January. Your jeans are too tight, you’ve spent your entire month’s wages already, and the pressure is on to make this year better than the one before (at least on the latter, the bar was set pretty low by 2020!) We may be in another Lockdown, but we’re here and armed with some tips which aim to make the most of depleted funds, allow you to detox without giving up chocolate (phew), and also take positive action while we all stay at home. Best of all it’s positive action that benefits the ocean, green spaces and our health & wellbeing.
- When starting to think about going plastic free in the home, knowing where to start can feel overwhelming. Which is why it’s best to start small. The bathroom is the perfect place to start making some simple adjustments:Use soap and shampoo bars rather than bottled products. Responsibly sourced bars avoid plastic bottles completely and are made of natural ingredients which mean we’re also not flushing loads of chemicals into the water system and ultimately out to sea. Bars last longer, saving money, and if you’re worried about them leaving you with dry skin and lanky hair … lockdown is the perfect time for trial and error until you find the right one for your skin and hair! It’s really common to go through a transition phase – especially with shampoo bars. So don’t write them off straight away. Pure Nuff Stuff in PZ have some tips on coping with that here
- If bars aren’t for you, there is another option. Refill! Archie Browns offer a range of refill products including soap, shampoo and conditioner. All natural products so again no chemicals down the drain – but a little transition to go through. Or if you have a bit more cash to splash, salons such as Hellcat Hair and Second Glance also offer salon grade product refills.
- It’s easy to say use a flannel instead of make up wipes, but if you wear mascara you’ll know, this isn’t a solution unless you’d like a sore face. Opt for washable microfibre make-up removal pads instead and wash and reuse time and time again. They’ll remove mascara simply using water and leave your skin feeling fab
- Period Products are becoming tax free which will make them cheaper, but sadly they come at a cost to the environment. Did you know that a pack of big brand period pads contains five carrier bags worth of plastic? The good news is that there are a whole host of plastic free products on the market which are effective, save tonnes of cash and also tonnes of throwaway plastic. From period pants to washable pads, moon cups and plastic free tampons there really is something for everyone. And lockdown is a great opportunity to try out what works for you. Get more info and here:
Finance Fact: By switching to reusable period products you could save around £1700 over your lifetime!
This is possibly the worst place in our homes for single use plastic and waste. But if we start small we’re more likely to succeed with changing our habits long term. Once you’re comfortable with one small change it won’t be long before you’re unconsciously adapting to plenty more plastic free and eco alternatives! Here’s a few simple and cost effective places to start:
- Shop local for fruit and veg. We know it’s efficient to head to the supermarket to get everything in one go. But it’s also nearly impossible to avoid single use plastics. We love to shop at our local plastic free champions such as Thornes and The Granary for fruit and veg. You can take a cardboard box or tote bag along and stock up on everything you need whilst avoiding plastic wrap and saving on packaging costs. You can also achieve the same by choosing your local farm shop, signing up to a local veg box scheme, or opting for plastic free veggies wherever you get your shopping.
- It’s time to reuse jars and containers again and again with refill cereal, flour, pasta rice, custard powder! … well anything you can bulk buy in plastic free champion stores like Archie Browns, The Weigh Inn and The Granary. Not only do you avoid packaging altogether, but bulk buying can encourage a bit of creativity in the kitchen, as you find new ways to use that jar of lentils or herbs.
- Cancel Clingfilm. We know clingfilm is super useful, but it’s also a major cause of microplastics in our oceans. There are plenty of alternatives for the home which we think do the job just as well. Reuse takeaway tubs and other containers to store food, get smaller pots to use inside packed lunch boxes, use paper or beeswax wrap and you can also get all sorts of toppers now for bowls and plates to store food. Check out Hobbs Kitchen shop in town for a few ideas – but there’s also plenty of options to reuse existing containers and kit around the kitchen.
- Standard washing up sponges and scourers are not only made of synthetic materials that pollute our water, they’re also not biodegradable. Thankfully, there are many other alternatives out there. You can buy scourers and washing up brushes made from a natural coconut fibre, washable cleaning cloths and even an eco-friendly washing up Loofah. There’s plenty of affordable alternatives on offer in town to make the switch.
The bedroom doesn’t seem like a culprit for single use but what about all those clothes in the wardrobe ordered online and delivered in plastic bags? More and more we are learning that the fashion industry is having a detrimental impact on our environment so we’re using this space to talk about our clothes.
- With a throwaway culture the norm these days when it comes to fashion, we need to remind ourselves that we can be more responsible with our fashion choices. Vintage shops, charity bargains and a good old clothes swap are excellent ways to get some new clothes for your wardrobe. Happy Dais Vintage shop and Black Jacket Vintage in Penzance are great stores to start your pre-loved shopping journey.
- Instead of buying new, can you mend and refurbish rather than replacing and sending to landfill? There are ways to get creative with your clothes and take up a new lockdown hobby, adding patches onto ripped jeans or embroidery to ripped sleeves, darning socks, sewing up splits … Red Rose Textiles and Buttons & Bows are good for material and kit.
- Think cyclical when shopping. Could you rent clothing for a special event, or borrow from a friend? Mix and match your wardrobe with friends and family to brighten up your fashion style.
- Choose sustainable and local Cornish clothing brands, who will deliver using responsible packaging and it won’t have travelled too far! Check out where products are made and how. It tends to be a bit more pricey, but quality lasts and there will be plenty of sales on in January so you can finally create that capsule wardrobe designed to last a lifetime!
- Finally, washing our clothes is a big factor that can affect the environment. If possible, switch from washing clothes after wearing them once to a few or several times to save on water use and chemicals. Try to avoid micro plastic capsules too. Laundry Eggs actually replace detergent and fabric softeners altogether, cleaning clothes with mineral pellets and no harmful chemicals. You can also still with laundry liquid and conditioner on a refill basis from Archie Browns and if you do still want to buy traditional products opt for cardboard boxes or bulk buy to reduce plastic.
Finance Fact: We have ten BILLION pounds worth of unworn clothes in our wardrobes.
With more and more of us working from home, we thought it would be useful to come up with some simple home office tips which help keep your home a plastic free haven.
- Find alternatives to plastic pens such as refill pens or just swap to the humble pencil for when a pen isn’t needed. There are some treat refill pens in No 56 on Chapel Street but you can also find options online.
- Avoid Coffee Capsules. Whilst some brands offer a return and recycle scheme with their capsules, most are difficult to recycle and will end up being burnt in Cornwall’s incinerator. The aficionado way would be to bulk buy coffee beans on refill from Mr Billy’s or Lavenders and grind them into servings. You can also get refill loose tea and coffee in town and if funds need watching, swapping to a pack of ground coffee from the supermarket is still massively reducing your plastic bootprint.
- Now, this may not seem to be about plastic, but we say – go paperless. The reason? It not only saves trees but avoids the need for ring-binders, plastic wallets, plastic paper clips, thumb tacks, blue tac…the list goes on. Make your to-do list online or on your phone or you can share it with a cloud server if you like, and you’ll be able to access it anywhere!
We’re in tricky times and a winter lockdown needs a whole load of extra ‘dig deep’. But it can also be a time to reflect and make a few changes, remembering – as with anything else – to be kind and realistic, making change at a pace for you so that it becomes an actual lifestyle choice and not just a one off. Making even just one of these changes will have a positive impact. Let us know how you get on 🙂