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How to use less plastic around the house

The issue of plastic waste and the detrimental impact it’s having on the world’s oceans has been making headlines all over the world in recent months. As a result, many individuals and businesses are vowing to go plastic-free, or at least reduce their plastic consumption and find more environmentally-friendly products. If you’re looking to cut down your plastic usage, here are 6 easy ways to use less plastic at home!

1. Switch your shampoo bottles for bars

Every bathroom tends to be full of plastic products and while it may seem hard to avoid, there is an increasing number of alternatives out there, guaranteed to keep you squeaky clean and smelling great, whilst being kind to the planet as well. They’re not always easy to find on the high street, but Lush has a wide range of shampoo and conditioning bars to choose from, to suit all different hair types- and they smell amazing!

2. Reuse packaging and ditch the cling film

Stop wrapping your leftovers in cling film and instead use empty plastic or glass containers. Ice-cream tubs, yoghurt pots, mason and jam jars are all excellent for storing food in the fridge, reducing food waste, keeping it fresh for longer and even saving you the money you would have spent on cling film or Tupperware!

 3. Stop using plastic cotton buds

This one’s pretty simple, plastic cotton buds are terrible for the environment, often wrongly flushed down toilets and washing up on beaches all over the globe, having a catastrophic effect on marine life. If you need to clean your ears there are many non-plastic cotton buds available, with Tesco and Sainsbury’s have already switched to paper stemmed buds.

4. Put down the disposable razors

Although they’re cheap, they’re also non-recyclable. Invest in a metal safety razor, if taken care of they’ll last a lifetime. Priced at around £20-30, they will ultimately save you money as well! Edwin Jagger sells them for £27, in a range of colours to choose from.

5. Make your own cleaning products or buy plastic-free ones

When washing clothes, opt for washing powder as it often comes in a recyclable cardboard box, unlike liquids and tablets contained in plastic bottles and wrappers.

For the house, products such as white vinegar, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder are great for cleaning bathrooms and kitchens. Using these ingredients is not only better for the planet but better for your health as well, with no harmful or toxic chemicals.

For an all-purpose cleaner, mix 1 cup of warm water with 1 cup of white vinegar in a spray bottle or container, adding a few drops of essential oil if you’re feeling adventurous.

Alternatively, bicarbonate of soda can be sprinkled straight onto a grimy sink or bath and scrubbed in with a damp sponge or cloth- tip a bit down the plughole alongside some boiling water and leave for 2 hours to unclog drains!

6. Switch tea bags for loose leaf tea

Not many people are aware that tea bags contain plastic, but unfortunately, a large majority of the top brands sold in supermarkets do (avoid buying Tetley, PG Tips, Yorkshire Tea and Clipper). While Twining’s ‘loose leaf’ pyramid bags, Aldi’s Specially Selected range and Waitrose’s Duchy range of teas ARE plastic free, they may set you back a bit more. If you’re keen to enjoy a plastic-free and affordable brew opt for loose leaf teas, there’s a range of flavours and brands available in most supermarkets! Treat yourself to this gorgeous tea infuser mug from Urban Outfitters and you’re good to go!

Literature student, feminist, aspiring journalist.
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