Getting Rid of Plastics in the Home
By Aimee on
I was scrolling through my instagram feed a while ago and came across an image from Anne Hathaway. She mentioned an every day item, toothbrushes, and how every single toothbrush you have ever used is still and forever will be in landfill. I’m not sure why that got to me so much but it did. Then some time later a friend posted about the environmentally friendly bamboo toothbrushes you can get, next thing I know I’m down at my local health foods store and purchased a couple. Since then I have been trying to find ways to reduce our use of plastic in this house and finding better ways of purchasing items if we do need plastics. So here’s a list of super simple ways you can help to change what you do around the home to better the environment.
In Australia we use over 30 million toothbrushes per year which amounts to approximately 1000 tonnes of landfill every year. That’s just Australia. When I went and purchased the bamboo toothbrushes I think I paid $2.50 / brush and they feel great. The brand we got was Environmental Toothbrush and you can check out their website here
We decided well before our girl was born that we would use Cloth Nappies. I wanted this mostly because it was cheaper for us in the long run but as I read more they have such an incredible impact environmentally as well. A baby can get through approximately 5,000 disposable nappies before being fully toilet trained. These nappies take 500 years to decompose and leach chemicals an release methane. I read this and thought a few expletives. We also are using bamboo inserts for our cloth nappies. Bamboo uses much less water than cotton to grow and doesn’t require any pesticides or herbicides. We purchased 24 bamboo inserts and 12 Cloth shells for almost $300. They should last us all of our children’s toileting with a few minor replacements here and there. We purchased ours from Bambooty and got the basics model.
Shampoo / Conditioner
This one is still a mix. For a while now I have been using the organic care range of shampoo and conditioner. The plastic used it 100% recycled and 100% recyclable. However This still isn’t enough for me now and I will be switching to Lush products. I have used them in the past and they’re fantastic. Being in bar form they don’t use any plastic at all. I do find that the conditioner doesn’t always leave my hair the same way as a bottled conditioner but If I buy bar shampoo and organic care conditioner I still feel I have reduced my plastic use in the bathroom. Same goes for body wash. I have now switched to ethically produced bar soap.
Sam recently purchased some reusable bags and we also were given some from the markets. We take these with us every Sunday when we do our food shop. When we purchase fruit and vegetable items in store we also don’t use the little plastic bags that the store supplies. A suggestion that I read was also getting your pasta and rice from bulk food sections. We haven’t used this idea yet but will in future.
Give up bottled water
I have done this recently after I used my plastic water bottle until it was no longer healthy. Now I refill my water bottle daily. This also goes for disposable coffee cups. They are lined with plastic. Sit down and enjoy your mug or buy a reusable coffee cup.
Ideas in future
- Don’t use disposable razors and buy one where just the blades needs replacing
- Don’t use plastic straws to drink from
- Reuse and buy things second hand if needed or repair things when they break instead of just tossing them away
I would struggle to get rid of plastic all together. But I don’t like being wasteful, and I think these things are simple little changes that you can make to better your carbon footprint.