How to be more environmentally friendly in 2020
Does the sight of a plastic landfill make your blood boil? Are you likely to tell a friend to stop throwing a plastic bottle away? If the answer to these questions is yes, then our ‘how to be more environmentally friendly in 2020’ post will give you some inspiration for leading a more “plastic-free” lifestyle.
We all have different passions and motives, whether that’s to reduce the effects of plastic pollution in the ocean, to limit the damage to the rainforest or simply to contribute to a better future for our loved ones.
We know how difficult it is to go completely plastic-free, but after reading this post you should be in a better position to reduce your impact on the environment. So, why not challenge your friend that’s always throwing the bottle away to see who can make the biggest difference in 2020.
We start by looking into some general ways that you can reduce your plastic usage and then as this post continues, we’ll be looking into specific areas like in the kitchen and bathroom:
- Carry reusable shopping bags: We have talked in a previous blog about the harm of plastic to the environment and how plastic bags pollute the ocean. The best alternative is to use reusable bags as paper bags still have environmental complications
- Give up bottled water: Reusable stainless steel bottles are the best solution for reducing plastic bottle pollution
- Carry your own containers for takeaway food and leftovers: Whether it’s carrying your salad to work in a reusable container, eating leftover foods rather than buying meal deals or requesting to use your own plastic box at butchers and farmers markets, there’s plenty of ways that you can make a difference
- Say no to the little plastic “table” in the middle of the pizza box: This is a simple way you can do your bit to reduce plastic by asking your local pizza restaurant to not include the plastic table in the middle of the pizza. It has no effect on the taste and will contribute to less pollution in the ocean
- Can you reduce fizzy drinks, juices, and other plastic-bottled beverages? We all like the occasional sugary drinks but limiting fizzy drinks and juices will help both the environment and the good health of your teeth. Do you like sparkling water? We recommend SodaStream if you are keen to experiment with different flavours
- Choose milk in returnable glass bottles: In most regions, you’ll be able to find local dairies that provide milk in returnable glass bottles rather than plastic or plastic-coated cardboard
- Choose plastic-free chewing gum: Almost all chewing gum is made of plastic, but plastic-free chewing gum options do exist. Try True Gum for a 100% natural alternative with various flavours
The foods that we consume so often come with environmental warnings, but what we see less often are reminders about the dangers of plastic-based kitchen appliances. For this reason, we have outlined some of our favourite kitchen products:
8. Choose a glass blender: There are a range of glass blenders available to buy, so next time you need to make a replacement, consider that you don’t need to buy a plastic version
9. Buy environmentally-friendly kitchen cloths: We stock a range of ‘If You Care Kitchen Sponge Cloths’ which are 100% compostable, machine or dish-washable and reusable. This contrasts with typical kitchen cloths which cannot be recycled and often end up in a landfill
10. Choose stainless steel ice cube trays: Yes, you can even find more sustainable options for your ice cubes with stainless steel trays. They are available to buy from several retailers and for extra “eco bonus points” you can order with plastic-free packaging
11. Make your own condiments: Many of us are guilty of owning a large spice rack with various spices. This might look fancy on our walls, but the trouble is that it contains a lot of plastic which isn’t sustainable and good for the environment. But, with a bit of research, we can find ways to make our own condiments from home which will reduce plastic usage
12. Choose 100% Recycled Aluminium Foil: Aluminium is a very widely recycled metal that can be endlessly recycled and if you have suitable facilities, foil (as long as it is clean) can also be recycled
13. Environmentally friendly cling film: Again, like aluminium, cling film is another mass-produced product which could easily be replaced by washable, reusable silicone covers
Shop for Recycled Aluminium Foil, environmentally-friendly kitchen cloths, cling film and more kitchen products.
Do you like to spend a lot of time preparing yourself in the morning or making yourself smell nice? If so, we have some plastic-free solutions for your bathroom which will guide you into feeling both healthy and environmentally friendly:
14. Check labels of personal care products: We all have loyalty to certain brands which we would not change, but there are also other products where brand loyalty is not a major concern and if we checked the label to see how good or bad for the environment they were, we might end up changing to a better solution
15. Give up shampoo in plastic bottles: Shampoo bars are available for under £3 from the Non-Plastic Beach website. There are various benefits to shampoo bars, most clearly that they don’t come from a plastic bottle, so this helps to reduce pollution in the ocean. But they are also more cost-effective, as the bar can last up to three times longer than a bottle of shampoo, with some people preferring the quality. Finally, with our Seas the Day and Eternal Summer shampoo and conditioner, there is no palm-oil (which is well documented to have a devastating effect on orangutans), SLS and parabens contained in the bar. These bars have converted many people who have struggled with some of the soap-based bars and don’t have any transition time.
16. Natural deodorant options: For a long time now there have been warnings about the side effects of spray deodorants, which is why many people have turned to the roll-on. But, going one step further to help benefit the environment are natural deodorant sticks
17. Zero waste hair dye: Have you ever considered making a homemade hair dye? This is an alternative which people are using and it reduces the use of plastic products or the requirement to seek professional help. But, before turning to a homemade solution, be sure to do your research so that you don’t damage your hair
18. Soap bars: There’s also no need to go down the route of using plastic for hair products including, shampoo bars, conditioner bars, shower soap and shaving soap
19. Choose lotions and lip balms in plastic-free containers: Many lip balms still come in plastic tubes, which is not necessary when they can be packed in plastic-free tins. Non-Plastic Beach’s plastic-free lip balms are organic, never tested on animals and sustainably sourced
20. Different razor options: Disposable razors are beginning to be overlooked for new eco-friendly alternatives with bamboo handles and metalheads
21. Changing how you brush your teeth: Have you considered more environmental options for cleaning your teeth? For example, biodegradable toothbrushes are made from sustainable materials which contain over 95% less plastic than mainstream toothbrushes. So, this one isn’t completely plastic-free, but it’s a big improvement on previous products
22. Cotton buds: Possibly one of the easiest items to replace with a more eco-friendly alternative, as there is no product leader and brand loyalty isn’t considered as important. Our cotton buds come in a cardboard box and are made of bamboo, which is both sustainable and gives an excellent quality of the stick.
23. From toothpaste to toothpaste tablets: Plastic-free toothpaste is starting to become more popular, in the form of toothpaste tablets. These tablets contain fluoride, as recommended by dentists worldwide. They can also be bought with a 100% recyclable branded tin to store them and clearly identify them at airport security. Many people are turning to toothpaste tablets as an environmentally friendly alternative to toothpaste
Shop for various plastic-free bathroom products including toothpaste tablets, shampoo bars and natural deodorants.
If you’re reading this with the Christmas season approaching, or even at the start of a new year, you may be looking for a gift for someone. For this reason, why not look at some of our plastic-free gift suggestions which don’t take the fun out of a big occasion, but simply replace the unnecessary:
24. Shop at a charity store for smaller items: Does everything you buy needs to be brand new? We are not suggesting that you buy all your Christmas gifts from a charity shop, but for stocking presents or less important gifts, it may not be essential to buy something new and instead you could reuse an item. This also has the added benefit of helping your local community
25. Find ways to wrap gifts without plastic tape: Brown paper can make a high-quality gift wrap alternative and many people are now adding coloured twine and coloured ink stamps to personalise their paper. To finish things off we offer compostable or recyclable paper tape, with natural rubber adhesive for your wrapping needs.
26. Request zero plastic packagings when ordering online: Often when buying from smaller retailers, you will find plastic-free packaging options. Here at Non-Plastic Beach, we pride ourselves on our flexible and environmentally friendly packaging
27. Could you choose second-hand electronics, games, and toys?: Again, it might not be to everyone’s liking, but when there is little difference in quality, second-hand games and toys are the better options as they can be re-used for years without being thrown away
28. Buy charity shop cards or send online messages: Charity shops often have a very good selection of cards for reasonable prices. Also, we know that online messages are often not as personal, but if explained properly, most people would understand why you have chosen to be more eco-friendly
Shop for plastic-free gifting with Non-Plastic Beach, including paper wrapping, digital gift cards and packing tape.
Now that you’ve read our post on how to work towards going plastic-free in 2020, why not experiment for yourself. If you change one product or 20, you are making a difference! When you’re ready, we'd be delighted to hear about your own experiences via email, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.