PO Box 3344, North Strathfield, NSW Australia

A tip a day for Plastic Free July 2019

Make a choice for a better tomorrow

A tip a day for Plastic Free July 2019

Bamboo-clean-set-render

We can help with your first step towards becoming plastic free.

It only takes but one decision, to make tremendous change for a better tomorrow.

A ridiculous 9% of plastic is recycled. The rest is going to landfill.

We have a tip a day for the month of July.

Join us in moving towards a more sustainable culture.

  1. BYO Water Bottle

Why are we even paying for water when we can drink straight from the tap, and in most cities, water fountains and drink refill stations are provided in convenient locations. It’s just plain silly. Stop the silliness and get real – Go plastic free.

2. Travel Cutlery

I eat out more then I’d like to. I try and balance it out with ordering what I’d usually cook at home, and just add more greenery. With 3 kids to feed, it’s essential to present a balanced meal most nights, especially with the middle-child-fussy-eater.

My plastic free swap is bring your own cutlery. 

In a neat little carry pouch, the metal set covers all culinary cuisines and beverage types. Two size straws for the bubble tea drinker or thick shake slurpper. Even the straw cleaner has plant bristles! 

What’s your plastic free swap? 

Plastic free metal travel cutlery
Metal Travel Cutlery – practical and reduces waste.

3. Soap Bars

Start with one thing, swap it out for a plastic free alternative. This is your first step in the right direction. 

Soap: replace liquid hand wash with soap bars….. in fact you can get soap bars to replace liquid shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and dishwashing! 

We’re paying an exorbitant amount of money for a whole heap of liquid in plastic packaging. 

Soap bars don’t require much packaging if at all – they are concentrated and last much longer then liquid soaps. 

Make the switch. 

4. No to plastic straws

If you feel overwhelmed at how reliant we have all become on plastic, don’t fret, just choose one thing to swap, reduce or reuse.

You can start by saying no to plastic straws.

Most of the time when we purchase a beverage, the straw is automatically placed into the cup by the waitstaff. You can break this habit by politely asking them to omit the straw.

My pet hate is the 10 straws that are placed into a lovely cocktail. It doesn’t make it any less without the straw!

If you must have a straw, for instance bubble tea fans; there are alternatives such as metal, paper, glass, wheat, and bamboo.

We honestly do not have an excuse to use single use plastic straws.

5. BYO Bags

Bring your own grocery bags, produce bags, bread bag, fruit & veg bag, anywhere you shop! You can buy them new, organic, recycled or even make your own from clothing that have seen better days.

We don’t need single use plastic bags, we need a healthy Earth. Go plastic free.

6. Vegan Floss

Keep your chompers in good nic and make the switch to a plant based floss.

Whist oral hygiene is important, it doesn’t have to be at the expense of the earth. Dental floss is traditionally made from synthetic compounds either nylon or Teflon. Whist isn’t not technically a plastic, it still is derived from crude oil, and still takes 50 to 80 years to decompose. Whilst floss should be disposed of in the garbage bin, the reality is that a great portion of floss ends up in the sewerage system. This has an impact on the processing of our waste water which eventually ends up in our oceans, and potentially our sea life. Now that’s another reason to make the switch to plastic-free floss.

There are many alternative floss products on the market. My top pick is the vegan floss, which comes in a re-useable glass jar with metal lid. Refill spools can also be purchased.

On a side note: Whist flossing is recommended by dentists, you can also explore oil pulling as an alternative. This involves swishing oil (sesame, coconut or olive) in your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes for up to 3 times a day a few times a week. This can kill bacteria, reduce cavities and bad breath, and improve gum health.

Plastic free vegan floss
Vegan Floss – easy on the planet

7. Wax Wraps

Go for wax wraps to replace cling wrap, snack bags, any single use plastic really. Wax wraps can be used over and over; and when the wax coating has worn off, you can re-coat them yourself; or put them in the compost.

They come in a variety of prints and sizes. We love stocking Bee Wrappy Wraps, as they are 100% Australian Made with Organic Cotton.

8. Bamboo Cotton Buds

Cotton tips come in bamboo sticks now, so you have no excuse to use plastic. We understand that cotton tips come in handy for those hard to reach places, but plastic sticks are just not justified for this purpose! Swap it out for bamboo.

9. Reusable Cloths

Handkerchiefs, dishcloths, face cloths, body wash cloths, dusting cloths, cleaning cloths, baby wipe cloths, the list is endless. The aim is simple, reuse as much as possible to reduce your demand on new products. Especially items with plastic components that won’t biodegrade.

Old clothing can easily be cut up and re-purposed to any of the above uses. Using the right fabric could also reduce how much cleaning product you use if you need any at all.

Support products that have a reusable or replaceable component. The good old hanki is back. Blow your nose, wipe your mouth, dab your sweat, wrap a snack, hold your earphones or wipe your sunnies; the hanki is a multipurpose tool that will always come in handy.

When you observe your actions holistically, each choice has an impact.

Lets make it a small impact.

10. Single Use Plastic Cutlery

Paper, cardboard, bamboo, corn fibre, stainless steel the list of alternative materials is growing. Many can be manufactured out of recycled products and easily composted or biodegrade in landfill.

Carry your own, while we wait for the world to catch up with how it should be.

11. Use reusable feminine hygiene products

Menstrual cups, washable period wear, reusable pads and liners they all come in many funky patterns, shapes, material, suitable for any taste and body shape. These reusable products are amazingly effective when used correctly and in conjunction with one another.

12. Cloth Nappies

There are loads of nappy alternatives out there; lets break it down:

Traditional cloth Nappies, Modern Cloth Nappies (MCN) & Disposable nappies some with biodegradable alternatives.

Which ever you choose, be a conscious consumer and try and reduce your families footprint.

Go to my blog to read about my nappy journey.

13. Furoshiki

Embrace the art of Furoshiki, from the Japanese meaning to wrap in cloth. Use any cloth material to wrap sandwiches, gifts, or wear as a scarf, fashion  into a carry bag…… the list is endless, and the benefits are far reaching.

There is no need to reach for the single use plastic bags or wraps, join the movement and make one better choice.  

14. Earth friendly packaging 

Reduce packaging where possible. We have a voice, let companies know when you are unhappy with their packaging. There are better alternatives. 

If you must use a product to send or package, make sure it’s Earth friendly. From the satchel, to the wrap and the tape – there are great products in the marketplace to ensure their end of life is minimal impact. 

Consume with a conscience – Go plastic free.

15. Slow fashion

Fast fashion is making a tremendous impact on our planet.

Impact on:

  • Animals: that loose their habitat from the clearing of lands to make way for farms,
  • Chemicals: polluting our lands that are utilised to render a greater crop or faster growth,
  • Exploitation of workers: in the form of unfair wages in the supply chain, usually in the form of women and children who are the most vulnerable in our societies
  • Wasteful practices: the majority of the fashion industry marketing the message that fashion should be a brief passing trend, clothing disposed of before the end of their useful life
  • Plastic packaging: each article of clothing in it’s own plastic packaging, is unbelievably wasteful and resource intensive. This includes the plastic hang tags on clothes, plastic clips and pins to aid presentation, plastic collar stiffeners, plastic buttons, hooks, zippers; and the list is endless.

The message is clear, buy quality natural clothing that will stand the test of time. Buy vintage and repurpose clothing.

16. BYO containers, jars, or boxes.

For the take out meal, the quick dash to the wholefood store, or even the bakery.

17. Plastic crap

Stop buying crap that break. Choose items that will stand the test of time, or are made from natural materials.

I know it’s a temptation to buy the bargain store toys to fill the take away goody bags from a birthday party, or fill a Christmas stocking, or give in to a nagging child. But the impact is tremendous. It might last the day or if you’re lucky the week; but the environmental impact is no comparison. It will eventually be thrown out of the pram, lost in the sandpit or traded with a friend to end up down the drain; finding its way into our precious oceans.

18. Buy Bulk or from Bulk Stores

Buy in bulk or from bulk store outlets, to reduce the amount of packaging, waste and travel miles. You don’t need a new trigger spray bottle every time you run out of cleaning product! Top it up or try your hand at making it yourself.

Avoid food that are individually wrapped, this is totally unnecessary and a huge waste of resources. In particular, food wrappers are choking our waterways.

19. Reduce meat consumption

Eat a more plant based diet.

The demand for meat is causing massive land clearing, which results in displacement of animals natural habitats and endangering of many species; to make way for farming meat. Farming meat is intensive on the land, water and the amount of CO2 that is emitted. The majority of meat comes pre-packaged plastic in supermarkets with many components not recyclable. Even purchasing from the butcher your meat is wrapped in single use bags or shrink wrapped in plastic.

If you choose to skip meat for 1 day a week, this would be equivalent to taking 7.6 million cars off the road!

In the last 10 years global meat consumption has grown by 20%

20. Plastic Wrapped Products

Don’t buy products wrapped in plastic. Your choice does make a difference. Many items such as fruit and vegetables don’t require packaging. Make bringing your bags to shop a habit. Create the change you want to see at your local grocery store.

Many products are excessively packaged. Smarter packaging solutions can reduce wasteful practices and create a demand on resource recovery.

Unsustainable packaging is killing our world. Go plastic free.

21. Balloons

They may look good at a party, but the effects of balloons are long and far reaching. Most balloons are made from latex, rubber or foil.

Even the ones marketed as biodegradable, may well be; but if not disposed of correctly or released into the air, they will eventually come down, and in most cases end up in our oceans and can easily be mistaken for a food source. For the amount of time it takes to biodegrade in to right conditions, the balloon can end up chocking our wild life. The impacts are just not worth it.

There are many alternatives that have much less impact.

I love using tissue paper decorations, we have been reusing them for 2 years now and they have stood the test of time. Pair it with a paper banner and you got yourself an attractive party backdrop. Try some fresh flowers to add a colourful touch.

Please think before you reach for the next balloon. Go plastic free decoration.

22. Technology

Buy quality products that stand the test of time. It’s a simple message that has resonated through the generations.

Don’t buy the phone charger that is doomed to break or say yes to a new phone plan because your contract is up: think about whether you need the product or if you can wait until your current one fails. Marketing has changed the way we view our products and we have become a disposable society trashing our planet.

Open your eyes, and see the impact we have made on our Earth, and that we are all responsible to fix the mess that we all have contributed to.  

Do we need it, can we repair it?

23. Ditch the disposable partywear

I hold at least 5 parties at my place during the year. With a large family, we cater for at least 60 people each party. That adds up to a lot of cutlery, plates and cups.

A few years ago, we decided to buy durable plastic party wear & metal cutlery to eliminate the need for single use items. The clean up is a little different, and the waste generated is significantly less.

We regularly lend out our party wear and as you can tell we get a whole lot of use out of them.

I don’t need to tell you the statistics on the impact single use plastic partywear is making on our earth. It’s self explanatory, if you are using a fork for the 15 minutes you eat at a party then throw it away – more likely then not it won’t be recycled, and can take 100 years to breakdown.

If you are attending a party, you might like to bring your own cutlery/straw/bottle. If you are hosting a party, you might like to invest in re-usable items, or choose a more sustainable disposable option, such as paper, bamboo or some other form of plant based product.

Think when you plan your next party.

24. No Plastic

I know it sounds simple: Choose products that aren’t plastic or have plastic components. In this day and age, there are many products you can choose that can be made from plant based materials. Many of these are from renewable resources.

Look for products with components that can be replaced rather than throwing the whole item away.

It may cost a little more initially, however if you choose a durable product it may last longer.

An example is bamboo. Bamboo is fast growing, produces more oxygen then trees, consumes more carbon dioxide & nitrogen then trees, is grown without chemicals, is as strong as most hardwoods, is a durable material, and can be utilised in a variety of products from fabric, construction to utensils.

Look outside the box, and weigh up the impact of your next purchase.

25. Wet wipes a wasteful convenience

Whether it be baby wipes, disinfecting wipes, cleaning wipes, leather wipes or any disposable wipes; they are a wasteful convivence.

You can easily try your hand at making your own, either disposable or reusable.

Or go back to the good old fashioned way of cleaning with a spray bottle and cloth!

26. Reduce single use plastic

It’s easy to reduce your single use waste, by simply thinking about what you use. 

We love our condiments. 

Try opting for reusable small bottles for storing condiments on the go. 

My kids love these and they are easily refillable with a dropper. 

Yes they are plastic – but reuse them over and over again : now this is what plastic was made for! 

What else can you swap out? 

Reusable condiment bottles – perfect for the lunch box!

27. Bring Back the Hanky

Why did carrying a Hanki go out of style? 

Because marketing was so effective by the tissue companies! 

If you no longer want to contribute to the disposable economy reeking havoc on our beautiful  🌍 , one of the simplistic swaps is carrying your own hanky. 

A hanky can be any size, shape and made from any material. The only constant is that it’s reusable, pop in the wash when doing a load of laundry and cut down on tissues. 

You can buy them or make them yourself out of scrap material or old clothes. 

If you decide to make them from old clothes 👗, sew in the edges to make them last longer without fraying. 

Personally, I find cotton the best material for making hankies. They seem to get softer with each use, can come in a variety of thicknesses dependent upon how you like your hanky and is durable. 

Yes, I know how intensive cotton farming is on the environment, but I think single use tissues are even worse! 

I use hankies for a runny nose, as a napkin, as a wet wipe, to hold snacks, toe my hair up or wipe a tear. 

I don’t like buying them because I’ve found that they seem to sell ‘female’ hankies that are way to small and uncomfortably decorative for me uses. I want it practical! 

And so on this swapping journey, I decided to make my own. I bleached cotton, with a simple initial, 7 sets for each day of the week……. and hopefully I get around to doing the laundry 🧺 .

Do you think I should market this on my site – would u buy it? 

The practical hanky

28. BYO Cup

Coffee, tea, hot chocolate, juice or bubble tea…… keep enjoying it without single use cups.

It might feel a little uncomfortable when you first start to hand your cup over the counter, but byo cup is becoming more mainstream.

The main problem is forgetting to bring your cup. A good solution is to have two to rotate. One in the glovebox or office while the other’s in the wash. As soon as it comes out of the wash, pop it into your bag or next to your keys to help remember to bring it.

If you forget, maybe choose to dine in. Some venues even offer an incentive to byo cup.

Remember most disposable coffee cups are not recyclable due to the coating on the inside of the cup. The lids are usually recyclable.

29. Use plastic properly 

When we talk about plastic free July we are referring to single use plastics and the incorrect disposal of plastics. 

The development of plastic has been positive in many aspects of our lives and if used and disposed of properly – it will continue to be a beneficial resource. 

As a conscious consumer we must think about what we purchase and how it will be used. Is there a better alternative? Can this be reused? Is it durable? Can it be recycled at the end of its life? 

These are just a few of the questions that will help you navigate the onslaught of products out there, cleverly marketed to your emotions. 

Advertisements, social media, fashion and shopping chains are very good at telling us what we ‘need’ and how frequently we need to throw it out or upgrade. 

Do your own research and use common sense. If you need a little help – there are plenty of blogs out there to give you tips. 

I love high quality, leak proof take away containers. Yes they are made from plastic. I do have a few glass containers with plastic lids, but they are a little heavy and delicate for my children to use. 

These containers do cost a bit. And so they should! – because we attribute their value in this way and hopefully they are utilised until the end of their usefulness. 

I use them for marinating, prepping food, storing food, snacks on the go, lunch boxes, bulk food shopping, shopping at the baker & fishmongers, and then towards the end of their life when maybe a lid is broken or missing: in the sandpit, sorting toys, turn them into instrument shakers, art projects, use in the laundry and so much more. 

If we have a healthy respect for how we can use plastic and which plastics we should avoid, we can embrace the positive impact plastic has had on our lives and help it evolve into something more then an ocean of plastic waste. 

Go single use plastic free. 

30. Better alternatives 

As plastic free July draws to a close, I want to impart the message that not all plastics are bad or created equal. 

My second child preferred store bought baby food in pouches, which is intensive on the environment in so many ways. After a bit of experimentation, I found that it was the pouch he liked to suck the food through. I found some reusable pouches which I filled with my homemade baby food and off he sucked. 

I understand and know firsthand hand that not all alternative solutions are easy. They take preparation, time and much thought. 

Some solutions might not be for you, but dig deeper and you might find a happy medium. 

Each one of us need to be conscious of what we consume and how that affects us all. 

The message is clear, we only have one Earth 🌍, we have an opportunity every decision we make to be part of the problem or the solution. 

Every product will have an alternative that may be made locally, from natural ingredients, biodegrade, not plastic, can be reused, can be replaced/repaired, is organic – whatever it is ➡️ an opportunity is presenting itself. 

Take the first step in the right direction and join us on the journey. 

I welcome any questions to help you on this journey. 👍🍃♻️☀️🌍

What other alternatives have you found an everyday solution for?

31. One choice 

Climate change is real. 

Temperatures are rising, ice is melting. 

Coastal towns & islands are in danger. 

Species are becoming extinct. 

Food security is a growing concern. 

Our natural resources are depleted. 

Our oceans are choking on plastic. 

Sea animals are ingesting plastics. 

The list goes on. 

It might be hard to read but the issues are real. 

Plastic free July, is one avenue to shine the light on a problem we can all do something about. 

All these issues are interrelated, and it’s because of us. Humans. 

Your choice as you read this is to be part of the solution. Choose one thing to change today, and gradually the more choices you make the easier change will get. 

I don’t believe in giving up. Actually we have no choice, but to keep pushing forward, to reverse the damage we’ve done and create a better way for tomorrow. 

On the last day of plastic free July, I am imparting this message to you. 

Make one choice. 

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