At 8.30pm this evening, it’s Earth Hour. I’ve been on a mission to reduce my carbon footprint for quite some time and I’ve found some fantastic swaps that are simple to implement but make a big difference. I learnt so much during Plastic Free July last year.
How large is your environmental footprint? You can use the free calculator here.
My first piece of advice is to take your own containers with you when you go shopping. When you go to the butchers and when you buy produce at the greengrocers or from the supermarket. I think if we all refused single-use plastic that our lettuce is wrapped in, the retailers would soon realise that they’re wasting their money. I use my own produce bags. The ones I most often reach for are my Onya bags. They’re made from recycled bottles, they’re extremely lightweight and great quality.
When I first went to the delicatessen counter and asked the lady serving to decant my cheese into my metal tin, I’m quite sure she thought I was very strange. You do need to be bold, it’s not your ignorance that is keeping the single use plastic market alive. This is the kind of tin I tend to use.
We used to use those cheap, disposable washing up sponges that are something like 50p for a dozen. They would shed little particles into the water system, they don’t decompose and are definitely not sustainable. We’ve switched to a wooden dish brush that you can buy replaceable heads for. We’ve had the same head for about a year now (don’t fret, we do boil it so it’s not germ ridden!). Once it’s no longer suitable for washing up, it will be demoted to a scrubbing brush for garden pots, etc and eventually burned. I discovered the Oxford Brush Company from watching various zero waste YouTube videos, so I followed them on Instagram and have become a fan of theirs ever since. I’ve crocheted a few dishcloths from organic cotton and they also last forever.
During Plastic Free July, I really struggled with shampoo. I’ve tried many different “no poo” methods during the last few years. Egg yolk was the best and most natural alternative that I found. Natural soap bars don’t work for my hair. We live in a hard water area, which I think makes a difference so it always left a residue after a couple of washes. I’ve recently discovered Beauty Kubes and they are the bomb! Beauty Kubes are little cubes that you mix to a paste once you’re in the shower and wash your hair with it. They smell great, they work wonderfully and they’re a great price. They come packaged in a small cardboard box which is completely biodegradable. I’m super happy with these so I’ll be sticking to them for a while.
To exfoliate my skin, I use this massage brush. Dry brushing has been the only effective treatment for cellulite. I use my brush about twice a week to remove the dead skin cells and keep my skin smooth.
A handmade solid soap removes the need for plastic bottles of shower gel (though, to be honest, I do use natural shower gels sometimes).
Cutting down on our single-use plastic consumption didn’t happen overnight, it was a gradual process. It is a really worthwhile process because plastic doesn’t ever decompose. It seems stupid that something disposable or single use doesn’t ever go away. We need to be the change.
Happy Earth Hour Day. Enjoy lights out very shortly. Remember to make your pledge to the World. Thanks for reading.