First of all the home is a place where you will have more single-use plastic then you ever imagined. We definitely did!
Step one: Do a plastic audit. Go through your house and write a list, by room, of the single use plastic you have. Bathrooms and Kitchens are generally the biggest culprits. Now it is really important that you don’t try and immediately eliminate all of these. Try one or two a month. Wait until what you have is used up, recycle the plastic as best you can and then switch. If you do want to dive right into it, donate the products you have to other people rather than putting them into the bin.
Common Challenges and Replacements:
- Bathroom Cleaners. Many products claim to be the only product that is specific to a job (e.g. tile cleaning, toilet cleaning etc). You can try a steam cleaner, or a vinegar/bicarb mix with a good scrubbing brush. Vinegar and bi-carb clean almost anything!
- Scrubbers etc: Lots of bamboo options (available at most enviro-shops)
- Toothbrushes: Toothbrushes are one of the main things we find on beach cleanups! Bamboo options are fantastic, last just as long and at the end of their use, you can chop the tops off and throw the rest in the compost (unfortunately the bristles are still plastic)
- Shampoo/conditioner: Generally available at bulk food stores. We take in our jars and fill them from taps. Other options include shampoo bars, which often come wrapped in paper.
- Washing Powder: Look for options that come in a cardboard box and have no scoop
- Toilet paper: If you’re in Australia check out Who Gives a Crap for toilet paper that comes plastic-free, chemical free and funds the building of toilets in third world countries. If you’re not in the land down under, look out for other eco-friendly options that aren’t wrapped in plastic, or buy in bulk to reduce plastic!
- Female sanitary items: Diva-Cups or the equivalent products have changed our lives! They replace tampons and pads, are much cheaper, safer and are generally more awesome.
Trash is for Tossers is a fantastic blog that has heaps and heaps of details on plastic free options, along with recipes and how-to videos.