Pat Kane is a sustainability educator, writer and speaker, and the founder of reuzi.ie, a minimal waste store that hopes to promote ethically sourced, eco-friendly products to enable change. Here, she shares her top five tips for a plastic-free July.
By now, most of us are familiar with plastic-free alternatives for day-to-day products - think bags, water bottles, straws and coffee cups.
But what else can we do?
1. Handwash for good old soap bar
We have never washed our hands this much, that's a fact.
But have you ever thought about the number of plastic bottles in your house that could be replaced by a humble bar of soap?
Hand wash in every bathroom as well as bottles of shower gel. Soap bars are a super simple solution!
The good news is that there are some fabulous independent Irish soap makers out there, making sustainable soaps that are good for you and good for the planet – check out Janni Bars, Dalkey Handmade Soaps, Foami Connemara and Soap Out Loud.
2. Clingfilm for beeswax wraps
Clingfilm is a soft plastic and it can't be sorted at a recycling facility. Clingfilm goes in your rubbish bin, but that means they sit in landfill for many, many years or end up being incinerated. And neither one of them are good options for our planet.
You can use a plate on top of bowls of leftovers to help keep them fresh or if you want to add to your zero waste supplies, then have a look at beeswax (or soy wax) wraps – either make your own or buy some jazzy ones by Hanna’s Beeswax Wraps.
3. Conventional deodorant for natural deodorant
Conventional deodorants tend to come encased in plastic that might not be easily recyclable.
An easy switch is the plastic free, organic deodorant tube, Jannis Bars or Wild Rose Botanicals have incredible options. Their tubes are made from cardboard and are completely compostable.
If you are keen to try something a bit more different, grab a deodorant bar by Soap Out Loud. They work wonders and my favourite one is the Lavender and Tea Tree Bar.
4. Shampoo bottle for a solid shampoo bar
Back to the bathroom where even if you’ve made the switch to soap I’m willing to bet there are still single use plastic bottles a plenty.
Try out solid shampoo bars to replace your regular bottle – Janni Bars and Soap Out Loud make solid shampoo bars that feel as good or better than your traditional bottled shampoo.
5. Ditch the lunchtime single use plastic
If you have young children of a certain age, you might find yourself with endless empty pouches of pureed food hitting the bin each day or worst: Ziploc bags coming bags in their school bags. Every single day.
Check out re-usable replacements from KeepLeaf and Roll N Eat – the convenience of a pouch without the plastic price tag for the planet. They can also be washed in your dishwasher.
Alternatively, ditch the plastic juice bag or carton for a reusable water bottle. Irish brand Mother Reusables does the job!
There is no one big action that will save the planet overnight, but your everyday smaller actions all add up to being more sustainable – often with surprising results.
For more sustainable tips, visit www.reuzi.ie/blog.