This year's Earth Day theme is 'End Plastic Pollution' so we've decided to run a giveaway with five of the ultimate zero waste swaps. We have teamed up with three of our favourite plastic-free brands to help you reduce plastic use across your everyday lifestyle, from the kitchen to the bathroom.
Although responsibility for change should not lie entirely in the hands of consumers - governments, corporations and companies do need to take responsibility - by voting with your wallet, choosing consciously and supporting the companies who are doing it right, you are showing that there is demand for change.
Change needs to happen and it can start with all of us! Even these simple plastic free swaps can collectively make a big impact.
Here are six swaps to help the earth.
Re-Usable Water Bottle
You've probably seen plastic water bottles all over the news recently - from bottle recycling schemes to bottles made from recycled plastics they're being talked about widely. Although recycling is positive the most sustainable option is to avoid purchasing single-use plastic in the first place. Opt for a reusable bottle like this one from Chilly's instead. Not only can you use it for water, you can also use it for hot drinks, so it also doubles as a reusable coffee cup too. Don't forget, you are legally allowed to refill your water bottle at any licensed establishment. Download the Refill app and look out for the Refill stickers around to help you find businesses that have signed up to become a refill point in your local area.
Re-Usable Food Container
Firstly, making your own meals and snacks and taking them with you in a reusable container is a great way to avoid consuming excess plastic packaging whilst on the go. No more supermarket pasta salads or soggy sandwiches, and you'll save money! Choose a lunch box like this one from Elephant Box, which is a great sustainable swap as it's made from 60% recycled steel, is 100% naturallyBPA and phthalatefree and is built to last. Also unlike plastic lunchboxes, at the end of its life, it's 100% recyclable.
Avoiding plastic packaging in supermarkets can be tricky - but try and steer away from it where you can. Local markets or bulk store are usually the best places to visit if you're looking to be more zero-waste. Many people use re-usable shopping bags, but single-use plastic bags and plastic packaging for each individual food item aren't always avoided. Produce like fruit, veg and bread is available packaging free in a lot of supermarkets and instead of getting a little plastic bag to put them in try using re-usable cotton bags like these GOTS organic Make It Last ones from Lasting Things. They are also great for bulk bins and dispensers.
Another easy swap for your bathroom is switching from a disposable plastic toothbrush to a biodegradable one made of a material like bamboo. We're told to replace our toothbrush every 3 months, and many of us use disposable brushes which results in around 140 million plastic toothbrushes end up in landfill in the UK every year. Our toothbrushes can be composted and are made from sustainable bamboo which has been cultivated with no fertilisers or pesticides. This means that they have significantly less of an impact on the environment throughout their lifecycle than a plastic option.
Zero Waste Toothpaste
Toothpaste tubes are usually non-recyclable but often forgotten about when it comes to plastic waste. Think about how many tubes you go through a year, and you're just one person! Every year in the UK alone we dispose of around 250 million empty toothpaste tubes which, for the most part, go straight to landfill. Our toothpaste packaging is glass and aliminium which means that it is 100% recyclable. Instead of recycling, you can also re-use them as storage pots for a whole variety of different things - we like using them for spices. Find out more about the environmental impact of toothpaste tubes in our blog post here.
These 6 plastic free swaps are all up for grabs in our Earth Day Giveaway on Instagram.
- Visit our Instagram
- Pledge to join us on our zero waste journey and tag the friend you're going to take with you.
- Make sure you are both following @georganicsuk, @chillysbottles, @elephantboxuk and @lastingthings
The winner will be announced on the 29th of April. Good luck!