21 Day Plastic Free Challenge
Making a New Start & Forming New Habits!
Claudi is a fountain of knowledge on living plastic free, she has set us a 21 day challenge to bring some new plastic free living habits into our daily lives. We would love for you to take part too.
Over to you Claudi!
It is time to really start caring for our planet in everything we do, every day of our lives. If you haven’t started cutting out single-use plastic yet, then now is your time. It is never too late and it is all about making small changes. I am going to help you to get into the habit of ditching the plastic step-by-step.
Did you know it takes approximately 21 days to form a habit? This is something to think about when making changes to use less plastic. There are more and more plastic free alternatives popping up these days and many of them don’t have to cost a lot of money. Once you invest in a good quality eco product it really should last you a while, so think to yourself the cost per use instead of the initial amount you will pay for the item. Below are some other great eco products that you could also use to do quick swaps to start you on your plastic free journey!
To start forming your habit, start with something simple. Pick one or two items that you want to replace and make a point of using these items every day for 21 days in a row to bed in your new habit.
Drinking water regularly throughout the day is very important and so one of the best places to start on your plastic-free journey is to get yourself a reusable water bottle instead of buying water in plastic bottles. We use stainless steel Jerry bottles at work – Jerry donate 100% of their profits to clean water projects around the world. These quality bottles should last you a lifetime. There are also over 20,000 free tap water refill places in the UK including cafes, shops, venues and actual water fountains. You can download the handy refill app to your phone to help you find a refill station near you, wherever you are.
Everybody loves a cup of coffee or tea on the go, so another great habit to start is to bring a reusable coffee/tea cup with you before you go out. I have started noticing more and more coffee shops that no longer offer take-away cups and give a discount if you bring your own cup. Take-away cups are notoriously difficult to recycle and it has been estimated that we use approx. 5 billion coffee cups a year in the UK alone. More than 99.75% of coffee cups don’t get recycled, so by using your own cup you will be supporting the current trend to ditch disposable plastic! We found a great little cup from Global Wake Cup, which is stylish and lightweight. It is made from farmed bamboo and stainless steel with a Polypropylene lid, all of which is fully recyclable and fully endorsed by the Marine Conservation Society. They also give 10% of their profits to support The Marine Conservation Society!
Toothbrushes are another item that you use daily and that are easy to swap. All you have to do is be more conscious about what you buy at the shop. Just pick a bamboo brush instead of a plastic one. Do you know how bad plastic toothbrushes are for you and the environment? The material alone to make a plastic toothbrush is made from a mix of plastic materials, rubber and crude oil. Developing plastic toothbrushes uses plenty of oil resources and oil itself is non-renewable. On top of all this, every plastic toothbrush you have ever used is going to be around for hundreds of years in landfill and many of them end up getting washed away in our oceans, effectively endangering marine life. Make the swap now. It costs a little bit more but feel good that you are no longer contributing to more plastic waste. The best bamboo toothbrush I have found is by Blue Rock Living who use Mao bamboo, the fastest growing plant and an amazing sustainable resource. Bamboo is also naturally antibacterial.
By the way, have you ever thought about toothpaste and plastic packaging (let alone the chemical ingredients)? Most toothpastes tubes are made from mixed polymer materials of seven layers or more and are not at all recycled. Toothpaste is actually something that you can make yourself at home very easily, using just a few natural ingredients. We had an ‘eco night’ at work where we found out just how easy it is to make really nice tasting, effective toothpaste. Check out our previous plastic-free Christmas presents article to see photos, toothpaste recipes and more tips to help you on your plastic free journey. There are very good plastic-free toothpastes and toothpaste tabs on the market, for example the UK manufactured Georganics natural toothpaste with organic coconut oil and activated charcoal. They also do a lovely mouthwash and other dental hygiene products.
I hope you are excited about starting off on your journey and my top tips have given you the inspiration that you need. All it takes is one small change!