In honour of Earth Day today I thought I’d update you on how I’m getting on with my plastic-free living journey. As I have talked about previously here on this blog (which you can read here if you’re interested) I am attempting and ‘attempting’ is definitely the key word here, to cut down on the amount of plastic, especially single-use plastic, that I consume.
During the first month I tackled items such as toothbrushes and toothpaste as well as having already previously turned my back on plastic straws and shopping bags.
This month I went one step further and really started to look at how I consumed plastics. The obvious area was takeaway coffee cups but since I don’t drink a lot of takeaway drinks I felt this would only have a small impact on my consumption habits.
Then I came across a little website for a Dorset based company called &Keep that sells eco-friendly, reusable and sustainable items many of which are also plastic-free. You can buy everything from the aforementioned reusable coffee cups to water bottles and an area dedicated to ‘little ones’. Whilst browsing their website I chose a number of items I thought would really help me make a start on cutting down on my plastic consumption and in the images below, you can see what I bought.
First up was a new ecoffee travel mug. It was £8.50 for a 340ml cup and they come in a range of designs but I obviously had to go for the Sakura Pink design which you can see here. It’s made with naturally organic bamboo fibre which helps cut daily consumer waste. It’s naturally sterile and there’s no taste residue which is great. It’s also dishwasher sage and its base material is biodegradable (which is close enough).
In hindsight I wish I had gone for a collapsible one as I do find that it takes up space in my handbag so I don’t carry it as much as I should but on days when I know I’m going to buy a coffee on the go I always make sure I have this with me.
Then I came across one of my favourite finds which was the cotton swabs. I use a lot of these not just for the obvious, but also for taking off and putting on nail varnish and makeup. The reason I was so pleased to find these was that cotton swabs or cotton buds as I call them, are some of the worst offenders when it comes to pollution in the seas. The plastic tube is small enough to get stuck in the throats of small marine life causing havoc because they don’t break down. Instead, these cotton swabs have a bamboo centre that is biodegradable. Bamboo fibre also happens to be one of the world’s most sustainable resources.
The cotton and bamboo buds are by Hydrophil and come in a pack of 100 for £2.25. There’s no getting away from the fact that they’re more expensive than your regular plastic ones but I think using them will make sure a difference that I’m willing to pay that bit extra if it means less of them wash up on beaches.
My third find was this beeswax food wrap which you can find on their website here. I have use something similar before but by a different brand that I wasn’t too keen on. These are from Abeego and come in three sizes if you buy the variety pack. They’re £14.50 which again is a little on the high side but the way I’m looking at it, if it means I don’t have to keep buying cling film and cling foil or even plastic sandwich bags then I’m happy.
The beeswax wraps protects food and lets it breathe. As you can see below, you simply wrap it, wash it in cold water and reuse. It states on the packaging that it lasts for around a year. The added bonus is that it’s compostable.
Finally, I treated myself to one of their soap pouches. It’s by Hydrophil, the same brand as the cotton swabs and costs £3.50. You can use it either to store your soap, especially if it’s in little pieces or as I use it was a natural body scrub instead of using a loafer. It does a fantastic job of scrubbing away dead skin cells and now I have one of these I won’t be going back to my plastic loafer. It’s water neutral and 100% biodegradable sistal. It produces a foam when you lather it up and I have it hanging on my shower.
|Hydrophil soap pouch|
All in all I’m overjoyed with my buys. I feel like I’m really starting to make good strides towards becoming if not plastic-free then certainly free of single-use plastics. I would whole heartedly recommend &Keep; I was impressed by their customer service, the speed of delivery, packaging and their products were great.
I also just wanted to add that &Keep even have a section called ‘re-homing’ which essentially takes unwanted goods and re-homes them by selling them on. They may first need mending and fixing or perhaps they could be re-purposed and if not, they’re recycled. What’s more the profits from the same of the re homed goods are given to a select charity. It’s a deceptively simple idea and one very much needed in our throwaway economy.