In these 5 easy steps, you can make plastic free-living your 2020 New Years’ resolution or goal. Although I’m an optimist by nature, I don’t think that 100% percent plastic-free living is a reality (yet anyway) but we can definitely work towards reducing our dependence on plastics.
(Please note that there are affiliate links in this post, meaning if you do purchase something from clicking through these links, I might get a small compensation for the referral, at no cost to you. )
Step 1: Refuse Plastic
The easiest tactic to reduce plastic is simply to refuse plastic. Start at the grocery store, refuse using plastic bags. If you only have a few items, carry them out in your hands. If you know you have a large grocery shop, bring your reusable bags. I keep a few in my car in case I have unplanned grocery store visits. This has become quite common and easy to do here in Ontario since they charge for plastic bags now. But you can go a step further and bring reusable produce bags to store your fruit and vegetables.
Also, if you go through the drive-thru for your morning coffee, try bringing a reusable cup. And if you forget to bring that, you can always refuse the lid.
And most importantly, give up the plastic water bottles. So unnecessary. Invest in a great reusable water bottle and carry it around with you.
Step 2: Look for alternatives
The next step is to look for alternatives for your regular plastic made items. When doing your groceries choose foods that are stored in glass containers, like salad dressings for example, over plastic containers.
If you do choose to drink soft drinks and other bottled drinks, aluminum cans are the better alternative over the plastic bottles.
Beeswax food wraps and bowl covers are great alternatives to plastic wraps. They are readily available in zero waste shops, and even available in my Little Eco-Friendly Shop or learn to make your own beeswax wraps.
There are alternatives to buying shampoo and conditioner in plastic bottles. You can go to a zero-waste shop and have some old bottles refilled, or they also come in solid bars.
The same goes for reusable straws. You can find some metal ones at the Bulk Barn (in Canada). This will come extra handy when they ban single-use plastics here in Ontario. You can also check my shop for some reusable straws.
Step 3: Shop at Bulk Stores and Farmers Markets
Use Bulk stores that allow you to bring your own containers. One of the best things I’ve done since going plastic-free is getting acquainted with our local bulk store called “The Bulk Barn”. At first, it was a bit weird, bringing my own containers, but I’m passed that now. Read about how to shop plastic-free at bulk stores.
Although I have visited our local Farmer’s Markets, I haven’t made this part of our routine yet, but they are great places to get local fruit and veggies that are not packaged in plastic. You might even find other local providers for products such as honey or meats.
Step 4: Plan ahead and make your own meals and snacks
Another great tip for a plastic-free living is to plan ahead. I find that when my husband and I plan our meals and snack, we not only eat healthier, but we also use a lot less plastic. It takes some preperation beforehand, and I have to make a point to carve out some time, but I’ll batch meal-prep on weekends, making meatballs, healthy muffins etc. for the week. You might be interested in reading my post on plastic-free snack ideas!
Step 5: Fall in love with DIY
If you make your own home cleaners or beauty products, you can skip the plastic containers altogether, and as an added bonus, it’s usually cheaper to make your own. Mason jars, or reusing old plastic containers you already have will definitely help in reducing your plastic use.
If you are looking for recipes for homemade cleaners, check out my post on Eco-friendly DIY cleaners. In the new year, I’m planning on testing and making more of my own DIY beauty products like lotions, lip balms and scrubs. I will share my recipes under my DIY section, so make sure to subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss out.
And finally let’s recap: To create a plastic-free living home, you’ll need to refuse plastic, look for plastic alternatives, rethink how we shop by leveraging bulk stores and farmers’ markets, resolve to plan ahead and embrace DIY solutions.
How are you planning to make 2020 a better year?