Simple Swaps To Start You Off On Your Plastic Free Journey

Everyday Essentials

When looking to change to a more plastic-free life, it’s sometimes hard to know where to start. It can be quite overwhelming and quite frankly a little intimidating with so many different opinions on how we should and shouldn’t live our lives. Well I’m here to tell you it really doesn’t have to be so damn hard.

Start slowly, pick one or two things to change and don’t beat yourself up if your plastic-free shopping doesn’t quite go to plan. None of us are perfect. We do what we can.

Here are some tips and ideas to get you started on your plastic-free journey.

 

The good old fashioned bar of soap

This is one of the easiest and cheapest swaps to make in your home. It’s one of the first things I changed and I have to say I much prefer my soaps now than a hand wash or plastic bottle of shower gel.

There are so many amazing handmade brands out there that have no nasties in them. Who wouldn’t want to use a bar of soap that is 100% natural, palm oil-free, paraben-free and infused with essential oils?

My favourite go-to scent for soap is lemongrass. It’s so refreshing and it takes me back to Thailand as soon as I smell it, which has a very special place in my heart.

 

 

 

Try our beautiful lemongrass and poppyseed bar. Natural, vegan, cruelty-free and responsibly packaged! Just think how many plastic bottles you are saving from going into land fill with this one easy swap.

 

Water bottles

When I think back to the amount of plastic water bottles I used to buy each week it’s horrifying. And not just for me but for my kids too.

It is estimated that 7.7 billion plastic water bottles are sold in the UK each year. I can’t even get my head around that number. What’s worse is that a huge number of these bottles don’t actually get recycled but end up in landfill and in our oceans, contaminating fish and birds who mistake it for food and eventually ending up in our food chain.

A few years ago when I really started getting into yoga, I made the switch to a stainless steel bottle because I didn’t want to look bad in a class full of yogis! Eye roll! My bottle still had a plastic lid though and I couldn’t find one that was completely plastic-free. Some look like they are until you open them and the inside is lined with horrible toxin leaching plastic or the lid has a plastic seal. Fast forward 3 years and you won’t find any plastic in our stainless steel bottles. They have a leakproof seal with a very small silicone ring inside the lid so you won’t get any spills from these babies. We have also added a handle to the lid to make it easy to carry and they look pretty cool too!

 

 

Menstruation cup

Men, look away now!

Quite possibly the best swap I have ever made and the inspiration in me starting Green Island. Yup, even though they are not in our product line….yet…these simple little silicone cups of greatness lead me to all things plastic-free and Green Island was born.

A very good friend, @tammcgannlifestyle, had told me about the menstruation cup about 8 or 9 years ago but I must admit I was a bit weirded out at the time and thought it was just a hippy-dippy fad. Who knew years later I would follow in her hippy-dippy footsteps in more ways than one!

Chatting to one of my fellow students on our yoga teacher training course last year it came up in conversation, as it does! I seemed to be the odd one out for not using one. So I ordered mine there and then and have never looked back.
They are way more comfortable than a tampon. You don’t even know you are wearing it. You can wear it for hours with no leakages and I really put mine to the test with hours of vigorous yoga each day. No nasty toxins leaching into your body and no more tampons, towels, plastic wrap or plastic applicators ending up in landfill and the ocean each year.
Oh and don’t forget the money you save!

Seriously if you haven’t yet ladies please give it a try. I have converted even my most prudish and squeamish of friends.

I use the Organicup but there are lots of different brands out there for you to try!

Ok men….back in the room

 

Straws

With a full ban on plastic straws starting in England from 2020 it is a fantastic move forward in the fight against single use plastics. We can say goodbye to 8.5 million plastic straws a year. This is huge news!

Those paper straws though. How are you getting on with those soggy little suckers?

I didn’t think I would ever be bothered to carry around my own straws but hello, here I am. Stainless steel straws are so light that you can pop a couple in your bag and you wouldn’t even know they are there.

Sip sustainably every day with your own Green Island stainless steel straws.

 

 

Produce Bags

I have boycotted those pesky little plastic bags at the supermarket for years now.  You know, the flimsy little ones to put your loose fruit and veg in. I just used to pile everything into my trolley and then onto the checkout and let it roll around freely and watch the look of disdain on the cashiers face. It’s estimated that we use plastic bags for an average of 12 minutes before they are discarded. It’s just mindless. We don’t think about the plastic bags being pulled out of a Whales stomach thousands of miles away in the Philippines while we’re filling our bags with shopping. We’re disconnected from the harm we are causing.

An easy and convenient swap is to use your own reusable produce bags.  Our mesh cotton bags are made from GOTS certified organic cotton.  Soft, light and durable. They come in three different sizes for your convenience. They look cool, keep your shopping organised, the cashier happy and most importantly they keep the plastic bags out of our oceans and away from our sea life!

 

 

 

These are just a few simple swaps to get you started, I hope you find them helpful.  Plenty more to come.

I would love to hear what swaps you have made to help reduce your single use plastics.  Drop us a line in the comments below.

Much love,

Sheenagh x

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