Living without plastics, we suggest some eco alternatives

plastic alternativesEasy Ways to Ditch the Disposables – eco alternatives to cling film, foil and paper towels

We’re living in a throwaway culture. But the plastic straw, cling film and bin bag you use today could still be languishing in landfill centuries from now. Or, even worse, they could end up adding to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Thankfully, going green doesn’t have to be hard, and it could even save you money …

Swap to a greener version of cling film and tin foil

Whether you’re wrapping sandwiches or leftovers, there’s no arguing that cling film is very convenient. However, phthalates and other chemicals can leach from the plastic into your food. Manufacturing cling film is also energy intensive, and it can’t be recycled.  Tin foil isn’t much better, as it uses up raw materials and not all councils will recycle it.

Reusable tubs are great for storing food, but when you need something to wrap around your food, Bee’s Wraps are your best bet in our opinion. Made from organic cotton, beeswax, tree resin and jojoba oil, these wraps can be shaped around food in a similar way to cling film. There’s no risk of toxic chemicals leaching out and you can use the wraps time and time again. (They’re also really rather pretty.) 

Beeswrap

 

Avoid non-recyclable plastics

Hard plastics, such as toilet seats, garden chairs and so on, are difficult to recycle and not usually collected by local councils. When they’re moulded around other materials, such as wire springs or bristles, it’s even harder to recycle them.

Some plastics can be reused for years, such as good quality kids’ toys, but others end up in landfill pretty quickly. Take toothbrushes. We all use them, so millions are thrown away every year. Enter Nordics toothbrushes. They’re made from sustainable bamboo, are 100% biodegradable, and come packaged in recycled cardboard.  For children, there’s Jack N Jill toothbrushes, which are made from biodegradable corn starch.

bamboo toothbrushes

Order a bamboo toothbrush

Buy a children’s biodegradable toothbrush

Ditch the ‘convenient but costly’ products

At Big Green Smile, we like convenience. Recycled paper towels, for instance, help reduce your carbon footprint with no extra effort required on your part. If you really want to reduce your waste though (and save some serious cash), we highly recommend Ecoegg’s Bamboo Reusable Towels. Tear a sheet off to wipe up a spill and then just bung it in the washing basket. Each sheet can be washed up to 85 times. You get 20 sheets per roll, so that’s 1,700 uses. They’re also stronger and much more absorbent than paper towels. And a tree is planted for each roll sold.

 

 

Buy Ecoeggs Bamboo Reusable Towels

Another convenient but costly product is tampons. Costly for the environment and costly for the buyer. Women use 1000s of tampons or sanitary pads over their lifetime. Each one can take centuries to degrade. Tampons also often contain pesticides, bleach and other toxic chemicals.

Luckily, there are lots of environmentally friendly sanitary products to choose from, including reusable cloth pads and biodegradable tampons. The Mooncup is one of the most popular menstrual cup on the market. It’s made from medical-grade silicone and can be used over and over again. Many women find it much more comfortable than tampons.

Order your Mooncup

Look for biodegradable options

There are times when it’s very difficult to avoid plastic, and even harder to reuse it (dog poo bags, for example). In these cases, look for biodegradable options, or compostable alternatives.

compostable bags

Stock up on D2W Biodegradable Bin Bags

Order BioBag Compostable Caddy Liners

Buy BioBag Compostable Dog Waste Bags

Encourage your friends and family to reduce their waste

Whether you’re tweeting about bamboo kitchen towels, writing a review, or recommending recipes to use up leftovers, you’re helping to spread the word. Every positive change can make a difference, so please do share this article.

 

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