Protecting our planet from excess plastic: sounds simple enough, right?
But the truth is that it’s not quite that straightforward. For most of us, sustainability equates to recycling our used plastics and packaging. However, there are many more actions we can take to help cut down on our collective plastic footprint.
The problem is that not all of us know what steps we can take to help cut down on single-use plastics.
Thankfully, there are various strategies and product swaps that result in a much more sustainable lifestyle. While it would be unfair to ask you to go 100% plastic-free, you’d be surprised at the simple steps you can take to dramatically cut down your plastic use.
Reducing your plastic use for Earth Day
As a plastic-free brand, we already provide a solution to eliminating your period waste (11,000 disposable period products in a lifetime, no less!). To help you do even more, we want to extend your knowledge by sharing other plastic-free product swaps to help you complete the challenge.
The 22nd of April is Earth Day. It’s the perfect time to join together to cut down on plastic use and focus on more planet-friendly actions.
So where should you start? The bathroom of course!
Whilst 90% of packaging is recycled in our kitchens, only 50% is being recycled in the bathroom. As a result, our recyclable bathroom waste accounts for 30-40% of total landfill waste in the UK.But it’s not just the waste itself that’s problematic. Most plastics are created using fossil fuels like crude oil, as opposed to renewable sources — not to mention the emissions created during the production process. It’s true that some plastic products can be recycled, but this process also causes emissions. As for the plastics that can’t be recycled, most end up in oceans where they pose a danger to local wildlife.
What can you do to help?
It’s difficult to break a habit — especially when they’re products you’ve used for years — but living sustainably is a journey that only gets easier with time. Try some of the following product swaps as an easy way to drastically reduce the amount of plastic in your life. We recommend just picking the achievable steps to begin with so you can into the swing of things before making the next swaps.
Disposable period products
Menstrual cups and period underwear are all fantastic ways to eliminate a large amount of your usual plastic waste. Tampons and pads may be what you’re used to, but the average menstruating person will go through a staggering 286 disposables every year.
Another culprit when it comes to single-use plastics is the humble razor. Convenient and unassuming, this is yet another product that is thoughtlessly thrown away, doomed to end up in a landfill. A fantastic alternative, recommended by City to Sea, is the Bambaw safety razor. The 100% organic bamboo handle means you only need to replace the blades.
Shampoo bottles are another source of bathroom plastic that can quickly add up over time. Shampoo bars are a great alternative that not only removes the need for plastic, they’re also better for you. Most shampoo bars don’t contain the perfumes, chemicals, and harsh detergents that are in major brands of bottled shampoo. This means you won’t expose your body to toxic ingredients that can strip your hair and possibly disrupt your hormones.
Every year, over 1 billion toothbrushes are thrown away, equating to 50 million lbs (over 22 million kg) of landfill waste (and that’s just in the US!) Just like your disposable razors, bamboo alternatives offer a more sustainable solution. With a wooden bamboo toothbrush, like the one from The Humble Co., you can recycle it when it's reached the end of its lifespan — rather than simply tossing it away.
Rather than classic aerosol sprays, natural deodorants offer a sustainable option. Made from anodised aluminium and recycled plastic, these clever devices even feature 100% plastic-free refills. Your skin will feel the benefit too, as the all-natural ingredients keep you feeling fresh without blocking your pores or disrupting your PH levels. What’s more, there are even options that are manufactured with 100% cardboard packaging. Win-win!
You may not think it, but the average baby gets through a total of 4,000 disposable nappies by the time they’re potty-trained. This will cost families an eye-watering £400 a year, as well as creating the equivalent of half a tonne of carbon dioxide in the process. Reusable nappies will therefore not only help your wallet but the environment too.
One of the worst offenders on our list, makeup wipes take years to break down in landfills and cause havoc when flushed down the toilet (don’t do this!). Reusable wipes or pads are far better for the environment; choose between biodegradable bamboo wipes or add a little makeup remover to a reusable pad and pop it in the washing machine — it’s that easy!
Where hygiene meets living clean
Whether you already live sustainably or you’re taking your first green steps, your bathroom is a goldmine of opportunities to live a more plastic-free lifestyle. It doesn’t have to be difficult; by making small changes you’ll quickly see a big change to your waste! Need more inspo? Check out our friends at City to Sea and join our joint mission to stop plastic pollution!
Show some love to our planet and buy one Lunette Menstrual Cup today!