plastic-free july: seven quick tips to cut down on your plastic use
A lot of things in life are a journey and cutting down on plastic is one of them, so here are some ideas to help you aim for a plastic free July.
Reducing Plastic is something we're committed to for a healthier planet, so we've put together a list of seven tips that will turn you into a plastic-free guru in no time.
plastic's convenient, but what a mess!
Plastic is a f*ck*ng mess. For example, in the middle of the ocean between America and Asia, there lives the Great Pacific garbage patch. It's a swirling, floating bunch of all the plastic that's worked its way into rivers and then into the sea. We're talking tens of thousands of tonnes of plastic just floating out there, with a footprint about the size of Texas. We've only known about it since around 1997 and luckily for us, people like The Ocean Cleanup organisation are starting to find ways of taking it out of the water.
To make the cleanup easier, and to help leave us all a better planet, let's look at some easy ways we can cut down on our plastic use…
tip 1: be a regular at your local farmer's market
Changing your shopping habits isn't always easy, but every little helps. Where you buy your food is a great place to start because it's often overlooked. Frozen food often relies on a lot of plastic packaging, so if you shop at your local farmers market not only can you pick up fresh, locally produced goods but chances are you'll be using far less plastic at the same time. You can pick up some first-class food at a farmer's market, so definitely look out for apples, onions and tomatoes because chances are you won't find them fresher anywhere else. With luck, you might also be able to pick up some homemade bread.
tip 2: use metal water bottles and water filters
Taking water out with you is a must, especially on a hot day, and there's nothing more refreshing than a large bottle of water. Metal water bottles are a great alternative to plastic bottles and can be used over and over again, so next time you head to the gym why not go for metal instead of plastic. If you're finding it hard to give up the store-bought water for tap water, you could also get a water filter to make sure your tap water is as pure as it can be. Another option is to get your water in bulk from a water dispenser.
tip 3: re-use glass jars
Got a bunch of empty glass jars hiding in the cupboard and no use for them? Well, they're great to keep and re-use for all kinds of things. You can use them as paint pots if you're feeling artistic, and they make a great, air-tight way to store food. You can use them for sauces and spices, and our personal fave is to use them for jam jars, because not only is jam delicious but it's also vegan. If you're in need of an ornament, you can stick a candle or some fairy lights inside to glam them up.
tip 4: dodge sellotape – embrace washi tape
It's on just about every parcel, birthday and Christmas present we send yet we only use it once and it often gets discarded shortly after use. Luckily, there's now a good alternative… washi tape, or paper tape! Washi is a traditional Japanese paper made from fibres found in the inner bark of the Ganpi tree. What's superb about that is that it's biodegradable, which means we can cut the need for Sellotape completely.
tip 5: watch what you wear
Fast fashion has taken the world by storm, but a lot of popular materials have synthetic fibres. Checking the label means we can stay away from plastic and instead go for natural fibre clothing such as organic cotton, hemp or wool. You might find it costs a bit more but two important things to remember are that we're helping the environment and that natural fibre clothing is built to last.
If you're budget conscious, another cool way not to add to the discarded clothes mountain is to go thrift shopping. Buying second hand clothes means you can give clothes a new lease of life and it's one of the best ways to get that artistic or retro chic look. Charity shops are often a good place to look for clothes and you can get a new look and help out a good cause at the same time.
tip 6: bring your own bags
Any shop purchase these days might see you walking out with several plastic bags so a great way to reduce plastic use is to bring cloth bags. They're not only much more sturdy than plastic, so no more bag bursts from stretched-out bags, but they're also a great way to show everyone you care about the environment. It's also easy to get your hands on smaller cloth bags for fruit and veg which is another way to cut down on plastic.
tip 7: upcycle
We've done a lot of work to make sure our packaging is environmentally friendly, and you can find out more about that here. Together, we can do even more by reusing packaging. For example, our face mask flasks can be used as a small vase for flowers. Look here to see the type flasks we're talking about. Just be sure to soak the bottle in warm water to get the label off first – don't worry, our labels are made from sugarcane not plastic.
Lip care kit bags, found here, could make a useful purse or an alternative for wrapping paper when you give gifts. We're still thinking of a good upcycling use for our lip scrub tins, found here, but perhaps they'd make a good tealight candle holder or even a small wind chime.
At Butt Naked, we're always looking for ways to cut down on plastic…
We care a lot about sustainability so we search long and hard for new ways to make our products better for the environment. For example, our lip care range comes in aluminium tins rather than plastic containers. We use plastic-free tamper seals so not only do you know no-one's touched your stuff since it left our warehouse, but you're also staying environmentally friendly as well. Our post satchels are compostable and we even offer a chance to offset your carbon at checkout.
So… less plastic and more fantastic! Cutting down can seem overwhelming because our lives are overwhelmed with plastic, but these seven tips can see you reduce your waste in no time, helping the environment and inspiring people around you to do their bit.
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