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11 tips for a plastic free 2020
There couldn't be a more perfect time to go plastic free than January 2020. Start a new decade in a way that will not only make you healthier, but help the planet and future generations to come. Wow, what a statement, but it's true. Now is the time to make changes for the better. Start your plastic free journey today!
These are our top tips for a plastic free 2020:
1. Decide which room you want to start in and then start! I found the easiest place to go plastic free was the bathroom. Having a plastic free bathroom can be quite straightforward. Start with swapping to a bamboo toothbrush, then maybe try out the dissolvable mouthwash tablets or the plastic free toothpaste in a glass jar. Bigger swaps might be a bamboo safety razor or a shampoo bar. But work up to those. There's no rush and no need to feel overwhelmed.
2. Buy a new plastic free product when the plastic version has run out. Don't go throwing anything out when it still works perfectly well. Just replace as you need it. If you want to go cold turkey, you'll often find friends will gladly take your plastic products and it's a great way to raise awareness of your plastic free 2020 goal!
3. Start an ecobrick. Not sure what an ecobrick is? They're a great way to make building bricks in your own home with plastic that can't be recycled. They raise awareness of the issue but even more importantly show you exactly what plastic you're still buying and what you can cut down on. For more information and to find out how to make them check out our guide to ecobricks.
4. Shop smart. Think about what supermarket you do your food shopping in. We found the best one for plastic free fruit and veg is Morrisons, UK. Or, even better, go to your local market! There are lots of refill shops popping up too these days. Check out where your nearest one is and see if you can stock up on cereal, nuts, popcorn and all the rest.
5. Talk about the environment. Start a discussion with your friends and family and see what their views are. They might think differently, have different ideas but once a conversation has begun it's easy to plant seeds and make people think about what is going on with our planet and what we can do on a day-to-day basis to help.
6. Go litter picking or do a beach clean. It might not be the most exciting thing, but it's super rewarding! We invested in a litter picker last year and I take my nieces with me about once a month so they learn the importance of putting thing in the bin or think about what kind of sweets they're buying. Ones that come in paper or foil vs those that come in plastic.
7. Channel your inner Greta Thunberg: Travel by train rather than by aeroplane. If you need inspiration you can check out the blog that Charlie wrote about travelling from Leeds to Belgrade by train. Yes it takes longer (sometimes), but it can be way more fun and you see so much more along the way!
8. Keep your reusables in your bag. I don't leave the house without my reusable coffee cup, metal straws, tote bag and reusable water bottle. I don't want to be in the situation where I miss out on something because I don't want to use the single use plastic version. It's just about getting into a routine and then before you know it, it'll be second nature.
9. Take your own Tupperware to the supermarket. If you eat meat and/or fish, you can take your own containers up to the counters and ask the butcher or fishmonger to pop it straight into there. My local butcher actually said about 1 in every 3 people are doing in now. Isn't that great!
10. Drink loose tea. It doesn't take any longer to prepare, it takes the same amount of time to brew. Switching to loose tea is super easy! Tea bags produced by the major players in the supermarkets contain plastic so never fully breakdown. It's the plastic that stops the tea bag from splitting when hot water is poured onto it. Most brands actually sell a loose tea version of their tea, so if you've got a favourite, then you won't even taste the difference.
11. Buy second hand. Why not pop into that charity shop next time you walk by and just have a look, or even online on Depop or Shpock. Or if you need a new piece of furniture, have a look at the Red Cross or online on Gumtree or eBay, you'd be surprised what furniture you can find. My friend recently made a beautiful book shelf from old apple crates.
If you're still stuck for ideas take a look at our plastic free UK shop for all the eco friendly options to start your plastic free 2020 just right.
What tips have you got for people about the start their plastic free journey? Or are you about to start and feel nervous? Let us know in the comments below.