurrence of in-grown hairs. And, they look really stylish as well!
How to Reduce Plastic in the Playroom
Natural Play Dough Set
This Squidge and Squish Natural Play Dough Set from Wearth London is packaged in a plastic-free metal tin and made from totally natural ingredients. It costs £11.99 for a pack of 4. Alternatively, you can make your own play dough! Check out my favourite homemade play dough recipe here.
Retro Wooden Chess Set
My children would adore this lovely Retro Chess Set from French toy maker Vilac, which can be bought from Retro Kids for £25. Each set includes 32 wooden chess pieces, a wooden play board, a fabric bag for easy storage and comes in a beautiful cardboard box.
Wooden Car Garage Set
Also from Retro Kids is this Vilac Wooden Car Toy Garage Set. My son had something similar when he was younger and it was much-loved and one of his absolute favourite toys! This one costs £85 but is a great investment, and comes with 3 Vehicles (2 cars & a helicopter) and a multitude of moving parts: a lift, a ramp, a helipad, a car wash and sliding doors. It looks fabulous!
How to Reduce Plastic in the Kitchen
An easy way to reduce plastic usage in the kitchen is to stop using clingfilm. These Harris Hall Beeswax Wraps (£20 from Urban Makers) are made with GOTS certified organic cotton panama infused with pine resin, jojoba oil and beeswax and are the perfect alternative. The multipack contains 3 wraps of different sizes and all you do is wrap the wrap around the bowl or item you want covering and then hold it tight for a few seconds, just enough to slightly soften the wax so that it sticks. They will last for up to a year and are 100% biodegradable.
Harry Potter Eco Mug
Anything Harry Potter related is a definite hit in this household so this travel mug, £9.99 from Yes I Want It would definitely go down well here! BPA free and made from eco-friendly rice husk, it is double walled to keep cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot and has a foam base to stop it from falling over. Perfect for taking out of the house, or using at home too.
Natural Elements Eco-Friendly Food & Freezer Bags
Another way to easily reduce plastic usage in the kitchen is to stop buying plastic bags. These Natural Elements eco-friendly food bags from Kitchen Craft are 100% compostable so are a great alternative to using plastic bags, cling film, foil or even plastic storage containers. And they can be used in the freezer too, which helps you to reduce waste food by storing leftovers to be re-used another day.
Unsponge – Plastic Free Sponge
You can say good-bye to microplastics with this sponge: hand made with cotton or hessian and stuffed with cotton toweling and scraps of cotton for the ultimate eco friendly and recycled make. Simply wash in the washing machine after a few days and then re-use. Sold by Earth Kind at Kraft Space for £5.
Do you have any tips for simple plastic-free living for families? Please feel free to comment below!
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