What Is in My Plastic Reducing Starter Kit

In my last post I introduced my plastic waste reducing experiment. I'm pleased to report that roughly three weeks in, our household waste across our black (landfill) and brown (recycling) bins is already close to our target of half what it used to be. I'm even more pleased that this experiment has got other people trying the same, and inspired much discussion on Facebook.

It has also inspired me to keep going, and share more about what's working or not.As part of this experiment, I've been trying out a lot of alternatives to plastic products, that would usually result in some form of plastic waste. It's not been particularly easy to source all of these products, and in some cases they are better bought in bulk.

To provide a shortcut for others, I have put together a 'Free yourself from Plastics box', which I've been sharing with some people as gifts. In this post I'll describe the contents and where to buy items.Recap of the photo of the box here:Resusable (E-Coffee) cup - Made from bamboo and dishwasher safe, with various beautiful designs.

We've found that having a few of these means we can grab one or two when heading out on a day trip, whilst others are in the dishwasher. Those who know my husband Geoff, know he loves his coffee, and he was burning through throw-away cups, which is now no longer the case.Beeswax wrap (Abeego) - These are reusable wraps that can be used to keep leftovers fresh (instead of cling film or food bags).

I've also taken them shopping and had cheese (for example) put directly into the wrap. They are not cheap, but can be used for months on end. Available here.Reusable food container / net bags - I've started taking containers with me when I shop, to hold smaller items of food, instead of taking the plastic bags provided.

The net bags are for bread / veg and stainless steel containers are for fish / meat and can be put straight in the fridge. I've put my old plastic storage boxes aside as the more I read about plastics in general, the more worried I became about plasticisers potentially leaking into food. My old plastic boxes won't be thrown, but used for non food storage.

Washable dishcloth - no more J-cloths.

The washable one in the pic was knitted by Gill, my mother-in-law. We have a couple and wash one out every other day or so. I've found a lovely lady nearby who is knitting me several more to go in the boxes - I can share her details for anybody interested.

Compostable dishwashing - In the pic above there is a coconut fibre scourer and a natural loufah (for non-stick items). There is also a brush with a replaceable head, made from natural plant fibres. They seem to last longer than the plastic scourers that we'd throw in the bin at least once a week, and can be composted after use.

[Probably worth saying here that we are forunate to be able to compost our own food waste, so these will be added to our compost mix]Solid shampoo and soap - The ones in the pic are from a company called Wild Olive, and are wonderful smelling and packed without plastic. A few weeks ago I suspended using any liquid shampoo or shower gel and opted for these instead. I love the solid shampoo and I won't be going back.

I do still use liquid conditioner, but less than I did, and for that I've turned to the make Faith in Nature, which can be bought in bulk (or refilled locally).Natural toothbrush - These Humble Brushes are made from bamboo (although the bristles are nylon) and come in cardboard packaing. I like to replace my toothbrush quite regularly, and for our girls, who chew as well as brush, theirs get replaced often (children's versions are available), so this has cut down associated plastic waste.

Personal care products in cardboard packaging- What's shown above is a stick of deodorant that comes in a cardboard wrapper. There are loads of additional products such as lip balm and mosturiser made by Organic Essence (sold here). [I was a bit dismayed when bought online, the cardboard came in an outer wrapper of cellophane, however, I have complained and am hoping this will change.

].

I've also shown natural cotton buds, made from bamboo, that are increasingly available locally.Reusable straws - not shown here, but we've bought two types, a stainless steel version and a bamboo version. Our girls love them and we now have a couple in our day bag (and take to our local pub!).

If you want more information on these products or have alternative suggestions on the above, then please drop me a line

·RELATED QUESTION

What rich people complaints piss off poor people?

I used to have a friend who considered himself to be "rich".

Granted, he wore nice expensive clothes, spoke with a fake British accent and considered himself to be upper class, there was just something about him that irked me.

Him: You know that I don't use plastic hangers for my clothes?

Me: Oh, why? I just take the plastic ones from work because we give them out to customers anyway. There's far too many hangers for us to handle so why not just take those?

Him: My entire wardrobe is worth four thousand dollars and I'm talking an Armani blazer, my suits, my ties, my Gucci watch and you want me to use a plastic hanger? Hell no, I use wooden hangers for everything.

What a struggle.

Oh, and the best part.

He wasn't rich. He was living off his parents' money and the last time I ever spoke to him, he was still struggling to find a job.

"Rich" people piss me off more than actual rich people.

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