In today’s world plastic is everywhere. Whether you order a package online, go grocery shopping, or go to a party, the chance of you using plastic is extremely high. It has become such a common material in our lives that we cannot imagine our lives without it. However, there is a way to make small adjustments to lower plastic use without missing out on any of the activities you are used to. We have come up with 10 tips that will make it easier for you to transition to a plastic-free life!
1. Say “no” to coffee “to go” single use cups
We recommend leaving your home five minutes earlier to be able to simply enjoy coffee at your favourite café. These 5 minutes of peace with a cup of freshly brewed coffee will also give you time to plan out your day and prepare for the day ahead. And if you are in a hurry, you can always ask the barista to pour coffee into your thermo mug. This way your coffee wont spill when you run to work and you will also avoid unnecessary garbage. Not to mention that it will save you lots money in the long term since most cafés give discounts if you bring your own mug!
2. Switch from plastic bottles to a refillable stainless-steel bottle
It is now a well-known fact that plastic water bottles do not only harm the environment but can potentially harm you as well. In addition to plastic, bottles contain a lot of other unhealthy substances that dissolve into drinking water over time and can have negative effects on your health. A glass or a stainless-steel bottle is a great alternative that will provide you with cleaner water, save you money as you can always refill it with tap water, and it looks stylish too!
3. Switch single-use plastic cutlery to wooden cutlery
Plastic or wood? What happens with your plastic spoon when you stir a hot soup with it? Do you know when plastic starts to dissolve? Wooden single-single use cutlery is not only more reliable and environmentally-friendly but even has an antibacterial effect” It is therefore more hygienic that its plastic competition. If you can choose between single use wood or plastic products, go for wood to avoid melamine, microplastics, and formaldehyde in your food and protect the environment.
4. Use solid hair care & body care products
Liquid shampoos, soaps, and shower gels are an integral part of our bathrooms. The downside is that they all come in plastic dispensers. Eventually, this plastic ends up where it should not be and takes hundreds of years to break down. If you are used to liquid soap, we suggest switching to a refillable soap dispenser. However, most of them still contain plastic. Thus, the best option is the good old bar of soap that is great for the environment and washing your hands too. Same with hair care: just switch to plastic-free shampoo/conditioner bars to avoid using any plastic. FOAMIE products provide some great plastic-free shampoos and conditioners suitable for normal, dry, and damaged hair.
5. Buy milk and yogurt in a glass packaging
Did you know that almost every grocery store now offers at least one brand of milk and yogurt that comes in glass packaging? The next time you go grocery shopping try and look for it and you will be surprised to find just how many companies are now investing in plastic-free packaging. Before buying the product make sure that the glass is reusable and that the products are sourced regionally. In addition, so-called “milk filling stations” have been springing up in many places in rural areas for several years now, allowing people to fill in their glass bottles rather than buying a new one every time. And if you live in the city, a trip to a local farm can be a really exciting adventure for a whole family.
6. Buy fruits and veggies without packaging
Unfortunately, in most stores fruits and vegetable are pre-packaged in plastic or can only be sold if you put it in a plastic bag. The next time you visit a supermarket, pay close attention to the fruits and veggies department: you will be surprised by how much unnecessary plastic packaging is used. Choose plastic-free products instead and trust us when we say that almost all types of fruits and vegetables make it home unscathed without the small plastic bags that are available on the rolls beside the products.
7. Say “No” to plastic bags
Do you happen to be one of those people who have a bag at home where you collect other bags? Now be honest, how many of those have you used a second time? Third time? Of course, some of them can be used as garbage bags but the majority of them are left unused until you eventually throw them out. Switch out to a cotton fabric bag instead. They can easily fit your jacket pocket when folded and will not break if you put heavy products in them. In the long term, it will save you money and will help the environment too!
8. Avoid frozen meals
Frozen pizza, pre-cooked pasta, and many other dishes come in variations, but they have one thing in common – they are packaged in plastic. Frozen meals that are sold at grocery stores are most of the time full of sugar, fats, and artificial additives. If you are in a rush or do not feel like cooking today – go to café for something fresh or cook something easy and healthy. How does scrambled eggs with fresh herbs, salmon, and toasted avocado bread sound?
9. Pay attention to ingredients in cosmetic products
Liquid soaps, peels, shower gels, mascara, eyeshadow: microplastics are hidden in many of these products under various names. Smaller particles can be hidden behind names such as polyethylene (PE) or polyquaternium (PQ). Liquid synthetic polymers, i.e. substances that are difficult to degrade in the environment, can also be hidden in cosmetics. Switch for a solid soap instead. Hair care products are also available in solid form. Coffee grounds, sugar, and sea salt can be used for scrubs. Always remember to pay attention to the ingredients list when buying cosmetics.
10. Use plastic several times
If you cannot avoid using plastic – try to reuse it. Ice cream cans can be used excellently as lunch boxes, grocery shopping bags can be reused, bottles can be refilled and so on! On your journey to plastic-free living remember that every small adjustment makes a difference and it is okay to start small 😊