It’s #PlasticFreeJuly this month so I wanted to use this opportunity to share some of the things I’ve been doing lately to reduce my plastic waste. Now I personally feel that at this moment in time, it’s not feasible for us to successfully go completely plastic-free as it is for a lot of families. I find the cost of alternatives is much higher while they do normally make their money back quite quickly, the initial purchase can make these options quite inaccessible to lower-income families so do what you can and don’t feel like you need to do everything because you don’t, we just need lots of people doing little things
Now you may be thinking, what Gee? Pretty sure this is made of plastic babe?! aaaand you’ll be right there, however, if you’re like me and can’t drink tap water (I’ve not been able to drink plain tap water since I had morning sickness with Eloise) then this will be a G O D S E N D.
Our tap water tastes so much of chlorine, I can’t stand drinking it, even with squash because I get that gross swimming pool tainted taste to it but the water from this filter is beautiful! It tastes so clean! Everyone prefers it in this house so no more bottled water here!
Now, this topic is something I kind of hate because a lot of people just go straight for the “ALL SINGLE USE PLASTIC STRAWS SHOULD BE BANNED IMMEDIATELY” and I 100% do not agree with that. There is a specific need for things like that and while I’m not going to get real deep into that now, but basically, some disabled people need them. End of.
Onto some of the reusable versions, I’ve been trying out lately!
These seem to be the cheaper options that you can get hold of, I paid about a fiver for a set of 3 off eBay a while back and they came with a little cleaning brush which is super handy. They are, however, not the best option when it comes to younger kids or those with disabilities as they’re very hard and can cause fatal injuries as we saw recently in the news.
I was kindly sent some VASO glass straws that are made from super strong German engineered Schott glass that is stress tested to the force of double the possible human bite force. While they sound fragile knocking against things, I can confirm that they did live up tot hat claim and didn’t break when Ben bit them, hahaha. I’m still kind of nervous about the fact they’re glass but I can already see that these are going to be so much easier to keep clean than the metal ones. With them being glass, you can see any gunk that may be left inside and that makes my OCD happy. These straws are also recyclable and sustainable so it’s ticking a mighty number of environmentally friendly boxes there!
Did you know most tea bags contain plastic? I didn’t either. There are a few plastic free options I’ve found, the first being loose tea leaves, which is a bit messy but once you get the hang of it I imagine it’s like second nature. I know Ben makes his coffee the long way and it’s no bother to him so I’m sure that once you get into the swing of switching you wouldn’t notice the extra effort.
If loose tea leaves aren’t for you then Teapigs have a H U G E range of pretty much every tea flavour you could ever think of, and all of their tea temples are made from corn starch so are 100% plastic free and biodegradable which is a good thing for the planet but also a good thing for you! I can’t imagine soaking plastic in hot water is very good for your health when you think about it like that, I know made me shudder a bit just thinking about it. Eeek! Teapigs packaging is also eco-friendly with the outer packaging being tins which you can reuse or recycle or cardboard that can be recycled. The tea temples themselves are fully compostable and the inner bags that hold the tea temples are too! How great is that!?
Not only do these bags look a lot nicer than crunchy old plastic bags, but they are also much better for the environment too! I picked up some Turtle Bags from my local farm shop as well as some cheapy ones off eBay and they’re brilliant! You can also take them to the shops with you and use them instead of plastic bags so you’re winning all round really. I do love how these look all hanging on the pegs too – cute and eco-friendly.
If you’re not familiar with beeswax wraps then essentially they’re eco-friendly cling film! I don’t remember the last time I used cling film or even bought it, it’s actually one of the first single-use plastics I got rid of with Tupperware in replacement but sometimes you just need to wrap something, you know? Beeswax wraps are pieces of fabric coated in beeswax, designed to keep things like fruit, veg, cheeses, sandwiches, etc nice and fresh as well as plastic free! The only thing you can’t wrap in these is raw meat or fish so get your Tupperware out for those! Beeswax wraps come in a wide range of different shapes and sizes, this one I have here in the photo is a sandwich wrap and it has a little button to hold it all together even tighter too! You don’t need a button though, you seal the wraps using the heat of your hands! Super simple!
Bottles are probably one of the hardest to contemplate totally switching over form, or at least they are here. Things like squash are about 4x more expensive in a glass or metal bottle which just isn’t affordable for a lot of families especially with kids who drink their body weight in squash a day, haha! We use reusable bottles for the kids every day and then most plastic bottles I buy with things like Lucozade in I do try and reuse after whether that be a craft project, to water plants or just drinking out of again. Out and about we have various cups and flasks including this beaut KeepCup from Teapigs which I adore! The little protective sleeve is made of cork and everything and I just love it!