With #PlasticFreeJuly here I’m excited with all the buzz and talk around alternatives to single use plastics and other eco-friendly products. Today I wanted to share with you guys 9 further zero waste ideas that you can adopt around the house, for those who are interested in taking things a step further and eliminating more single use items & reducing landfill waste. So read on below to find out more!
1. Bamboo toothbrushes
Bamboo toothbrushes are a great alternative to plastic ones as once they reach the end of life, you can simply snap off the bristle part and throw the bamboo portion in either your compost bin or green bin. It’s not the perfect solution, but it does reduce the amount of plastic waste from toothbrushes. These bamboo toothbrushes come in two different bristle options – soft and medium, as well as a kids size. I have the soft bristle option and it’s really gentle on the teeth and gums!
2. Wire pegs
A great alternative to plastic pegs which often become brittle and snap under the sun are stainless steel wire pegs. These will last forever, compared to plastic ones and come in different steel grades – depending on how humid the climate is where you live. They’re definitely an investment at the start, but will last and hold their shape for much longer than other materials.
3. Silicon snack bags
Plastic cling wrap is definitely one of those things that I’m trying to reduce the use of, but I feel like sometimes I need a few different replacement options based on the food I’m trying to store. One good option for little bits and bobs are silicon snack pouches that can be used not only to store snacks on the go, but also things like accessories and the like – anywhere where you might have used a small plastic bag or freezer bag – this is a great alternative.
4. Compostable bin liners
For those looking for plastic bag alternatives, compostable bin liners are a good option to keep an eye out for. They are however quite thin, so do keep this in mind – you may still need to wash your bin every now and then which you’ll eventually get used to as plastic bags are being phased out. But they do break down in home compost bins which is really cool! Right now, I’m finding these really handy for lining my food scraps bin with. I put all my food scraps in here and once it’s full, I just throw the whole bin liner + scraps into the compost bin.
5. Compostable dog bags
BioBag also do a smaller bag alternative – the compostable dog bag – which is great for using when taking your dog out for a walk. I know lots of plastic goes to waste when picking up after Toro so this is a really good alternative for dog owners out there like me. By the way, these come without packaging which is super awesome – these days I’m super appreciating packaging-less products because I throw so much packaging waste out in the bin every time I open a parcel.
6. Soap berries
For those who want a natural alternative to laundry detergent, soapberries are something to look into. They’re berry shells that once soaked in water, release saponin, a natural soap like chemical that cleans your clothes. The hotter the water, the more saponin is released so it’s often recommended to use at least warm water with this, or boiling the berries separately and tipping that hot water into the machine. Some sites also recommend adding essential oils into your laundry to give it that lovely clean scent. I learnt this wisdom after I did my test load with cold water so will definitely have to try this again! Because of it’s natural cleaning properties, it can also be used as a general cleaner around the house as well.
7. Glass containers
For those looking for a microwavable lunch box to bring to work, glass meal prep boxes are the perfect choice. These glass containers from Glasslock come in different sizes which are great for both large servings of food and also snacks and the like. Plus, they’re so much easier to clean than plastic – just make sure you don’t drop them ;)
8. Silicon food wrap covers
I have been loving the idea of cling wrap alternatives but find that beeswax wrap doesn’t cover all bases. So another alternative I’ve been trying is silicon wrap. These are easier to wash and can be used with meat as well as hot temperatures, so it works great for things that beeswax wrap doesn’t cover. The silicon sheets are really easy to use like cling wrap – the only thing is that it tends to stick to itself so you have to store them flat when not in use. I spent a while trying to figure out how to best store these – but once I found a good place to store them – in between placemats – everything became easy and I am really loving these!
9. Glass pantry storage
Shopping bulk is definitely something I would love to try incorporate more of. You can either shop in bulk by buying a large quantity of a packaged item to save on the overall packaging waste. Or, you can shop at bulk stores where you BYO containers and buy items without the packaging. For bulk shopping, glass jars/reusable containers are essential. Though you don’t need a set of matching jars – always start with old pasta sauce jars, etc. If you want or need to buy new ones, you can find a heap of different options available in different shapes and sizes. I got mine from Biome, Big W, Kmart and IKEA. Biome actually sells really cool lids as well (that I haven’t seen before) that make pouring small items like sugar and rice easy. Check them out!
I hope this post inspires you to incorporate some plastic free / reusable options into your home! Do share any #plasticfreejuly tips you have in the comments below!