Hello Sweet Peas!
Welcome to day 16 of Blog a Day in May! While I was on my way to work this morning, I heard on the radio that plastic straws and other ‘one use’ plastic items are soon to be banned in the UK!
I personally think this is a brilliant thing for the planet, but others are not convinced. I think what most people fear is having to stop doing and using things they have always used, such as cotton pads, straws, Q-Tips. But the fact of the matter is our planet will not survive if we carry on the way we do. Every single piece of plastic that has ever been made, unless it was burned, still exists today! When you throw your old toothbrush in the rubbish bin, you don’t think any more about it but that toothbrush could end up on a beach in Mexico or wind up caught on the great barrier reef.
I hear you! There are some products that I cannot live without, I remove my makeup every night with cotton pads and I cannot tell you how many straws I must get through going to Costa and Starbucks the amount that I do. But! Ladies and Gentleman, there is an alternative that doesn’t involve us giving up those things, it simply means we need to be a little more inventive and willing to compromise.
Here is a list of everyday plastic or one use product that can be swapped for eco-friendly alternatives!
Tooth Brush – As I said, the plastic toothbrushes that we throw away when we are done will never leave this planet unless they are burned, and even then the fumes that are created contribute the damage to the ozone layer. The alternative to your usual brushes comes in the form of these beautiful bamboo toothbrushes. The brushes work…well, like a toothbrush but the difference is when you finish with it you can recycle them! And, because they are made of wood, they will decompose naturally and safely for the environment. Pretty cool right? Unfortunately, there is no bamboo alternative for electric toothbrushes (yet!) but what I have taken up doing is using my electric in the morning and a manual at night. That way my electric heads last a lot longer, so I don’t get through as many. Compromise!
Shampoo – Technically, it’s not the shampoo that is the issue, rather the bottle it is contained in. If you think about how many bottles of shampoo and conditioner you get through in a month, then times that by the number of people in your family and then times it again by the number of people in your neighbourhood…you get the picture. That is a lot of bottles and not even half of them will be recycled! Oh if only there were a way to have the shampoo without the bottle. But wait, there is! So many companies are creating eco-friendly hair products that you can either put into a refillable container or purchase the product as a bar. Lush Cosmetics have created a selection of shampoo bars (which are shaped like bottles because Lush is just that cute!) which like all their products are completely vegan and safe for the environment! Washing your hair is a little different to normal but it’s a small sacrifice to save the planet!
Cotton Pads – I said previously that I remove my makeup with cotton pads every day…well I did. Up until the point I realised how many I get through in a week and the mortifying realisation that they wouldn’t biodegrade because of all the chemicals I was putting on them (makeup). I was on Amazon faster than you can say ‘David Attenborough’s Blue Planet should have beaten Love Island.’ I now use these pads which are completely reusable. They work exactly like a cotton pad and you can put all your toner and other products on them, but you don’t throw them away. Instead, you place them in a little baggy and throw them in the washing machine. Boom, they’re ready to go again! They’re a bit expensive at first, but I worked out I had made my money back in 4 weeks, with what I would usually spend on cotton wool and baby wipes!
Cling Film – Cling film creeps me out, I don’t know why. I think it’s because it sticks to everything and feels weird. But anyway, the blasted stuff is everywhere and like all plastic, it doesn’t just disappear. The solution, get something that you don’t need to throw away. These silicone lids are perfect for slipping on top of your bowls and pots, they keep food fresh and bug-free and they can be washed and used again! It makes you wonder why we started using things like cling film in the first place!
Sanitary towels –OOh yes, I said it! Girls, depending on how comfortable you are and I won’t judge you at all, you can get reusable sanitary towels. Just like the cotton pads alternative, you use the pad and then put it in the wash. Now personally, during my actual TOM, I won’t use these. I don’t need the hassle when I already feel like crap. But I find because of my PCOS I use so many pads just waiting for it to happen. So I use these a few days before THE day, just in case it decides to be an ass and surprise me. Then when it’s all going down I use the usual pads. Not perfect but its all about compromise!
Straws – As I said, straws are soon to be banned in the UK, so you won’t have to worry about remembering to ask the waiter not to bring you a straw (then get angry when they bring you a straw and their solution is to take it out! But, you’re still going to throw it away so nothing was resolved!…..yeh it’s a pet peeve). If you are the type of person who likes to use straws, there is an easy alternative. You can purchase metal, bamboo and glass straws! They generally come in packs of at least three and come with a cleaning tool so they don’t get gross inside. They are easy to travel with and they are completely reusable. Guilt-free drinking!
Coffee Cups – I’m a coffee addict, which my best mate likes to remind me of at every opportunity. As such, I spend a lot of time in coffee shops. Generally, I try to drink in so that I have a mug which can be washed up rather than thrown away. But that’s not always possible. The sad thing is, a lot of disposable coffee mugs are lined with wax to keep the heat of the drink in but this layer of wax makes them non-recyclable. Easy solution, take your own travel mug. All coffee shops (the big chains anyway) will use your travel mug to give you your drink. In fact, stores such as Starbucks and Costa will actually give you coffee for cheaper if you bring in your own mug. There are no losers here! Buy yourself a travel mug and get going!
There are so many eco-friendly alternatives. All you need to do is go to Amazon and type in eco-friendly products and you will have your start point! We only have one planet guys, we need to look after her!
What eco-friendly products do you use? Let me know in the comments.
Not a Sweet Pea yet? Click that follow button to keep updated with all my posts. I am posting every day this month for Blog a Day in May! Come back tomorrow for day 17!
I am also posting every day on Instagram. Follow me on social media, links are below.
Love Ay xx