Reducing The Use Of Plastics In Your Home

in , , by Tori Harrison, September 30, 2022


Since having a baby and spending a lot more time at home I have become very aware of the amount of waste we produce as a family. I noticed it within the first two weeks of having a new born baby as 
suddenly the bin was full within one week as opposed to taking a full two weeks, sometimes longer, to be full.

To help with offsetting the additional waste we have produced we are making a conscious effort to try and reduce our environmental impact. We are not perfect at this by any stretch of the imagination, but we are trying and I think that is such a positive step in the right direction. For example, we have stopped using the car as much for local trips and walk whenever we can. We also made the conscious decision to purchase an electric hybrid car when we upgraded to our family car (I previously had a Fiat 500, which would not fit a carseat yet alone a pram in it so I had no choice, but to purchase another car and we are planning on having this vehicle for many many years to come). I thought for today's post I would try and share some of the things I have been doing to try and reduce the use of plastics in our home!
Top tips for reducing plastics around the home: 

1. Swap to a shampoo bar

I have previously posted about the incredible Nut & Noggin shampoo bar and conditioner bars, because I love them. They have featured in previous gift guides and were the first brand that introduced me to plastic free shampoo. I a big fan of how soft my hair feels after using the shampoo bar and how long it lasts. My current one has lasted three months and is still going strong. With my previous shampoos I would be replacing them every month (I wash my hair twice every shower or bath). The little eco shop and Lush also do very good shampoo and conditioner bars.

They're completely plastic free and the wrapping is usually paper or recycled paper so nothing goes to landfill. From a little bit of research apparently a shampoo bar has 8% of the carbon footprint of one shampoo bottle. Which is crazy when you think about it! 

2. Get your coffee in a reusable cup and use a reusable water bottle 

I will openly admit that I am THE WORST person when it comes to using my reusable coffee cup and I do drink a LOT of coffee. Coffee cups are a huge plastic pollutant! I ordered a Pumpkin Spiced Frappuccino at the weekend, I guess it was the first time I was consciously thinking of my plastic usage, but I was slightly taken aback by the plastic from our cups. I am definitely making more of a conscious effort to take a reusable coffee cup out and about with me when I am getting my Pumpkin Spiced Latte fix. 

I don't tend to take water out and about with me as I am very rarely away from home for long periods of time these days (woohoo motherhood). But when I am back at work I will certainly be using a reusable water bottle instead of buying bottles of water. Great for the planet and much kinder for my purse!

I watched a video of random things people have picked out of canals and rivers and it was really common for plastic bottles and cups to be found. So I will certainly be making a bigger effort to use my reusable 

3. Bring shopping bags / tote bags with you to reduce plastic carrier bag use

We currently order our shopping online so I can keep a track of our costs and I do not get tempted by random items that I think could be nice as we are trying to stick to a stricter budget whilst I am on maternity leave. Therefore, as we do a click and collect I am very good at either not using shopping bags at all (I just load it all into my boot and unload once home) or when I do remember them, I pack them up at pop them in the boot. I also carry two reusable shopping bags under the pram so if I am out and about and grab something I can use those or if I ever forget them the bottom of a pram is surprisingly spacious for items. 

I feel this is one of the things I have been best at whilst trying to make us a more eco-friendly household.

4. Use plastic free cleaning supplies and eco-friendly cleaning products

I am a big fan of Zoflora, I have been since I moved out at 19, so I have always been quite good at reusing the same spray bottle. We recently started getting the OceanSaver Eco refills for our cleaning products and their range is great. You buy the spray bottle, which is made from recycled plastic, and get a tablet which you add water to and that becomes your cleaning product. It reduces the amount of plastic spray bottles and the chemicals are designed to be kinder to the environment.

I recently became aware of how much plastic is used in the production of rubber gloves and cleaning sponges / cloths. I knew rubber gloves were not the best for the environment, but I will admit I did not really give a second thought about plastics in our sponges and cloths. We have been using seep products for a little while now and they have lasted very well. My Scrub Mommy died a death within a month (I have zero idea how!), but these eco sponges are on month two and still going strong. At £2.37 a sponge as well they're a great price and outlasting their similarly priced, less eco-friendly counterparts. Definitely a simple change that adds up to a positive impact on the planet. 

4. Buy clothing / household items second hand

September was second hand shopping month and in support of this I decided to start having a nosey in our local charity shops. I was pleasantly surprised at the variety of household bric-a-brac and clothing items in Altrincham. I have long loved perusing and finding hidden gems, but I had previously found those items few and far between. However, recently I have noticed a shift in the quality of the items being donated and therefore items you can find in the shops. I found some beautiful vintage wooden coasters for the Living Room in the Sue Ryder charity shop and I very nearly purchased a Mac coat, but I knew I was only purchasing for the sake of it as opposed to actually needing an item. 

Fast Fashion is a hotly debated subject in the eco-friendly community. It is so difficult to find the right balance and what feels right for you likely will not feel right for another person. I have been making an effort to only buy items I really need and reuse items in my wardrobe as opposed to wearing them once. I have noticed a positive impact on my finances and I am definitely more conscious of what I have in my wardrobe and how my pieces can work together to create new outfits. This has been a big change for me as usually I would just purchase a new outfit for any event.

5. Use a lunchbox and avoid using clingfilm / tinfoil to wrap sandwiches

Previously, I was not someone who would take lunch to work as I would just buy it whilst on the go. Since being on maternity leave and at home it has been a lot easier for me to make lunch at home or take lunch out with me. I know this is something that I am going to take with me when I return to work. 

I feel this is going to be a really positive change as it should, in theory, save me a fair bit of money monthly (and every little helps in the current climate) and should reduce my use of plastic in throw away containers and sandwich packets. I will also be making an effort to really consider what I wrap things in and really considering each item I put into my lunch. I know I won't be perfect at this, but I feel this little change and effort will be a step in the right direction.

6. Refill a reusable water bottle

I touched on this under point 2 above. Previously, I have been bad at buying water on the go and not reusing / using a water bottle. Again, it isn't an expense that is a necessity and using a reusable water bottle will reduce my use of plastic bottles and also save me ££s over the year. Both are positives! 

7. Have a plastic free period 

There has been a lot of buzz on social media at the moment about plastic free periods. Through these posts I have received one hell of an education and I am really surprised at the plastics in our products. As we have become more aware of plastics we have wanted plastic free / reduced plastic alternatives and I have noticed an influx of plastic free products onto the market in recent months. From bamboo underwear to moon cups, it seems as if a new product pops onto the market every few days. As things currently stand, I don't have periods (I am assuming they will come back at some point, but since having Alex my periods have officially vacated the building), but once they return I will certainly be looking at alternatives I could use and trying to have a reduced plastic period. 

8. Use plant based or bees wraps to wrap food

I like to think I am relatively good at storing foods in boxes as opposed to wraps, but I do find I get lazy sometimes and place some clingfilm over some leftovers or cover a food item in tinfoil when it doesn't really need the tinfoil on it. 

I am making more of an effort to not get lazy and use our reusable food storage containers to store our leftovers and freezer items as opposed to clingfilm, tinfoil or plastic bags. Again, this is only a small thing but over the course of the year could have a relatively big impact. 

I hope you have enjoyed seeing the small things I am trying to do to become more of an eco-friendly household. I am a huge believer that the little things done consistently over time can have a big impact! I really hope you found some of these tips useful and hopefully found something you can take away to try in your own home. I know these are only little steps, but I am hoping this will snowball into further decisions that help us offset our impact on our environment, especially after having our little boy! 

Until Next Time



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