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How to go plastic free: 23 tips and products

Written by Fran

• 

Posted on July 03 2020

How to go plastic free

Introduction

#Plasticfreejuly is a global movement of millions of people who decide to take the pledge of reducing our single-use plastic consumption for a whole month, as well as educate ourselves on ways to be more sustainable and reduce waste and pollution in our daily lives.

plastic free july 2020

There are so many things we can all do to live without so much plastic, and most of them are really easy to do and require practically no effort.

As a company we, for example, are fully committed to plastic-free practises: all EarthBits packaging is 100% plastic free and recyclable, using recycled or reused cardboard boxes, recycled/recycling paper and paper tape.

It's also undeniable that what we do as consumers not only has a change at an individual level, but it can also create a ripple effect and influence other people behaviours. It has been shown that, due to the power of social media, telling other people about one's choosing to buy eco-friendly products instead of mass-produced ones, can lead to a 65% increase chance that others will follow the example and choose to buy a sustainable alternative too. Isn't that amazing?

if you are ready to make the switch, here are 23 tips, hacks and products on how to go plastic free with us for the whole of July and beyond!

 

How to shower plastic free

What's best than an energising shower after jumping out of bed in the morning, or a calm and relaxing one after a long day to wash away tiredness and stress? This beloved routine has unfortunately a downside. When it comes to waste, long showers are actually a big problem. 

It is estimated that Brits 'showers away' more than 2,000,000,000 litres of water each day. If every home in the UK took one minute off their daily shower, it would save £215 million on our collective energy bills every year.

So what can we all do to save the problem? Well, first off, having shorter showers. And secondly, choosing showering products that are natural and eco-friendly, and come without any plastic packaging. 

 

Plastic-Free Body Wash

 

plastic free body wash

 

If you have ever walked done the aisle of the shower gels in a supermarket, you know that's quite a challenging task, but thankfully some products are truly eco-friendly, using much more sustainable packaging that single-use plastic. One example is this eco-friendly shower gel from Flawless. Its formula rich in Ylang Ylang and fragrant Lavender leaves the skin smelling amazing and feeling fresh and soothed without any nasty ingredients.

How is it plastic-free?

The Ylang Ylang and Lavender shower gels are packaged in recycled glass bottles with aluminium screw caps, without a trace of plastic in sight. Available in both travel size (50ml) and use-at-home size (100ml).

 

Natural Exfoliation

 

natural konjac sponge

 

If you are looking for the best natural exfoliators to wash your face and neck while in the shower, a potato or a cucumber may be the  best solution! Yes, you heard me right, nature has given us the perfect alternatives to commercially and plastic made sponges, such as konjac sponges, which derive from the Konnyaku plant similar to potatoes, and natural loofahs, the dried fruit of a subtropical vine. The best part is that they are not only plastic-free, but also 100%compostable at the end of life.

How to use a natural konjac sponge:
  1. Use in the shower to wash face and neck (we recommend a much sturdier loofah for the rest of the body)
  2. Before starting using it, soak your natural sponge in warm water for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Use in the shower as exfoliating sponge to get rid of dead skin cells and toxins for a soothing beauty routine.
  4. Use a loofah for the body and the konjac sponge for face and neck. 
  5. Gently squeeze any excess water out, apply a small amount of soap or essential oils or just use the sponge plain.
  6. Rub the konjac sponge on your skin in circular motions.
  7. If using to remove make-up, we recommend applying some natural cleanser or coconut oil to help get rid of waterproof cosmetics.
  8. Rinse the konjac and loofah sponge well with cool water and gently squeeze water out. If used with a make-up, wash with gentle soap before hanging to dry.
  9. Let it air dry between use.
  10. Change once a month if used daily, or when it loses its rubbery smooth consistency.
  11. Compost at the end of life.

How are they plastic-free?

The Konjac and loofah sponges come fully 'naked', without any packaging at all, so they are not only plastic-free but also zero waste!

 

How to wash your hair plastic free

Products like shampoo, conditioner and moisturiser are made up of 90 to 95 per cent water, stored in plastic and require far more energy to transport. So why not switch your traditional hair and skincare up for solid (water-free) alternatives that does not need any plastic packaging?

Natural Shampoo Bars

 

shampoo bar that doesn't need a transition phase

 

The best thing about shampoo bars is that they are made with only natural ingredients and they are very gentle on the scalp and suitable for people with allergies and hypersensitivities. However, some shampoos require some time for your hair to get rid of all the chemical residues left by chemical shampoos. If you don't have time to wait though, this 2-in1 shampoo is a great solution as it does not need a transition phase at all, while still being made with no chemicals and SLS. They are made 100% with renewable energy too and fully vegan.

How to use your shampoo bar:

  1. Lather the bar in your wet hands and apply the foam obtained to your hair, massage the hair as you would do with a liquid shampoo.
  2. Section your hair in major areas where to apply the shampoo (i.e. top of the head, the two sides and the back). This will ensure an even application of the product.
  3. Leave the lather on the ends for longer for additional conditioning when required
  4. Rinse thoroughly with water

How is it plastic-free?

The packaging is 100% recycled, made with unbleached cardboard. It is also fully recyclable and/or compostable.

 

How to condition dry or damaged hair

Just like shampoos, commercially-made and sold conditioners are usually packaged in single-use plastic bottles. It's actually quite absurd to think that we would use a material designed to last for 150 years or more, to store a product made to last no more than a couple of weeks. Fortunately, conditioners in solid bar forms are a great eco-solution to this.

Solid Conditioner Bar For Dry or Damaged Hair

solid conditioner for dry hair

 

 If you have dry hair, you know only too well how conditioning your hair is an imperative part of your haircare routine. Choosing a naturally made conditioner bar will help your hair regain hydration and softness without any harsh chemicals, just like this one 

How to use a solid conditioner bar:

  1. Begin with wet and washed hair. 
  2. Rub a small amount into your hair and if you have long hair, down the shaft of your hair. I tend to rub it evenly into my long hair below where I would tie a ponytail. 
  3. Run your fingers though your wet hair to distribue the conditioning lather evenly on hair and scalp
  4. Use only a very small amount, as this natural product is very concentrated: less is more!
  5. Massage it in and leave for a few minutes, depending on how much conditioning your hair needs.
  6. Rinse thoroughly. Your hair will feel smooth, soft and look shiny!


How are they plastic-free?

These solid conditioners are packaged in a recyclable card box. which is environmentally friendly, as it is: 100% recyclable, 100% biodegradable and starts from 100% sustainably managed forests. 

 

How to shave plastic free

It is estimated that only in 2018 5.5 billion of disposable razors were used in the UK, a number that is actually really terrifying when we think that these products are not only made by plastic, but even worse, by a mix of different types of plastics, which make them nearly impossible to be recycled. Meaning, they mostly end up in landfills polluting our soil and waterways. 

Good news is , there are solutions to this, one being using a reusable safety razor and natural shaving products. 

Safety Razors

safety razor

Some people are truly scared of safety razors, for years and in movies we have always seen them associated with the dangers of cutting the skin unless used in a  skilful way. Truth is, they are a lot easier to use than we think! Plus, it's very encouraging to see that both men and women are now using them, making them a wonderfully versatile gender neutral product.

It's also very good news that pop culture is helping spreading the message, as even a TV show like Love Island caused  a 25% surge in male viewers switching to traditional grooming products such as shaving blades and razors, after seeing them on the programme.

If you are looking for a great razor to get you started, this one is a really easy to use, as well as very stylish with its bamboo handle and stainless steel head.

How is it plastic-free?

This safety razor with bamboo handle only comes with a simple cardboard box, widely recyclable, while the stainless steel blades come in recyclable cardboard box.

 

Plastic Free Shaving Soap

 

aloe vera shaving soap

 

 

Plastic razors are not the only polluting products when it comes to getting rid of unwanted hairs. Shaving creams are also extensively packaged in plastic. But making the switch to eco-friendly alternatives is just super easy and the solution is: shaving soap bars! These soaps create a rich and foamy lather that make the razor blades glide on the skin effortlessly and ensuring full protection and safety.

This solid soap is not only perfect for a smooth shave, but it also leaves the skin hydrated and moisturised due to its formula rich in soothing aloe vera and nurturing olive oil.

How to use a safety razor:

  1. Use a shaving soap bar or cream
  2. Rub soap in your hands until it creates a nice foamy lather.
  3. Apply foam to the skin while ensuring that the area you want to shave is thoroughly wet.
  4. Shaving with a safety razor is not difficult, but take your time
  5. Rinse the razor head under hot water before you start, and make sure you rinse it again after every few swipes to remove accumulated shaving foam and hairs.
  6. Hold the razor at a 30° angle: keep the angle of the head of the razor at about 30 degrees to the surface of the skin. The razor has a safety guard but it doesn’t bend in the same way a disposable razor does, so. 
  7. Pull loose skin around areas like your knees, ankles and jawline tight to avoid any cuts or nicks.
  8. Don’t apply too much pressure. This is usually why people cut themselves, just gently take short and smooth strokes on the kin.
  9. Once done shaving, rinse your skin with cold water and pat dry.
  10.  Remove any excess hairs and shaving products from the razors with hot water and dry thoroughly with a clean cloth.

How is it plastic-free?

This shaving soap comes in a lovely brown box made with unbleached, recycled cardboard paper.

How to wash your hands the sustainable way

We as a society seem to be obsessed with plastic even when there is no need for it. Why use soap in a plastic bottle when we can easily use a soap bar like we used to do in the past? Plus, soap bars tend to last a lot longer than liquid soap, so in the end they actually save us money!

 

Shea Butter Soap Bar

 

shea butter natural soap

 

This highly nourishing and soothing soap bar is rich in shea butter, which makes it suitable for most skin type. It hydrates the skin and doesn't dry it out like chemically made soaps tend to do.

How is it plastic-free? 

The soap bar packaging is 100% recycled, unbleached cardboard. It is also recyclable and/or compostable. Labels are made with natural, almond-based glue.

 

Bamboo Soap Dish

 

bamboo soap dishes

 

 How to care for your bamboo soap dish:
  1. Don’t let it sit in a puddle of water, otherwise it will start absorbing the moist and get damaged.
  2. If you use it in the shower, keep it away from the water jet stream and when you are done washing yourself, just give it a good shake to make sure any excess water is let out.
  3. Every few days, gently rinse it with water and throughly dry with a cotton cloth, to get rid of extra soap or shampoo residues.
  4. As bamboo is a natural type of wood, it benefits from occasional oiling such as light olive oil or sunflower oil, to restore its natural colour and health
  5. Always clean with soft cloths, avoid abrasive sponges .
  6. Although bamboo is naturally antibacterial, it’s always a good idea to disinfect it periodically using a cloth soaked with white vinegar and water.
  7. For better results also sprinkle some baking soda on it and scrub very gently. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes, then rinse with lukewarm water and dry with a dish towel.
  8. And when it’s time to say goodbye, remember to pop it in the compost, not the rubbish bin! 

How is it plastic-free?

The soap dish comes naked without any packaging, simply wrapped in a layer of recycled paper.

 

How to be odour free

Yes, even our efforts to keep BO at bay comes at the expense of the enviroment. Store-bought deodorants and antiperspirants are made disproportionally using plastic, as well as chemicals that are proven not to be ideal for our bodies. These unpronounceable ingredients are cause of rashes, blemishes, spots and even allergic reactions.

As advised by Dr Peter Dingle, an environmental scientist and consultant toxicologist, the best way to keep our skin healthy is to use a natural deodorant instead.

 

Natural Cream Deodorant

 

natural cream deodorant

 

This vegan deodorant comes in a creamy form, ready to be applied with the tip of your finger like a moisturiser, leaving the skin soft. Its formula rich in grapefruit and lemongrass gives a sense of freshness and coolness that last all day long.

How to use a cream deodorant:

  1. Rub your fingers into the cream deodorant and apply onto the underarms with fingertips.
  2. It will melt while in contact with your skin. 
  3. It leaves no stains or white marks on clothes.
  4. Please note: If you have been using a mainstream antiperspirant, this will probably have been absorbed by your skin and clothing. Please be patient and wait a few days for these residues to be eliminated by your skin.

How is it plastic-free?

This cream deodorant comes in a reusable and widely recyclable metal jar, and the brown label is made with recycled paper 

 

Plastic-free roll on deodorant

 

roll on natural deodorant

 

For those who still dream of a traditional roll on deodorant while still caring for health and the planet, this handmade deo stick is made in the Welsh countryside by the eco-company Kutis. Our favourite is the lemongrass and tea tree one, due to its lovely citrusy and fresh fragrance, and its antibacterial properties that will help eliminate bad odours.

How to use:

  1. Push the cardboard bottom up until the top of the deodorant sticks out.
  2. Apply on clean underarms.
  3. It leaves no stains or white marks on clothes.

 How is it plastic-free?

These deodorant stick comes in 100% recyclable brown push-up cardboard tube!

 

How to brush your teeth plastic free

Oral care is a very tricky swap for anyone interested in cutting down on plastic usage in their daily habits. Consumers get through 20bn packs of toothpaste every year with discarded tubes contributing to the plastic pollution crisis. Swapping to natural toothpaste in sustainable plastic is not only great for the environment, but it's also really easy to do and require no effort at all!

 

Natural Toothpaste

 

georganics natural oral care

 

Natural Toothpastes are  made with natural ingredients blended with organic essential oils.  These toothpastes' properties are very similar to that of a commercial one especially the spearmint one. Spearmint oil is a strong antiseptic, so this toothpaste helps eliminate germs and promote healing in your gums.

 How to use a natural toothpaste:

  1. Use the bamboo spatula to spread a pea-sized amount onto your toothbrush
  2. Brush your teeth for 2 minutes and rinse well with water
  3. Seal the lid after use, making sure no water enters the jar
  4. Once open, store in a dry place for up to 12 months

How is it plastic-free?

This toothpaste comes in a recyclable glass jar, aluminium lid and compostable box. The cardboard containers and product packaging are all certified biodegradable so can be composted. The bamboo spatulas are sourced by FSC approved companies, and are also biodegradable by nature.

 

How to mouthwash plastic free

Did you know that people use more of a product (such as mouthwash, glass cleaner, or hand sanitizer) when it is a sustainable one? So let's make it sustainable!

 

Mouthwash Tablets

natural mouthwash tablets

Using Mouthwash Tablets in conjunction with natural toothpaste is the most eco-friendly and healthy way we know of to get a whiter smile and natural, fresh breath. These spearmint ones are perfect used together with a natural toothpaste, and will leave your breath smelling fresh and refreshing for hours.

How to use eco-friendly mouthwash tablets:

  1. Dissolve 1 tablet in 20ml of water
  2. Gargle for at least 30 seconds
  3. Spit out without rinsing

How is it plastic-free?

This mouthwash comes in a recyclable glass jar, aluminium lid and compostable box.

How to remove makeup

By switching to biodegradable cotton buds, Waitrose estimates it has saved 21 tonnes of plastic. So imagine the impact it can be achieved if the same is done with similar products, such as single-use cotton make up pads. 

 

Reusable Makeup Remover Pads

 

reusable makeup rounds

 

 Made with bamboo fibre and cotton, unlike their disposable counterpart, these facial rounds can be washed again and again after use and will last for years.

How to use reusable makeup pads:

  1. Use one side of the pad, then the other
  2. Rinse the pads immediately after use in cold water, this will extend their lifespan
  3. Hand-wash or wash in the washing machine with gentle load and air dry
  4. Do not tumble dry
  5. Some shrinkage should be expected as the fabrics are not pre-washed
  6. Do not bleach

How are they plastic-free?

These make-up removal pads only come with a simple recycled and recyclable brown paper label, printed with non-toxic ink.

 

How to apply mascara

The beauty industry is a main culprit when it comes to plastic pollution and waste creation, as most of the high street products are basically single use ones.
But what if we could not only reduce plastic packaging by switching to more sustainable materials, as well as making the products refillable, so to avoid unnecessary waste? 

 

Refillable Organic Mascara

 

reusable mascara

 

All of Zao Mascaras come in a durable bamboo case, when finished you can simply buy a refill to avoid waste and still use your mascara wand over and over again.

How to use a natural mascara:

  1. Start with the upper lashes, holding the brush horizontally close to the root, move up in a zigzag motion while you are looking down.
  2. Concentrate on the ends to enlarge the eye and in the centre to open up the eyes.
  3. Gently tap the eyelashes when applying mascara to the lower lashes, ensuring that you don’t overload them.

How is it (almost) plastic-free?

Mascaras have an outer varnished bamboo case with an inner plastic tube that is removed after each product is finished. All the plastic used is recyclable PET plastic for your reference, unless otherwise stated. Refills are sold in shrink wrap recyclable plastic. It is attractively presented in a cotton pouch with drawstring

 

How to make your eyes beautiful with eyeliner

But this trend has a very dark side too. According to Zero Waste Week – the beauty industry alone produced 120 billion units of packaging in 2017. The vast majority of this number is non-recyclable, which means tons and tons of near single-use plastic piled up in landfills and contributed to generating greenhouse gases, or burnt in incinerators to make space for more similar products in the next rubbish disposing facility.

Organic Eyeliner

 

organic eyeliner

 

Swap your plastic packaged eyeliner with one encased in a reusable bamboo case, to cut down both plastic use and waste. This one by Zao has a felt-tip that allows smooth precision for an intense look. 

How to use an eco-friendly eyeliner: 

  1. For easier access to the base of the eyelashes, close the eyelid and gently pull the skin up with a finger on the eyebrow.
  2. For a perfect line, start at the centre of the eye and trace from outward to inside,
  3. For a smaller eyelid, a thin line is better. 

How is it (almost) plastic-free?

This eyeliner has an outer-varnished compostable bamboo case that can be refilled? Also, it is attractively presented in a cotton pouch with drawstring.

How to use eco-friendly lipstick

The concept of refillable products demands a serious shift in our mindset, but this is where beauty’s best-looking brands come in – you’ll be hard-pressed to ever throw these gilded tubes and metal dispensers away. (Not to mention the cost-saving appeal of buying top-ups, which are often up 50% cheaper than the original product.)

'Refillable concepts and products are certainly of increasing importance to us and our customers,' says Melissa McGinnis, head of beauty buying at Selfridges. 'We have seen some incredible results from refillable products across beauty over the past year

 

Bamboo Matt Lipstick

Who says that lipsticks need to be packed with preservatives and chemicals? This fantastic lipstick by Zao is rich in moisturising organic castor oil and organic shea butter so it will give colour and texture to your lips while also leave them soft and hydrated at the same time, all while using natural ingredients.

 

natural lipstick

 

 How to best apply a natural lipstick:

  1. Using a brush, first apply the lipstick to the outline of your lips by making a thin line that accentuates the fullness of your lips.
  2. Finally, finish with your favourite lipstick, using a brush for perfection.
  3. Choose your colour to match your outfit and your mood following the nude trend.

How are these (almost) plastic free?

These lipsticks have an outer-varnished compostable bamboo case.The inner tube is fully recyclable PPT (the company is working on a better solution as we speak, but compared to most cosmetics brand, they are already 1000 times more sustainable, so we are definitely looking forward to their new innovative materials!)

Period products plastic free

Did you know that conventional sanitary pads contain a high percentage of plastic? One estimate is that pads are made of up to 90% plastic  – another is that a pack of menstrual pads is equivalent to 4 plastic bags .

Tampons have plastic in them too – even in the string – and plastic applicators are made from polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP). 

 It has been estimated that 1.5‐2 billion menstrual items are flushed down Britain’s toilets.

 

Reusable sanitary pads

Reusable pads use a much softer and safer material - cotton and bamboo fibre -which is not only better for health, but also very absorbent. And with the massive added value of not contributing to constant plastic pollution produced by their mass produced counterparts. They can be available in smaller panty liner size or slighly bigger, medium size sanitary towels according to your flow and needs.

 

reusable sanitary pads

 

 

How to use reusable sanitary pads:

  1. Place the sanitary pad into your underwear, making sure the bamboo charcoal fabric is positioned upwards.
  2. Secure the pad by snapping together the poppers underneath the gusset of your knickers.
  3. Once used, rinse under cold water folding the pad and gently rubbing the inner lining together. You can do this under the sink or even in the shower. Rinse and rub until there is no more leakage in the water.
  4. You can either keep your reusable sanitary towels in a wet bag or in a bucket until your next wash!
  5. In order to increase their lifetime, we recommend hand washing or machine washing water at 30 Degree Celcius max.
  6. Let them air dry; tumble driers are not only bad for the environment but they will also shorten your panty liner durability.

 How are they plastic-free?

These eco-friendly sanitary pads only come with a simple label made of recycled and recyclable brown paper, printed with non-toxic ink.

 

How to use menstrual cups

Sanitary products are the fifth most common item found on Europe’s beaches, more widespread than single-use coffee cups, cutlery or straws. The benefits of using a menstrual cup are many: they are basically receptacles made with medical-grade silicone in the shape of a bell, that is designed to be inserted vaginally for the purpose of collecting blood during menstruation. They can be used for up to 6-8 hours before being emptied, so they are far more convenient than pads, and they also last for years. They normally come in 2 size, small and large. 

 

Menstrual Cup

 

menstrual cup

 

The small one is usually recommended for younger women or teenagers, while the large one is more suitable for older women or those who have already given birth. 

How to use a menstrual cup:

  1. For first time users, lubricate your cup with water or other types of lubricant.
  2. Wash your hands and the menstrual cup before use.
  3. Rinse it carefully.
  4. Check that the air holes at the top of your cup are open.
  5. Insert the cup while sitting, standing or squatting. Spread your legs to help you to have a successful and comfortable insertion.
  6. Fold the cup in on itself to make flat, then in half to form a C shape.
  7. Keep it rolled up and guide it rim first into the vagina.
  8. Slide a clean finger up to the cup bottom, to determine that the cup is fully opened. It should feel round.
  9. It needs to be emptied 2 – 4 times a day.
  10. Wash your hands and relax your muscles before removing or emptying the cup. Grab the bottom of the cup.
  11. To break the seal, squeeze the bottom of the cup. Hold the stem when pulling it out.
  12. Pour the contents into the toilet.
  13. Rinse it carefully and reuse it.
  14. Please make sure that the cup is cleaned before and after to avoid discolouration and odour.
  15. Rinse first in cold water and then wash with hot water.

How can they fight plastic pollution? 

These menstrual cups come in a handy plastic-free drawstring reusable pouch. They are packaged in a recyclable cardboard box.

 

How to moisturise your face - plastic free

Did you know that facial skincare for women is worth nearly 1.5 billion British pounds as of December 2018? It's a very lucrative industry and one that doesn't show any signs of slowing down. People love creams and moisturisers, and they are buying it more than ever, but what is the cost for the environment if most products available are made of plastic?   

 

Organic Face Cream

 

 

There are now some amazing face moisturisers that, unlike many conventional creams, are made with 100% plant-based ingredients, cruelty-free and with sustainable packaging. One of our favourites is this chamomile face and eye mask, made with fair trade and organic shea butter and jojoba oil, and it is ideal to hydrate and nurture your skin while also fighting anti-ageing and wrinkles appearance around the eyes.

How to apply a vegan and natural face cream:

  1. Apply a pea size amount to the face and eye area. 
  2. Rub in circular motions until absorbed. 
  3. Avoid touching your eyes with the cream.

How is it plastic free?

This Face and Eye Cream comes with a glass jar and aluminium tin cap, 100% reusable, and recyclable.

 

How to have silky skin all day long

In Great Britain, the skincare market, including cosmetic and dermo-cosmetic skin creams, hand and lip care products, sun screens, and body lotions, reached a value of 2.28 billion British pounds by the end of 2018. We all have a responsability to choose products that are not only good for our skin, but also for our planet too.

 

Solid Lotions

 

solid lotions

 

A great eco-friendly alternative to traditional body moisturisers is solid lotions. They come in the shape of solid bars, resembling a traditional soap, but they are in fact packed with natural, organic ingredients that deeply moisturise and hydrate your skin while living it incredibly soft and smooth.

How to use a solid lotion bar:

  1. Just rub it on damp skin
  2. Massage it to help the absorption.
  3. This body moisturiser natural formula helps to prevent the skin from drying out.
  4. It can also be rubbed on hands first, and then applied to the skin.

How is it plastic-free?

Packaging is 100% recycled, unbleached cardboard. It is also recyclable and/or compostable. Labels are made with natural, almond-based glue.

 

How to sunbathe plastic free

The main difference between chemically made sunscreen and natural, eco-friendly ones is in their ingredient lists. . The active ingredients in chemical sunscreens are effective because they absorb the sun’s UV rays. However, before these chemicals can offer any UV protection, the skin has to absorb them. This can cause irritation and discomfort. as they are not natural ingredients, but as the name suggests, they are chemical ones.Also, some mass-made sunscreen contain micro-plastics which are incredibly damaging for waterways. The eco-friendly solution to this is to choose a mineral, natural suncream.

 

Organic natural sunscreens

 

 

A mineral sunscreen uses minerals as its active ingredients. The minerals most often used are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Mineral sunscreens work in a completely different way than chemical sunscreens. Instead of penetrating the skin and offering protection by dissipating UV rays, they simply sit on top of the skin and reflect UV rays away from the body. Mineral sunscreens are sometimes called physical sunscreens because they provide a physical barrier between the skin and the sun’s rays in a much more natural way! We particularly love this one by Amazinc, as it's also vegan and cruelty free!

How to apply a mineral butter sunscreen:

  1. If it’s cold and quite firm, rub it vigorously with warm fingertips to make it softer, or scoop some out of the tin and warm it between your hands, then apply generously at least 15min before exposure to the sun, and then reapply regularly, particularly after exposure to water or after sweating.
  2. 'Applying generously' means you need approximately a teaspoon for an adult face, and a shot glass full for an adult body.
  3. Apply frequently (every 2 hours or so) or every time you come out of water. 

How is it plastic-free?

No-leaching tin made of aluminium, 100% recyclable.

 

How to drink tea the eco-way

It's probably the most beloved drink in Britain, however not the most sustainable one. That's because the majority of tea bags available on the market are smuggling yet more plastic into our lives. That's right, most of teabags in the UK contain a very thin layer of polypropylene plastic which makes them non-compostable, and can actually release miniature bits of plastic in our drinks.

 A few brands are now taking a radical step of changing this, including, PG Tips that we all know and love, will come from 100% plant-based material from a renewable source that's fully biodegradable."

 

Japanese-Style Wooden Tea Cup

 

japanese tea cup

 

Another alternative of course is not to use teabags at all, and substitute them with loose tea leaves. This is also the norm in traditional Japanese tea time, where tea is drank from handmade wooden cups that maintain the smell and taste of tea as fragrant and unaltered as possible. You can also recreate you personal touch of zen with these lovely handmade tea cups while also ditching plastic from your cuppa.

How to prepare tea with loose leaves:

  1. Use a normal cup, ideally made of natural wood, and after use, rinse with running water and dry wipe.
  2. Pour boiling water in the cup and add a teaspoon of tea leaves (or use a tea strainer)
  3. Leave tea to soak for a few minutes to reach desired strengh
  4. Remove leaves with a teaspoon (or the strainer)
  5. Do not wash the cup in a dishwasher or microwave
  6. Do not rub the surface of the bowl with scrubbing cloth, as this may scratch the wood.
  7. Clean dry with only water using a soft napkin or cotton cloth.

How is it plastic-free?

This Japanese-style wooden cup has no plastic packaging at all!

 

How to drink water plastic free

 From travelling to workout sessions, picnics in the park to festivals, keeping hydrated while on the go or doing physical activity is paramount. But while doing it millions of people every day just keep buying (and wasting) single-use plastic bottles that are literally thrown away after just hours, sometimes minutes of being purchased. This is probably one of the most wasteful habits the world has created, especially because most country have access to drinkable free tap water pretty much everywhere. We know the convenience of bottled water is tempting, but even most music festivals now provide drinking water at taps around the site. All we need is a reusable bottle.

 

Reusable water bottles

 

reusable water bottles

 

Just get used to carrying a reusable water bottle with you all the time, and for extra conveniency download the refill app that tell you where you can find free refillable stations everywhere in the country and closest to your location. We love this one that comes without any plastic at all, with a stylish bamboo cap and a sturdy D-shaped ring, for an even easier grip. Available in smaller 500 ml size and a larger 750ml size

How to care for your water bottle:

  1. The bottle can be washed in the dishwasher.
  2. Bamboo cap not suitable for dish-washing as this may deteriorate the natural aspect of the wood.
  3. We recommend letting it air dry after rinsing it with cold water and mild soap.
  4. Do not rub the surface of the bottle with tough scrubbing cloths, as they may scratch the stainless steel.
  5. Clean dry it using a soft napkin or cotton cloth.

How is it plastic-free?

This reusable stainless steel bottle only comes with a simple recycled and recyclable brown paper label, printed with non-toxic ink. The label is also applied with almond-based glue, which is made from potato starch, water and glycerin, 100% natural and safe with children.

How to wash pots and pans plastic free

The market for household cleaning products is a billion euro industry in Europe. Meanwhile, in UK households, a weekly average of 2.50 British pounds were spent on purchases of cleaning products. But cleaning products are actually some of the worst culprits of plastic production in our homes, so it is a lot better to choose ones that are made with natural materials and can be composted and or recycled at the end of their shelf life.

 

Eco-friendly Dishwashing Soap

 

dishwashing soap

 

Many commercial dishwashing detergents are made with unknown/unpronounceable ingredients  that let us wonder what we are rinsing down the drain and what effect this can have on marine life, fish and all that. Choosing a solid, natural dishwashing soap is probably a true act of defiance in the kitchen against water and plastic pollution, while still making pots and pans spanking clean! This soap is mainly made with coconut oil and glycerin, making it far more eco friendly than most soaps!

How is it plastic-free?

This dishwashing soap by Primal Suds comes in 100% recyclable, 100% biodegradable recyclable brown card box.

 

Wooden Dish Brush with Removable Head and Sisal Bristles

 

wooden ecofriendly dish brush

 

This brush is truly eco-friendly as it is 100% made with natural materials: handle made with untreated beech wood, plant-based bristles from sisal agave plant, and metal head holder (fully recyclable). But the best bit is that the head is also removable and can be replaced with a new one when time comes for it to be popped in the compost, so the handle can be reused again and again with no waste!

 How to wash dishes the eco-friendly way:

  1. Lather the soap on a dishcloth, an eco-brush or a scrubber before using it to clean your dishes.
  2. Rinse. and dry dishes
  3. Keep the soap dry between washes, we recommend a bamboo soap dish for this

How is it plastic-free?

This brush comes with no packaging at all.

 

How to wash clothes with no plastic

 More and more people are developing allergies or sensitivities to chemical elements. The cleaning industry has packed our lives - and products - with lab-made components who were never designed to be in constant touch with our skin. Eczema, rashes, allergy reactions, psoriasis are just some of the side-effects of this phenomenon. Let alone the fact that using these chemical products keep pumping pollutants into our sewage systems, and from there reaching billions of marine creatures in seas and rivers.  Fortunately there are some amazing and effective ways to wash clothes without feeling guilty, with no yucky scum on the washing machine while getting a good deal for our money.

 

Soap Nuts

 

soap nuts

 

Native of the Himalayan region, these berries they are naturally rich of a cleaning agent called saponin and have been used by local communities for centuries for a wide variety of uses, from cleaning to laundry and self care. 

How to wash laundry with soap nuts:

  1. Put approx 4-6 in a muslin bag (or any mesh bag), add a few drops of essential oil if you want to add scent to your laundry.
  2. If you use them with cold water (below 30 degrees) kick start their natural cleaning properties by putting them in a mug with hot water prior to use.
  3. Close the bag and pop into the washing machine with your clothing.
  4. You can use the same bag of soap nuts 5-6 times before putting them in the compost. Once they start to turn grey and soft that’s when you replace them.

 How are they plastic-free?

EarthBits Soap Nuts with bag come in a reusable, biodegradable muslin bag. You can also get refills in simple, unbleached paper bags.

 

How to remove stains from clothes and fabric

Some people find that eco-solutions for laundry sometimes fail to get rid of the toughest stains and they are tempted to go back to their usual chemical detergents. No need for that, old traditional hacks from French grandmas can help with that and the word is: Marseille Soap!

 

Anti-Stain Soap, Savon de Marseille 

 

 

This incredibly versatile soap has been used in Mediterranean countries for hundreds of years to get rid of even the tougest stains, due to its rich formula packed with olive oil, that can get rid of grease, dirt, food stains, even soiled nappies, you name it! And no plastic nor nasties at all down the drain, while also leaving our hand moisturised and cared for.

How to get rid of stains using Marseille Soap:

  1. Wet stains with cold water and rub the laundry bar over the dirty area until it is well coated with soap. 
  2. Let it soak into the fabric for about 10 minutes (leave a bit longer for very dirty, tough stains) before putting into the washing machine or handwash.
  3. It works wonders with all kind of stains:  fruit, ink, grease, tar,  coffee, oil, wine,  sauce, grass stains, soiled nappies, dirt stains etc.
  4. Use together with soapnuts for a truly eco-friendly laundry routine.
  5. Keep on a wooden soap rack to allow it to dry between uses, this will extend its durability.

How is it plastic-free?

This soap de Marseille come naked with a simple label made with brown recycled paper and natural, almond-based glue.

 

How to go shopping plastic free

The average consumer in England now buys just 10 bags a year from the main supermarket retailers, according to the new data from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), down from 140 bags in 2014 before the charge came into force. A great alternative is swapping to reusable bags.

 

Cotton Bread Bag

 

cotton bread bag

 

Did you know that the best way to keep bread fresh for longer is to keep it in a cotton bag? This is because cotton can keep the right level of moist to the bread, so it does not go stale nor gummy! If you feel like adding a touch of vintage to your kitchen, these one is just what you need.

 How to keep bread fresh for longer:

  1. Buy it loose from a local bakery, or from your supermarket (most have a bakery area that sells loose bread). Remember to bring your reusable bags with you.
  2. If you feel adventurous, why not try to make bread at home? It's a real fun experience and there are plenty of great blogs and zero-waste baking groups online that offer recipes to fit any level and time availability (yes you can make bread in under an hour too!)
  3. Store your bread to avoid waste and give it extra life: best way is to your fresh load in a cotton kitchen towel or a cotton bag.
  4. Freeze what you won't eat. You can cut it in slices before freezing it and pop individual slices directly into the toaster whenever you fancy a toast, or take the whole load out the night before to have fresh bread for breakfast.
  5. Don't keep it in the fridge. Bread lasts longer at room temperature or in the freezer. Only store your bread in the fridge if the weather is really hot.

How is it plastic-free?

This bread bag comes with only a brown label, glued with almond-based blue.

 

You can check some other amazing plastic free tips on this blog post!

     

    Summary

    Plastic-free July is here and I hope all these tips will help you get the best out of your month without plastic, it is really not that difficult to make the switch to better, more sustainable alternatives, and if you can keep it up even after July, that's just amazing and well done you!

    If you have any plastic free tips or suggestions you’d like to share please leave a comment below or on Instagram or Facebook.

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