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Plastic Free July is the perfect time to cut out single-use plastics and create some eco-friendly habits around the house. If you haven’t already, check out our Plastic Free July Toolkit for some interesting facts about plastic pollution, plus some handy tips to reduce your overall plastic waste.
We hear a lot about single-use water bottles and takeaway coffee cups and why we should swap to reusables – but what about the waste we produce at home on a daily basis? Some of the things we use fly completely under the radar, from cleaning utensils in the kitchen to the multitude of products we use in the bathroom.
If you’d like some tips to cut back on waste around the home, keep on reading!
In The Kitchen
Plastic is everywhere in our kitchens: cling wrap, disposable sponges, cleaning products… It may seem like a daunting task to replace all these items with eco-friendly options, but it’s better in the long run for your home and the environment.
1. Swap plastic food storage options for reusable vegan wraps, food covers, or food bags.
Think you need plastic to store food or keep it fresh? Nope! At Flora & Fauna we have some fantastic food storage optionsthat won’t cost the earth.
For a cling wrap replacement, try the Agreena 3 in 1 Eco Kitchen Wrap. It can be used as a direct substitute for cling wrap or aluminium foil, and it can even be used as baking paper!
Try the Wrappa Vegan Organic Cotton Wraps, that are made with organic cotton and plant waxes - they are a perfect way to get rid of disposable food wrapping in your home, and great for wrapping up sandwiches, snacks and leftovers.
These Charles Viancin Lid's are reusable silicone food covers that can be used in the microwave, oven, and fridge, and come in beautiful floral designs.
2. Go plastic free to wash your dishes.
Washing dishes is a big one, it's not something we can avoid, but there are some great low waste, compostable options available.
Switching your washing up liquid to a dish bar soap, like this Dish & Laundry Soap from the Australian Natural Soap Company, is a great way to cut the waste and it doubles up as a laundry soap too.
For greasy pots and pans, try the Safix Biodegradable Scrub Pad. Made from natural coconut fibers, it removes stubborn baked-on grease, lasts several months, and is compostable at the end of its lifecycle.
Can't live without a dishwasher? These Ecostore Dishwasher Tablets are an easy way to ditch the plastic, and they provide powerful stain removal whilst preventing spots, streaking and build up of limescale in your dishwasher.
Eco Max Brushes are environmentally-friendly, biodegradable and entirely handmade. Made from natural fibers, like sisal and coconut, they are a great replacement for plastic scrubbing brushes and cloths. Plus, pop them into your compost bin at the end of their life cycle where they will breakdown naturally, leaving only a small piece of wire to recycle.
We're a big fan of essential oils, they're great for relaxing and diffusing, but did you know you can also make cleaning products with them? Eco Modern Essentials show you how in this handy blog. You can buy the oils here.
3. Reduce your rubbish and ditch the plastic bin bags.
Composting is a great way to minimise the rubbish you throw out and to help cut down bin bag usage. We love the Urban Composter, which is easy to use, there is no smell, and it provides your plants with a liquid nutrient feed whilst it's breaking down your food. We have a Beginner’s Guide to Composting for more tips and advice.
There will always be a small bit of rubbish, but instead of a plastic bin bag, why not consider lining the bin with a few sheets of newspaper or using a BioBag Compostable Bin Liner.
4. Can't live without your morning coffee?
Nope, neither can we. But before you go buying more capsules, why not try a reusable coffee pod. We have suitable pods for both Aldi and Nespresso machines, so all you need to do is pick up your favourite blend from your local coffee shop, and enjoy barista style coffee every day of the week - guilt and waste free.
In The Bathroom
1. Brush with Bamboo
The Flora & Fauna Bamboo Brush is biodegradable and made with MOSO sustainable bamboo. No more plastic brushes going into landfill!
Love to floss? This plant-based dental floss from Dr Tungs is great to freshen breath and remove plaque.
2. Swap your disposable razor for a safety razor
Think about how many disposable plastic razors you throw out per month. One? Two? By purchasing a Parker Safety Razor, the only thing you need to replace is the blades.
3. Swap your plastic bottles for bars
This tip is cost-effective and environmentally friendly. Buying bathroom items in bar form reduces the number of plastic bottles you dispose of, plus they’re great for travel and they’re incredibly concentrated – meaning each bar will last longer!
Amor Luminis have a wonderful range of shampoo and conditioner bars for all hair types, and they last 40-48 washes.
Goodbye plastic microbeads, hello bar! This Gingersnap Bar from Ethique gives a really good scrub and leaves behind a light layer of moisture.
Dr Bronner's Bar Soap is so versatile, you can use as a hand, face and body wash. Made with hemp oil which is super nourishing, so it won't dry out your skin.
4. Free your hair from plastic
Look after your tresses with these gorgeous brushes and combs from Bass Brushes. Made from sustainable bamboo, they can be used on wet or dry hair.
No time to wash? Big fan of dry shampoo after the gym? Fear not, Black Chicken has delivered the goods with this gorgeous Dry Shampoo which comes in recyclable cardboard packaging.
These organic cotton and rubber hair ties, are the only plastic-free hair ties in the world.
In The Laundry
1. Wash plastic free
Soapberries are the natural alternative to traditional laundry detergents and fabric softeners. They are easy to use, reusable and sustainable. A 1kg bag can last for over 365 washes, so not only do you save money long term, but that's a lot of traditional washing detergent plastic bottles saved from landfill.
This Stain Remover Bar from Ethique is great for spot stain removal, and handwashing delicates.
The White Magic Laundry Bag is a step towards reducing microfibre pollution. It works by capturing microfibres off your clothes whilst you wash. Microfibres are tiny synthetic textiles, barely visible to the naked eye. During the wash cycle, they make their way from washing machines into rivers and oceans, and once in the environment, they are consumed by aquatic organisms working their way up the food chain.
2. Dry plastic free
These Wire Pegs are an eco-friendly alternative to plastic clothes pegs that are durable and last!
Reducing Plastic with Babies and Children
Are you a parent looking to make more eco-friendly purchases for your child? Read on...
1. Nappies, nappies and more nappies.
The average child will go through 5,000-10,000 nappies before they are toilet trained – try swapping to reusable cloth nappies or incorporating them into your routine. The EcoNaps nappies are completely adjustable and will continue to fit your child as they grow.
2. Plastic-free bub
These Natural Rubber Soothers & Teethers are free from BPA, parabens, and phthalates. They are one of the safest and most hygienic dummies on the market. being made out of one piece of natural rubber.
The Dr Bronner Baby Bar Soap is super gentle for sensitive and baby skin, with added hemp oil to leave skin soft and smooth. What's great is they come in completely plastic-free packaging.
This beautiful vapour rub from Simple As That comes packaged in a glass jar and is free of petroleum and other nasties and full of nourishing ingredients designed to help ease congestion, stuffiness, inflammation and improve breathing for your baby.
Crayons! The perfect plastic-free play for your child to get creative. These Eco Crayons are 100% plant-based, so if they happen to make their way into little mouths they are completely safe.
The Gorgeous books from May Gibbs are robust enough for kids to handle, with beautiful illustrations, they will be treasured for years.
What baby doesn't love a cherished teddy bear? We love these Ethical Toys from Pebble - they are a great way to support families in rural Bangladesh, where they are handmade, and your baby will just love them!
4. Winner, winner, plastic-free dinner!
We love these Silicone Straws from Little Mashies are perfect for toddlers and young children, and remove the need for single-use plastic straws.
The Bambu mealtime sets from BBBYO make mealtimes fun, whilst being BPA free, food safe and biodegradable.
Remember... Refuse, Reuse, Reduce and Recycle
During Plastic Free July, make a conscious effort to reduce what you buy, reuse what you have, and recycle correctly to minimise waste in landfill! You can even download our handy guide and poster to pop up on the fridge as a reminder for the whole family.
Before you make a purchase, ask yourself three simple questions:
Do I actually need this?
Is there an option with less plastic packaging?
Is there an alternative made from recycled materials?
Do you have any other tips for reducing plastic in the home? Let us know down in the comments!