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  1. #1
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    Everyday environmental friendliness - suggestions?

    Hi everyone! Recently I have been on a mission to reduce my use of plastic and other harmful/wasteful products as much as I can. I live in the UK, but I think the things I've replaced are fairly universal....

    So far my replacement process has gone like this:

    Bottled shampoo/conditioner/shower gel: all replaced with solid bars of the "leaping bunny" certified (no animal testing at any stage) equivalent product.

    Plastic toothbrush: replaced with bamboo.

    Disposable plastic cutlery: Replaced with a bamboo/steel set.

    Kleenex: replaced with cloth hankies (unless I have a cold, because... well, you know. :P).

    Plastic cling film: beeswax wraps.

    Paper kitchen towels and plastic scrubbing sponges: 'Un-Paper towels' (made of fabric), and fabric scrubbies.

    Plastic water bottles and takeaway coffee cups: Klean Kanteen now has me covered.

    Plastic shopping bags: Of course any reusable bag is great, but OMG the TB large Shop Bags are fantastic. I also use an organic cotton string bag for veggies/fruit.

    Plastic sandwich bags: I've sewn my own sandwich/snack bags with a fabric outside and a waterproof PUL inner lining. They're easy to make, or you can buy them on Etsy. These have also proven to be extremely popular gifts for friends!

    Disposable plastic razor: replaced with a stainless steel Merkur 23C long-handled safety razor. I don't know why these aren't marketed to women as well as men - they are so much better for the planet, give a smoother shave, and once you buy the razor, the blades are cheap to replace (oh wait, now I know why the razor industry is obsessed with pushing plastic rubbish on us! Wink). Until I saw women using these on eco-friendly lifestyle blogs, it never occurred to me to use a 'men's' razor, but really there's no difference - except these work better and are much cheaper in the long run! Yes, they're a bit scary at first, but go slowly and it's fine. Big Grin

    'Feminine' products: replaced with cloth equivalents. You can buy them on Etsy or various websites, or if you sew, there are great tutorials on YouTube. These, along with the shampoo and shower gel bottles, were the worst offenders of my plastic use. I can't believe how much plastic I have eliminated by replacing them.

    So far, this is what I've come up with. I've found the Ethical Consumer website to be very helpful in giving guidance on which products/companies are ethical for people, animals, and the environment. I am far from perfect, but I'm doing my best to be more aware of the true cost of the products I buy, and to support companies that are doing better. I am curious to know what sorts of things other forum members have done - have you discovered any cunning products or hacks to reduce plastic or be more environmentally friendly in your daily life?
    So many bags. And I love them all.

  2. #2
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    Wow what a great list, thank you! I've been looking to switch from plastic dish sponges when my current pack runs out.

    Food packaging is a huge source of plastic for us. A shop opened up nearby that is packaging-free, I haven't made my way down yet because a long time ago we got some pest-infested food from a similar shop, but you've reminded me that I should at least go check out their non food items. They stock toothpaste tabs, dish soap, laundry soap, dish sponges, floss, etc. It all adds up!

    I can't say I have any ideas you haven't listed, but I do try to reuse things as long as possible, and donate things I no longer need.

  3. #3
    Forum Member Rei's Avatar
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    That's great!

    I don't usually need but I love the fabric sandwich/snack bags idea since long ago (but since I don't need it...)

    I just get long run dish sponges, reusable make-up remover disks and reusable pads, I started using a cup recently.
    just a Bihnion here

  4. #4
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    Yes! Food packaging is a biggie, and a tough one. I can see how one might bring beeswax wraps for cheese, maybe, and I know before plastic came along we used to wrap meat and fish in newspaper, but I'm not *entirely* comfortable with that, for the reason you mention! And yes, everything we can do is good, and adds up! Big Grin I also have to be mindful of the cost of replacing these things, so it's a gradual process in some cases, and as you say, it's great to keep and reuse the plastic we've got because it often does last a while, and at least we're not buying more. Thanks, Cristina.
    So many bags. And I love them all.

  5. #5
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    Hi Rei! Those are great ideas too! I've found that since I'm learning to sew, little projects like snack bags are good practice as well as practical. Big Grin
    So many bags. And I love them all.

  6. #6
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    Great thread.

    It goes without saying probably - no single-use straws. I have sensitive teeth so like to use a straw but use either a silicone or metal one.

    Any suggestions for dog droppings?

  7. #7
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    Hi Traveltech! Reusable straws, definitely! I wish I had an answer to the dog dropping question. There may be biodegradable poo bags? Our four year old golden retriever refuses to use the facilities anywhere outside of the comfort of her own garden, so I don't even bother to carry them when we go for a walk!
    So many bags. And I love them all.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antonia View Post
    Hi Traveltech! Reusable straws, definitely! I wish I had an answer to the dog dropping question. There may be biodegradable poo bags? Our four year old golden retriever refuses to use the facilities anywhere outside of the comfort of her own garden, so I don't even bother to carry them when we go for a walk!
    Lucky you! My daughter’s shepherd does the same. I love taking her for long walks without worrying about the bags. But my daughter isn’t as happy when they’re traveling and she won’t do her business on a leash...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traveltech View Post
    Lucky you! My daughter’s shepherd does the same. I love taking her for long walks without worrying about the bags. But my daughter isn’t as happy when they’re traveling and she won’t do her business on a leash...
    Lol exactly! It’s difficult if we want to take her to the beach or any distance more than a few hours. Sometimes she will go in desperation, but not if she can help it, bless her!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    So many bags. And I love them all.

  10. #10
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    There are bio degradable dog waste bags. I first heard of them in one of Tom Bihn Blog's when the Citizen Canine was introduced."Bags on Board®" poop bags.

    https://www.tombihn.com/collections/...nt=16560974599

    Reusable pads and other feminine products have saved the planet a lot, great thank for people who invented the second and the women who gave the first a renewal of use by sprucing up the designs.

    Trader Joe, in the U.S sells cloth for the kitchen, similar are used in all cooking shows, in the U.S. Those kitchen cloths are used all over Europe for cleaning.

  11. #11
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    Timely article that mentions a lot of the things already listed here. The main thing is to reduce plastic use as much as possible.

    https://www.outsideonline.com/239145...e-less-plastic
    "Do one thing every day that scares you." - Eleanor Roosevelt
    "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." -Ferris Bueller

  12. #12
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    Thanks, backpack! I loved visiting Trader Joe's when I was on holiday in Washington State. I'm so sorry we don't have them here. We can get their stuff on Amazon UK at crazily inflated prices. In the UK, washable cloth kitchen wipes are slowly catching on.
    So many bags. And I love them all.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by NWhikergal View Post
    Timely article that mentions a lot of the things already listed here. The main thing is to reduce plastic use as much as possible.

    https://www.outsideonline.com/239145...e-less-plastic
    Yep, as individuals we can only do so much, but if we do the best we can, hopefully others will too, and soon it will make an impact!
    So many bags. And I love them all.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antonia View Post
    Yep, as individuals we can only do so much, but if we do the best we can, hopefully others will too, and soon it will make an impact!
    the more we inform people the more it will impact, that is why this thread is awesome, so once again thanks for sharing Smilie

    ---

    BTW: you probably already saw the thread about carrying resuable straw, but I want to bring light to the awesome solution brought by Ms Ferret with these food pouches: https://forums.tombihn.com/redirect-...w-cutlery-case

    and so I decided to sew some mylself (it will likely be a mess, but I'll try :3)
    Last edited by Rei; 03-13-2019 at 03:10 AM.
    just a Bihnion here

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antonia View Post
    Thanks, backpack! I loved visiting Trader Joe's when I was on holiday in Washington State. I'm so sorry we don't have them here. We can get their stuff on Amazon UK at crazily inflated prices. In the UK, washable cloth kitchen wipes are slowly catching on.
    They are part of the Aldi group, which is from Germany, I don't know if you have them in the U.K, they might be called Asda.


    PS: sorry for the previous post, which punctuation is not the best. I don't even have the excuse of using a phone.
    Last edited by backpack; 03-13-2019 at 04:36 AM.

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