Easy and ethical ways to reduce plastic

plastic free
Photo by Jasmin Sessler on Unsplash

Want to be more plastic free but don’t know where to start? Here are some inspiring ways to make the switch to more sustainable habits inspired by the team at MFML

This month the team at MFML have each made a plastic free pledge. We have been researching positive and easy ways to do this and wanted to share our ideas with you. We know that you might be as committed as we are to reducing plastic waste but sometimes it can be hard to know where to start. 

Plastic free kitchen

Most of our team’s pledges were connected to the kitchen and when you think about it, it makes sense. So much of our food comes wrapped in plastic and this stretches way beyond carrying it home in single use plastic bags. MFML founder Kat’s pledge is to buy no food wrapped in plastic, which she admits is a tall order. Kat’s preferred option is to shop from a zero-waste shop. Zero-waste shops help you not only to cut down on plastic pollution, but also to combat food waste as you buy only what you need rather than in amounts dictated by someone else. They offer sustainable products and you can stock up and refill on eco-cleaning products too!

So, if you are fed up with buying food wrapped in plastic and live nowhere near a zero-waste shop, how on earth can you bring home the pasta, or rice? We love the online option – and of course zero-waste online shops are the perfect complement to online yoga! Our team’s favourite plastic free shops include: The Plastic Free Shop; &Keep; Zero Waste Club and Life Before Plastik.

Both Rakhee and Joanna’s pledges involved wrapping and keeping food fresh for longer. Beeswax wraps are widely available but did you know that you can also get vegan wax wraps to store your cut up wedge or wrap around your leftovers?

Other simple ways to reduce plastic in the kitchen are to subscribe to a vegetable box scheme. There are so many on offer now and as well as reducing plastic, you will reduce your carbon footprint and may well be boosting your health. If you do end up with a glut of one vegetable – you can freeze it – but remember, to use a plastic-free container to do so!  

Photo by Benjamin Brunner on Unsplash
Plastic free bathroom

Your bathroom is probably full of plastic. Laura’s pledge is to use refillable products and try out plastic packaging free shampoo bars. There are some great options now available if you are keen to try refillables. We love Beauty Kitchen for their ethical approach to their products. A certified B Corp, Beauty Kitchen makes it easy to refill your toiletries as they operate a scheme where you can send back your empties to get them refilled. The best thing though, is that none of their bottles or containers use plastic and they have pledged to donate 2% of sales to reducing plastic in the oceans. You can read more about plastic damage in oceans in our article and find out how to help.

As well as toiletries, there are lots of alternatives to the products you most often use like cotton wool, toothbrushes and cotton buds. Have you considered using bamboo or cotton reusable cleansing pads? Or how about switching to bamboo toothbrushes and cotton buds?

Photo by Federica Abbinante on Unsplash
Cleaning and Laundry

Many regular cleaning products come in plastic packaging or contain harmful microplastics. Switching to re-fillable eco-brands can help, or you could try old-fashioned but effective cleaning products made from regular household items such as vinegar, bicarbonate or soda and lemons! Try out the suggestions in this article which will help you to pick up the essentials you need. 

If you are trying more sustainable cleaning products, why not try soapnuts? They’re great for laundry but are also handy for a lot of household cleaning tasks. Soapnuts are a berry shell that naturally contains a cleaning agent that works like detergent. The active product in soapnuts is called saponin. Saponin works as a surfactant, breaking the surface tension of the water to penetrate the fibers of your clothing, lifting stains from the fabric, and leaving dirt suspended in the water that is rinsed away. Soapnuts are also great for those with sensitive skin.

Wondering where to find your bathroom, beauty and laundry products? We like, No Plastic Shop and Acala Online.

Be plastic free when you’re out and about

Plastic has made our lives convenient as we move about. Many of us have switched to carrying reusable bags, water bottles and coffee cups saving us money as well as supporting the environment. Have you thought of switching to bamboo cutlery though, when you leave the house? 

Friday night takeaway

Finally, we wanted to mention the humble takeaway! We have all succumbed to a Friday night takeaway to end up feeling guilty when the food arrives wrapped in plastic! There is another way. Although it isn’t widely available yet, we were inspired by Dabba Drop who use reusable containers or ‘dabbas’ and ‘tiffins’ to deliver curries by bicycle in East and South London on Friday nights. Although this is only available in limited areas, we wanted to give this a mention because it’s an idea that should definitely catch on. And, if you feel like taking action, you might want to mention the idea to your favourite takeaway restaurant!

Please share what you’re doing for plastic free July in the comments below or come and tell us on Facebook or Instagram.

Throughout Plastic Free July, we are sharing some fantastic offers from brands we love which are doing great things to help our planet:

Get 30% off delicious meals with Planty using the code MFMLXPLANTY

Get 15% off handmade yoga props from Yogipod with the code movement15


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