Quitting single-use plastic for good is a hot topic in the media right now. It has been reported that by the year 2021, disposable items such as plastic plates, cups, cotton buds, plastic straws and other similar items will be banned within EU countries. I think this is a very bold and much-needed movement. It is great to see the government taking action to slow down the effects of climate change and the negative environmental actions caused by our daily consumerism. Single-use plastic and other disposable items have become essential parts of our everyday lifestyles. When you approach a new way of life, it is difficult to know where to start. So I decided to find more sustainable alternatives for those disposable items that we heavily consume on a daily basis. I always find that embarking on a new challenge is easier when you have the support of others which is why I decided to complete the 1 Day No Single Use Plastic Challenge. Last month I teamed up with Global Wake Cup and their charity partners MCS UK to take part and spread the word about their “1 Day No Single Use Plastic Challenge”. Kicking off globally on March 11th 2019, the aim is to inspire 1 million people across the world to participate over the course of 2019. To find out more and to enter, go to: www.globalwakecup.com
. Now that I have completed a full day without using any disposable or single-use plastic items, I plan to use these sustainable swaps as much as possible going forward.
I had an idea for this photo shoot. I wanted to capture my sustainable lifestyle items among the natural background of the rocks and the sea. One afternoon last week, I packed up a bag and decided to take Minnie for a walk down to the beach for an afternoon of fun dog walking and a creative blog photo session. Five minutes before we reached the seafront, it started to rain heavily. By the time we got down to the beach we were soaked, and I don't think Minnie could understand why I was styling photographs by a very wet, rainy seafront. Nevertheless, we got home, dried off, drank tea (well, I did!) and I am happy with the way the photos turned out, despite my struggle with being unable to see my camera screen through the torrential rain.
Face Cloths for Removing Makeup
I purchased these face cloths
last year because they seemed such a good idea. I think I got 5 individual face cloths in the pack I purchased. These have got to be one of the best beauty purchases I have made in the past year - not just for sustainability reasons! They are gentle on your skin and never before have I found such an easy way of removing stubborn eye makeup! I use these reusable facial cloths to remove makeup, to cleanse my face and apply products that I'd usually apply with cotton wool.
Bamboo Straws for Drinking and Stirring.
Since receiving these bamboo straws
last November, I have used them so many times. Admittedly and perhaps luckily, I am not somebody who uses many straws anyway, but these are the ideal replacement for plastic straws. They come in a set with straws of different sizes to suit the texture of your drink - be it smoothies, coffee, water or juice. I wasn't sure if cleaning them would be an issue and as I am a habitual red lipstick wearer, I thought they would quickly become stained and look worn. Actually, that hasn't been the case at all! In the little pouch of straws you get special straw cleaning brushes which makes them easy to clean and provided that you wash them in hot soapy water, they don't stain either. These bamboo straws double up well as both reusable straws and stirrers and are ideal for every occasion, including travel!
Homemade Oat Milk in a Glass Bottle
It doesn't matter whether you drink plant-based or non-vegan milk, milk creates a lot of packaging waste. I've really been enjoying making up my own homemade oat milk and storing it in a reusable glass bottle
in the fridge. Glass bottles are really versatile because you can store so many different types of liquid in them from water to smoothies, to fresh juices to homemade milk. My homemade oat milk recipe is quick and cheap to make and doesn't require any specialist equipment. It's great for just about anything and I find that oat milk doesn't have a strong taste like some of the other plant-based milks, which makes it easier for dairy milk drinkers to transition.
Homemade Oat Milk RecipeWhat you need:
- Sieve or muslin cloth
- Additional jug (for filtering)
- Jug or bottle for storing
- Measure out 1 cup of oats to 3 cups of water. How many cups you use depends on how much milk you want to make.
- Blend the water and oats mixture for about 30 seconds in a blender.
- Filter the milk mixture into a spare jug using either a sieve or muslin cloth. The filtered milk will probably still contain a lot of oat grounds at this point, so I usually filter it about 2 more times.
- Once you're happy with the consistency of your milk, simply pour the milk into a jug or glass bottle and store in the fridge. The milk should last up to five days when refrigerated.
Switch to a Bamboo Coffee Cup and Reuse those Leftover Coffee Grounds
I love my bamboo cup. I bought my first bamboo mug a couple of years ago and purchased this one last year. The first one I bought has a silicon pull-off lid, whereas this one has a screw-top lid, which is better for when I am travelling and am more prone to spillages. Since purchasing my first bamboo cup, I've managed to convert the whole family and now we all have our own bamboo travel cups. They are so cute, easy to clean and a fantastic way to save on disposable coffee cups from take-out places. And, if you happen to be making up your own coffee in the morning instead of buying it out, you'll probably find that you accumulate lots of leftover coffee grounds. Well, I have found a waste-free solution for that too. Read my article here: "6 DIY Beauty Products Using Leftover Coffee Grounds".
Use a Canvas Bag Instead of Plastic Shopping Bags
I've used a canvas bag instead of a plastic bag for my shopping for a number of years now. For one, it's just so much easier to transport your shopping around and doesn't put a strain on your wrists. If I have shopping to carry, I much prefer carrying it on my shoulder. Canvas shopping bags are usually quite strong and you can carry a fair bit of weight inside of them, which makes them more durable than their plastic counterparts. Seeing as they are often referred to as "bags for life", why not find yourself a canvas bag with a cool slogan that you're proud to wear, such as these ones.
Choose Bars of Cleansing Products Instead of Plastic Bottles
We can all agree that product packaging causes us to use high volumes of plastic and other materials. That's why if you're looking to attempt a plastic-free and more eco-friendly way of life, switching to bars of cleaning products is the more sustainable option. Bars of cleansing products, such as soaps, shampoos and facial cleansers all come available in bar form with eco-friendly packaging that is better for the environment, unlike the same products purchased in plastic bottle form.
Beauty and Makeup Swaps
Technically, this doesn’t really fall under the “single-use plastic” category, but it does focus on the topic of preventing unnecessary waste. I recently wrote a post about the ways in which I have been using makeup brushes by Real Techniques
to help me to cut out using cotton buds as part of my morning makeup application routine. It's definitely worth reading if you want to cut down on your consumption of cotton buds and tissues when correcting your makeup. There's also a useful DIY dry shampoo hack and root concealer tricks in there too!
If you're interested in taking part in the "1 Day No Single Use Plastic Challenge" then find out more here and don't forget to follow me on Instagram to stay up to date with my sustainable journey.