Did you know that around the world we use 500 Million plastic straws a day and that 1 million plastic bottles are bought every MINUTE around the globe? That contributes to the estimated 8 million tonnes of plastic dumped into our oceans every year.
Reducing your plastic footprint can be a difficult challenge when we use so many single-use plastics in our day to day activities. From beauty and cleaning products to our food and water, have you ever noticed how much plastic your household throws away?
Get involved in our #1weekplasticfree challenge to help you reduce your single-use plastic footprint. Here, we share our top 10 tips to get you started on your zero waste journey.
Zero Waste On The Go
1. Bags for Life – if you don’t have a reusable and eco-friendly bag for life yet, this is an absolute must. You can get some great designs in a variety of fabrics, from Jute bags to fair trade, organic cotton bags and vegan backpacks.
2. Groceries – If you are able, shop locally and at independent stores, that way you're supporting your own zero waste community! Avoid multipacks and opt for loose, package-free fruit and vegetables instead. This not only reduces your single-use plastic and food waste footprint, but it is actually a lot cheaper too! Don't forget to pack a water bottle and bamboo straw so you're not tempted to buy single-use for convenience sake.
3. Grow Vegan – Global WAKEcup does not stock any animal products and recommends a vegan diet and lifestyle for health and environmental reasons. If you have a garden why don't you grow your own veg and herbs, for complete beginners take the tops of your spring onions and place in soil, they will regrow in a couple of weeks. Easy! For those that do eat meat and fish, often they assume there is no way to go plastic free as a lot of supermarkets pre-package it all. However, have you ever gone to your meat counter or butchers with a reusable container from home? Most good butchers will be more than happy to accommodate this as it helps reduce their impact on the environment too.
4. Coffee – did you know 2.5 billion disposable cups are thrown away every year in the UK. Whilst you may think disposable coffee cups could end up being recycled, a huge majority of them can’t due to the plastic lining that stops the liquid seeping through and burning us. The best alternative is to buy your own reusable cup and asking the baristas to fill that up. From coffee cups to water or tea infusers, there are so many eco-friendly and sustainably sourced options. What's more, every WAKEcup purchase you make will contribute to ocean conservation with 10% of the profits going directly to the Marine Conservation Society!
Zero Waste Kitchen
5. Natural Cleaning Products - When it comes to cleaning, it can be easy to fall into the trap of having a cupboard full of plastic bottles containing harsh chemicals. For a natural homemade cleaning solution, simply combine lemon juice, distilled white vinegar and water to create a brilliant multipurpose cleaner that is completely chemical free. Add a variety of essential oils, from lemon to tea tree, geranium to cedarwood, and your home will smell fresh too.
6. Washing and Detergents - When it comes to your laundry detergent ,there is a completely organic, vegan and biodegradable option which actual grows on trees! Detergent ‘Soap Nuts’ can be bought from a variety of online outlets and can really simplify your cleaning regime. Adding your choice of essential oil to this will give your clothes a beautiful too! If you have synthetic clothes, you may want to think to switching to natural fibres, or use a laundry bag like the Guppy Friend to collect the microplastics in the wash cycle.
7. Beeswax Wraps – Rather than using plastic sandwich bags or cling film to store your lunches or leftovers, try using beeswax wraps. They’re completely natural and reusable in our experience they will last for a year or more if you look after them, unlike their plastic counterparts.
Zero Waste Bathroom
8. Shampoo and Soap Bars - Replace the plastic bottled versions we buy in stores. Eco-friendly cosmetics brands like Lush make shampoo bars in tins or even completely package free. They last a lot longer than a liquid shampoo due to the fact a small amount can lather up a lot more. Did you know, toothpastes and powders can come in tins or glass pots, too?
9. Hygiene Products - There’s not just plastic in the liquids we use in the bathroom, but razors and toothbrushes are usually made of plastic and we are encouraged to throw these away every few months and buy a new one. Bamboo toothbrushes are a good alternative as are stainless steel safety razors with reusable blades.
10. Wipes - Another form of single use plastic are makeup wipes and baby wipes, which are not biodegradable. Muslin cloths, flannels or reusable cotton rounds are great zero waste alternatives. You can then wash them and reuse them over and over, which is so much better for the environment and our wallets!