Plastic free living – an illusion? No, you can have zero waste in your household, which not only saves the world but also improves a healthier lifestyle.
Our zero waste tips can liberate yourself from all the plastic products around you. Have you ever thought about it, that we are completely surrounded, no obsessed with plastic. We are living in an impressionable plastic age as it is cheap to produce, but has a dangerous impact on our planet’s future and health.
PLASTIC DOES NOT ROT WHEN DISPOSED!
It is well documented by leading organizations such as WHO or Greenpeace that our oceans are a plastic dump. Trillions of fine particles are floating around, being eaten by fish and other animals. Guess who ends up eating these particles? Right, it’s you when the next time this delicious baked salmon steak is on your table.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a plastic-free society for the sake of our children’s future? I am very impressed by Thailand as they implemented a ban on ALL plastic bags starting January 1, 2020. Other nations should follow this example, as well. However, we also need to be part of this movement and adjust our behavior right in our home.
We will provide you the best zero waste tips to live plastic free at home:
Zero Waste Tips: BATHROOM
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Inside the bathroom, we are bombarded by plastic products. Many cosmetic products do contain micro-plastic particles that we put on our skin and hair. Be smart and have a plastic free bathroom.
Solid Soap instead of liquid Soap
The liquid soap is practical, but it comes in a plastic dispenser, which ends up in the waste after it is empty. There are two ways to tackle this problem. First, buy a ceramic dispenser and use only the refill packs of the liquid soap. Secondly, use a piece of plastic free natural soap which comes in a paper carton package. Avoid soaps with palm oil!
2. Plastic Free Toothbrush
It isn’t very easy to find a toothbrush that is not made out of plastic. As the dentist recommends to dispose of a toothbrush every three months, you can imagine how many plastic toothbrushes end up inside the trash every year. Besides, the bristles contain a plastic softener called phthalates, which is quite questionable to have this chemical daily inside our mouths. A plastic free bamboo toothbrush alternative is made out of wood or bamboo and uses biodegradable bristles is our favorite zero waste tips.
3. Shaving without Plastic
Does plastic free razor exist today? You bet, they do! There are indeed a lot of stainless steel razors for wet shaving on the market. It has the advantage that the razor blades are also made out of stainless steel and very easy to recycle. As a perfect alternative for the cheaper classic plastic razors.
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4. Wear washable Menstruation Pads
Female hygiene products are, by far, the most prominent plastic producer inside the bathroom. An endless amount of plastic waste a female uses every day. The best solution is to get plastic free menstruation pads made out of cotton to wear.
5. Plastic Free Shampoo and Shower Gel
Ok, this is a little bit tricky as it is virtually impossible to find any shampoo or shower gel that does not come in plastic packaging. A good solution is to reduce plastic packaging. Install a dual shampoo & shower gel dispenser (many hotels have them) and buy only refill packs to fill up the dispenser. Also, using plastic free solid soaps for the body wash helps out as well.
6. Mouthwash without Micro-Plastic
Don’t be surprised, but many types of mouthwash do contain smaller particles of plastic. The reason for it is that the mouthwash chemicals react with the plastic bottle over time. Get a closable glass bottle and fill up the mouthwash from the supermarket. Of course, you can also do your own homemade mouthwash to eliminate all the harmful chemicals.
7. Use Handkerchiefs made of Fabric
Another favorite of our zero waste tips starts around 20 years ago, as it was so common that everybody had used fabric handkerchiefs. Of course, the big manufacturers have started extensive marketing campaigns to switch over to the cheaper disposable handkerchiefs. Why not go back to the old times? It has the advantage of saving a lot of money, and fabric handkerchiefs can be used forever. A perfect plastic free product alternative!
8. Use natural Coconut Oil for Skin & Hair Care
The coconut oil is imported from Asia or South America. As glass is quite heavy, the majority of companies opt for plastic bottles to cut down on transportation costs. Coconut oil is very healthy, containing a lot of saturated fatty acids, which is good for the skin, hair, and blood cells. Don’t let these excellent benefits be contaminated by plastic.
9. Plastic-Free Deodorant
A good deodorant takes care of smelly underarm. Despite that a regular drugstore deodorant lasts for up to 48 hours, it contains a lot of harmful chemicals such as aluminum and alcohol. Also, the majority comes in plastic roll-on containers. Instead, buying a regular one, get a natural deodorant stone stick.
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10. Hairbrush out of Bamboo
Get a bamboo hairbrush, which is produced environmentally and keeps the plastic combs out of your bathroom.
Zero Waste Tips: STORAGE
Zero waste tips for storage are most of times overlooked.Do not focus only on the plastic boxes to store your food. Surprisingly, there are many plastic free product alternatives, such as storing in glass or clay containers. Let’s take a closer look:
11. Skip Plastic Boxes and use Glass Containers
You might be one of many that are customized to plastic containers for storing food or spices because the boxes are cheap and convenient. Despite being tempted to use plastic, a useful zero waste tips is to get different sizes of screw-on glasses, which are perfectly pleasant to store many kinds of foods. Further, mason jars from jam are freezable because of the thick glass, and you can also use the smaller ones to store spices.
12. Get a stainless Steel Lunch Box
Either for your office lunch for the kid’s lunch, the old fashion stainless steel lunch boxes are much more durable and completely free of harmful chemical substances. Although there are a little bit more expensive, they last ten times longer as regular plastic boxes.
13. Drink Coffee/Water out of stainless steel Travel Mug
Enjoy your good morning hot beverage in a stainless steel travel mug. It will keep the coffee or tea warmer for a much longer time, likewise keeps a refreshing beverage cooler. Some higher quality mugs can hold up to 12 hours the cool or warmth inside when it is adequately sealed. Only hand-wash as a dishwasher might damage the mug.
14. Make your own natural cleaning products
Regular household cleaners always come in plastic packaging and are full of chemicals. Instead of throwing away the empty cleaning products, use them until they are empty and keep them. Once they are clean, you can fill up your own natural homemade cleaners inside.
15. Plastic Bag Free Shopping
In many countries around the world, it is already customs to use your own reusable shopping bags. Although there is still the option to buy bioplastic bags for a small change in the supermarket. Unquestionably this zero waste tips, it would help if you keep some foldable cotton/linen box inside the trunk of the car to store all your groceries for transportation back home.
16. No more plastic trash bags
Uhh, plastic free trash bags for my waste, does something like this exist? Yes, there are 100% biodegradable garbage bags made out of corn. The price is also not that high, and the bags do not rip easily. In sum, it is a very suitable alternative compared to regular plastic garbage bags.
Zero Waste Tips: KITCHEN
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The kitchen is another heaven for zero waste tips to avoid plastic. Virtually all the kitchen tools such as mixer, toaster, or cooking spoons come in the form of plastic. As you know, there is a saying “You are what you eat,” and this should be as much as possible plastic free. Especially if you have kids, it is vital to surround them with as little plastic as possible. Take a look around the kitchen and try to substitute with our zero waste tips.
17. Wooden Kitchen Accessions instead of plastic
As I have mentioned earlier, a cutting board does not have to be out of plastic; there are many good wooden cutting boards for cheap out there. Also, wooden spoons for cooking are affordable and healthier as the plastic versions. Replace as much as possible of the accessories with other materials and avoid plastic.
18. Make Detergent yourself
Each dishwasher detergent tab is wrapped individually in plastic. A lot of waste is produced here. One of the best zero waste tips as an alternative is to do your own detergent with Natron.
19. Buy Stainless Steel ice cube tray
The stainless steel ice cube trays do not get broken easily and last forever. Enjoy your ice cubes plastic free
20. Kitchen Sponge & Brush Alternatives
There are many natural zero waste tips alternatives when it comes to kitchen sponges and brushes. The best, they last much longer as regular sponges and do not collect as much bacteria as well.
21. Use stainless steel or paper straws/chopsticks
Sooner or later, the plastic straw is going to become history. In fact, in Europe, plastic straws are not allowed anymore for sale starting in 2021. I am sure other countries will slowly follow this trend. The stainless steel straws are solid, and you can clean them easily in the dish-washing machine over and over again. In case you are a fan of Asian food, get yourself some fiberglass chopsticks to enjoy your meal.
22. Have your own herb garden
Herbs from the supermarket are mostly wrapped in plastic. Besides, you also do not know what pesticides the farmers have used. A zero waste tips is to eat your own organic herbs fresh from the garden.
23. Skip coffee capsules & use plastic-free coffee maker
While it may be true that coffee capsules are very convenient to enjoy a premium cup of coffee in the morning, tons of plastic from the capsules land inside the trash. Also, the majority of coffee machines are made out of plastic. What are the alternatives? Get a stainless steel coffee maker!
24. Go Baking Paper Free
The baking paper contains silicon coating for the food not to stick. Again a hidden plastic invasion that many are not aware of. The best alternative is to use a baking tray.
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Zero Waste Tips: SHOPPING
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Going to the supermarket, you are surrounded by plastic. It is everywhere. No way to escape? There are some ways with our zero waste tips that you still get plastic free products:
25. Buy milk & yogurt in glass containers
Some brands sell milk and yogurts in the glass. Indeed, an excellent zero waste tips alternative to plastic packaging.
26. Buy vegetables without packaging
In many supermarkets, the roll-on plastic bags are offered to put the desired vegetables inside to take home. Bring your own plastic free bag and ask for the scan sticker only.
27. Fruit nets instead of plastic bags
Bring your own fruit nets and put all the fruits you like to buy inside the net. Ask for the scan sticker only to pay at the cashier.
28. Skip the bagged salad & ready foods
Buy fresh salad or grow it in your garden and make a big round around the salad in plastic bags. In addition, the ready- meals for the microwave always come inside plastic trays. Not only is the food exposed to plastic while sitting on the shelf, and also plastic particles contaminate the food once you heat the ready-meal in the microwave.
29. Get a water filter and skip bottled water
A good tap water filters out all the harmful bacteria and is the purest water you can drink. Drinking filtered tap water is also much cheaper as bottled water. Did you know that actually, the bottled water comes unfiltered from natural springs and just being bottled by big companies? They make a fortune out of it! Drinking tap water produces zero plastic bottle waste in your household. This zero waste tips saves also a lot of money!
30. Kid Toys out of Wood
Keep an eye out for wooden kid toys. Not only it reduces plastic waste, but it is also much healthier for the kids. As smaller kids tend to put the toys inside their mouths, wood is much safer as plastic.
Some more useful Zero Waste Tips:
- Go to the farmers or weekend market. Many farmers sell organic products and will not give any plastic to you
- Buy only cotton clothing and avoid nylon or polyester (both are plastic)
- Do not throw a cigarette on the road. The filter is out of plastic
- On the mailbox put a sticker “No advertising” to reduce waste
Plastic Free Living is it possible? Of course, it is with our above mentioned zero waste tips! Our current society is so much addicted to plastic that many people cannot even think of living without it. Before the plastic trend, in the early 80’s we all were able to get around plastic, but why not today?
Also, ignorance plays a significant role in many people. Do yourself and the kids a big favor and think of how much plastic waste is inside the household. A new study just came out that by 2040 the cancer rate will double. Why? Because we eat too much micro-plastic, which in turn attacks our health.