Over the last year, inspired by Bea Johnson’s book ‘Zero Waste Home’, I’ve been making small changes that make a big difference when it comes to living sustainably.
Here’s an easy to read and easy to implement list of 10 things you can do right now to make a difference.
Love Lucy x 🙂
1:Don’t leave home without your reusable water bottle.
Bottles don’t have to be boring! This little cutie is an Orla Kiely design I got from Halfords! Think of how many plastic bottles that will save from being thrown away! Hooray!
2: Always have a reusable bag with you.
This pretty bag was a gift and it is from Marks & Spencer. You can also get some lovely patterned reusable bags that fold up nice and small from paperchase.
3: Bring your reusable cup with you.
Ellie and I both invested in reusable Ecoffee cups and they come in the most beautiful designs. Investing in this reusable item will stop you adding to the huge number of single-use coffee cups that don’t get recycled and unfortunately end up in landfill. You can buy them online or at Bluebird Tea Co. on Park Street, Bristol or at IOTA, Gloucester Road, Bristol.
4: Invest in reusable straws and keep them in your bag.
Ditching the plastic straw for reusable ones is so easy and worthwhile too!
Ellie opted for metal straws and I have glass straws. Now I’ve tried both I’d recommend the metal ones as they are a bit thinner and easier to use however the glass ones are easier to clean as you can see through them and they come with a special cleaning brush. Available from amazon. Order some now!
5: Swap bathroom items for plastic-free alternatives.
Saying no to plastic bottles of shower gel, shampoo, conditioner and deodorant is easy when you can get wonderful packaging-free alternatives from Lush!
There are lots of nice soaps you can try to make the swap from plastic-packaged shower gels to paper-wrapped goodies!. Ellie has been trying these wonderfully 100% natural soaps from Living Naturally Soapnut Apothecary.
Not only is this safety razor absolutely stunning, it’s also plastic free and will last a life time (From shavelounge.co.uk). I’ve actually been taking such good care of the last of my plastic disposable razors that I haven’t needed to use it yet! To keep your blades sharper for longer, you need to push it over denim 10-20 times in the reverse direction to how you shave.
Swap your plastic toothbrush to a wooden one. There are lots to choose from with a quick internet search – perfect!
When it comes to make up and beauty products, it’s crazy how quickly you can accumulate so many products! I have lots and I don’t even use half of them! Now I’m making sure I use up every last bit of the products I have already – yes I cut open my foundation to get a few more days’ use out of it! I am now trying to ensure the products I buy from now on are definitely cruelty free even if they may not be plastic free.
I’m trying out Lush make up and will also be checking out the vegan make up stall ‘Outside the box’ at St. Nick’s market for some goodies to buy along with trying out some Arbonne products too until I find what works for me.
This foundation brush is from a company called ‘So Eco’ and has a bamboo handle along with sustainable packaging! Yes – that little window that looks like plastic is actually made from corn starch!! I have been making home made face masks and treats from this book my friend got me by Carmen Reeves. I’ve also ditched the plastic-packaged face wipes for a muslin cloth and water and some coconut oil to take off make up.
6: Swap plastic packaged fruit and veg for loose items.
I mostly get my veg from a greengrocers where everything is packaging free, but there are lots of options when I shop in supermarkets too – you just need to be looking out for the loose veg. Instead of putting loose items into plastic bags, I just put them in my basket and then into my reusable bag. Sometimes I bring a little tub to put mushrooms in, and sometimes I reuse a little paper bag or cloth bag. This is by far the best change I’ve made and it’s made such a difference to how much waste goes in the bin.
7: Buy bulk and packaging-free where possible.
The picture on the left are just a few examples of things I used to buy packaged in mostly non-recyclable plastic. On the right are the same items but in glass jars which I refill from bulk stores.
My favourite bulk store in Bristol is Scoopaway on Gloucester Road and Ellie loves Southville Deli for her zero waste essentials so why not give them a try!
If you aren’t in Bristol or near a bulk store, there are some small changes in your supermarket swap that can make a difference. I buy this Barilla brand of pasta because it is the option with the least amount of plastic packaging and I recycle the cardboard (and their spaghetti cooks in 8 mins – fab!).
My top shelf here is adorned with my favourite loose leaf teas from Bluebird Tea Co and a few teas from Scoopaway, all of which are packaging free. You can get a refill tin at Bluebird which is great and having loose leaf tea avoids those tiny little bits of plastic that are sneakily hidden in the tea bag itself!
8: Swap cleaning products.
I’ve swapped to ecover for washing up liquid and laundry liquid and love it. I get to refill and reuse my bottles at scoopaway.I tried Soapnut shells for laundry but would only recommend them for ‘freshening up’ items and much prefer ecover laundry liquid to do a good job.
9: Give thoughtful home-made presents.
I prefer to give homemade and meaningful presents such as homemade body scrubs, bath bombs, jams and chutneys. Also, aren’t these flowers just beautiful wrapped in paper instead of covered in plastic!
Another fab tip, inspired by Ellie, is to wrap your lovely gifts with newspaper or recycled string and ribbon from other things.
10: Live better with less – collect memories not things.
I’ve been decluttering my house over the last few months, room by room. Ellie has been removing one item a day during Lent to declutter which is a fantastic idea. I have been going through each item I own and only keeping the things I really love/use.
I’ve put all my hangers the wrong way so when I use something it goes back in the correct way and I can clearly see what clothes I’m using the most.
Now I’m living with less, it’s made me really think really carefully about anything I buy. Will I love it forever? Do I really need it? Can I get it second hand?
You made it to the end! What was your favourite swap? What swap can you make today to make a difference? L x 🙂