Cutting down on single-use plastics without breaking the bank

If only being eco-friendly wasn’t so damn expensive. As those of you who read this blog regularly know, I have been chronicling my attempts to cut down on amount of plastics I use, especially single-use plastics.

Sure plastics are cheap hence why we’ve become so heavily dependent on them. But I started to wonder if I could help the environment without spending a fortune doing so.

Picnic time!
Summer’s here and doesn’t show any signs of retiring. There’s nothing better in this fantastic weather than having a picnic with friends and family and that usually means plastic cups, plates and cutlery. But there are great alternatives that use wood, cardboard or bamboo.

Poundworld Paper cups

Places such as Poundworld and similar stores in the UK are currently stocking beautiful tropical themed picnic items featuring palm trees, pineapples and flamingos galore.

Be careful though, some of these items come packaged in tones of plastic wrapping. This seems to me to be utterly self-defeating and unnecessary so keep your eyes out for plastic-free wrapping.

Mason jars are your friend
Mason jars otherwise known as Kilner or jam jars are a convenient way of cutting down on the amount of plastic you use in the home.

You can pick them up relatively cheaply in places such as IKEA, Dunelm or even Ebay. Also don’t forget that you can use the glass jars from your cooking sauces. They can all be reused as vases, storage for dried goods, utensil holder or one of the things I like doing is using them to mix salad dressings. I recently also saw someone using them to store their yogurt at work. There’s also been a recent trend towards using jam jars as light decorations and chandeliers.

Draw-string bags are making a coming says…me
For the fashion conscious folk out there I’m here to tell you that draw-string fruit and veg bags are making a comeback. Well…at least I hope they do because it’s about time we did away with those little plastic produce bags you get in the supermarket to hold your lose fruit and veg. With a draw-string bag you’ll no longer need to use plastic bags. I bought mine from the a place in Manchester called the 8th Day: 8thday Coop

Save money and say no to plastic water bottles
This may seem ridiculously obvious but stop buying water bottles! I know it’s tempting when you’re about to catch a train or heading to the gym to grab a bottle of water. Not only are you wasting money but those bottles, if not recycled properly will only end up in the ocean.

Instead, buy yourself a stainless steel bottle or Hydro Flask and keep it on you at all times. Then all you need do if find a water fountain or request it to be filled up in a restaurant or cafe (anywhere that serves alcohol is obliged by law to provide you with drinking water on request) and you’re all set.

Whilst the initial outlay for a non-plastic bottle may be more than you’d usually pay, you’ll soon recoup that over an entire year. Whenever I’m tempted to buy a plastic bottle I always force myself to think about what the price of my convenience means for the environment.

Baking soda – start using it
Take a look in your kitchen cupboard at the amount of cleaning products there are in plastic bottles. Now try using basking soda instead. Sure, it conjures up images of something your grandparents might use but there’s a reason why it has been around for so long.

Not only does it come in a box (cutting down on plastic consumption) but it does pretty much the same thing as most cleaning products.

It can be used around the house as a powerful cleaning agent for everything from washing your dishes to using it as a scrub for cleaning the bathroom, not to mention ovens and floors.

Or if you don’t want to give up on your liquid laundry detergent then you can add baking soda to your wash for an even deeper clean. In addition, it can also be used to clean brushes and combs or sprinkled at the bottom of your rubbish bins to remove odours.

So, if you’ve used any of these already or plan on starting then drop me a message and let me know you’re getting on.

In addition if you want to see how I’ve been getting on living plastic-free then here’s my most recent article, have a read: Month 3: Plastic-free, eco-friendly living

Simmy x

4 thoughts on “Cutting down on single-use plastics without breaking the bank

These are some great tips! I’ve always used my own shopping bags and have reusable jars/boxes for lunches. I’ve also refused to buy a lot of pre packaged food, mainly cooking from scratch to save waste

I love Mason jars… you can get them so cheap in Flying Tiger (if there's on near you) and also I'd say just to say no to straws, which doesn't cost you any money but will help the planet a lot!

Oliver x

Thanks hun. I'm the same, I tend to buy food now that isn't wrapped in mountains of packaging especially fruits and vegetables. Once I started doing it, I was shocked at how much plastic we'd cut down on using.

I love Flying Tiger, I hadn't thought of trying there. You can find so many great and quirky things from there. I use to pick up straws in a bar or restaurant without even thinking about it but now I make a point of not using them at all and using only non-plastic straws at home.

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