Five Easy-Peasy Plastic-Free Swaps for July
Did you know it’s #plasticfree July?! We know what you’re thinking, these things are hard to keep track of and not only does there seem to be ‘something’ for every month now but Google will also probably tell you there’s also ‘something’ for every single day of the year now - heck on some days even more than one!
Whilst there’s no getting away from the fact that most of these days, months and weeks dedicated to specific things are mostly dreamt up by the marketing department in a large corporation or advertising agencies; when you think about it, if it’s raising awareness, educating and getting people talking about a really useful topic or one that deserves more attention than we give it; then sometimes it’s worth it.
We try our best to be as realistically plastic-free as a small independent gift shop can be given the circumstances. Some things will always be out-with our control and we can’t be perfect. But we try. And trying is good enough for us and should be good enough for you. Far better all of us trying to do our bit, than only some of us, right?!
We wrote a blog post earlier on in the year all about our sustainability journey HERE and there’s a special section on the website all about it HERE too. But this week and for the rest of the month we’ll be shouting all about our plastic free tips, our eco brands and why we love them and giving you a bit of a peep behind the scenes on social media about the plastic-free things we do as a shop to help to try and do our bit.
This week we thought we might share some of our fool-proof, easy-peasy plastic-free swaps that you might like to try out too, if you don’t do them already.
FIVE EASY-PEASY PLASTIC-FREE SWAPS
1. Ditch the bottled water. And plastic bottles altogether if you can! We are fortunate to live in a world where clean, fresh water is available from a tap to us all. It then seems ludicrous to us that bottled water even exists! But sadly it does. Don’t buy it, if you can help it. We are big advocates of Chilly’s bottles - they keep cold drinks cold for twelve hours and hot things hot for twelve hours too! Plus you can buy replacement lids and carabiners to attach your bottle, bag or rucksack. You can fill them with all of your favourite drinks and keep them squeaky clean with a bottle brush after each use. Whether you use a Chilly’s bottle or not, did you know there’s an app called REFILL which you can use to find shops and businesses that will let you top up your re-usable bottle with tap water? If you’re not ready to ditch plastic bottles altogether, try and stick to brands that already use recycled plastic where possible and make sure to recycle your own plastic too! Shop our re-usable and refillable bottles, mugs, and flasks HERE.
2. Get into re-usable wraps! We blinking’ LOVE our BEESWAX WRAPS. We try to bring our lunch to work with us or take snacks along on day trips where we know it might be harder to buy something to munch that is plastic-free. Our Beeswax wraps are handmade in soft organic cotton and printed with organic dyes. They’re infused with ethically sourced beeswax, Damar tree resin and organic jojoba oil. They’re fab for covering bowls and plates and keeping leftovers fresh; wrapping sandwiches and other snacks for nibbles on the go or even to use as a clean surface when eating al-fresco. They’re plastic-free and full compostable too! If beeswax wraps aren’t your thing, there are plenty of other ways to babe more plastic-free such re-using all jars for leftovers and making sure that any plastic containers you do buy are made from recycled plastic and free from harmful chemicals.
3. Be squeaky-clean and smell just as good without the plastic. Over the past few years we’ve worked really hard to try and bring you some more eco-friendly and plastic free cosmetic brands in the shop and online. There’s always room for improvement but we’re proud of how far we’ve come.
Bath House are a Cumbrian brand who make their products with essential oils. They’re also working hard to phase out plastic in their products and are working on giving customers a refill option on some products too. Shop our selection HERE.
We also stock a selection of Emma’s Soaps and shampoo bars in the shop. These are handmade in small batches in Devon and are made with pure and natural ecological oils and no palm oil too. We recently added Bous Candles to our scented candle selection in the shop too. This brand is only down the road from us in Cockermouth and their candles are all hand-poured using essential oils and boxed and packaged plastic-free. The fragrances are all inspired by founder Kate’s travels and the natural landscape around her in Cumbria.
We’ve also stocked famous brush brand Redecker in the shop and online for a few years now. In fact we loved them so much we wrote a post all about them HERE too. They hand make household and cosmetic brushes with natural materials for absolutely everything in the world you can imagine. They’re sturdy and practical as well as being beautifully crafted. These are a great way of reducing your plastic as these products also last much longer than their plastic-y counterparts! Shop out brush selection HERE.
4. Re-use and recycle as much as you possibly can. Sometimes buying plastic is unavoidable and whilst making sure it does get popped into your recycling bin when it’s on it’s last legs; try and be as imaginative and creative as you can and give the plastic you do buy a new lease of life! Yoghurt pots make great plant pots and fruit punnets are fab to use as seed trays. Re-using as much as you can in general is good news which goes for using jam-jars over and over again to keep pins and knick-knacks in; to put homemade preserves in or even to stick a few flowers from the garden. The same goes for newspaper and cardboard. they’re great for lining raised beds, window boxes and hanging baskets and they eventually break down and turn to mulch which really helps with the moisture levels in your soil.
5. Make your own where you can. And we all know it’s about balance and that time is precious and also that we don’t all have several hours free in the day to do it all. That said, tiny swaps do help. What about batch cooking a big pan of tomato sauce next time you’re making supper? Not only is it cheaper in the long run and more efficient because you’ll have a few tubs to go in the freezer, but a quick tomato sauce takes no time at all and can be used for so many things such as soups, pasta bakes, chillis or any other tomato-based dishes! Plus it’s a great way of using up vegetables that are a bit sorry for themselves!
We’d love to hear if you have any of your own plastic free swaps, hints and tips! Make sure to follow us over on Instagram and Facebook to keep up to date but also to follow along with what we share for #plasticfreejuly .