After realising how unnecessary disposable products were we decided to stop buying certain products, so we have created a list of things we no longer purchase.
That being said, there may be some overlap with our top ten reusable swaps list.
For some, we have provided an alternative that we already owned or we bought a reusable or long lasting alternative. In some cases, we simply refuse using these items all together.
The ten items we stopped buying:
1. Single use plastics: straws, beverages in plastic bottles, disposable coffee cups, drink stirrers, plastic bags, cutlery, plastic baggies to store food in the fridge
We already had a reusable bottle – most do – but now we simply have to remember to fill it and take it with us everywhere we go, same goes with reusable bags.
Before we got a reusable straw, we simply ask for no straw.
When ordering tea, we tend to take it slow, sit in house/café and relax, rather than taking it on the go.
Rather than using the plastic cutlery, we keep a clean set of cutlery at our desk at work or in the car.
Rather than refrigerating and freezing food in plastic bags, we reuse old glass jars.
2. Fruit and veggies packaged in plastic
Buying these in bulk is typically cheaper and less wasteful. We now only purchase naked fruit and place them inside a reusable bag, or place them in the trolley/basket/bag.
3. Convenience food
Microwave meals, sandwiches, snack fruits, chips wrapped up in plastic containers or containers. Since the majority of these are processed, they probably filled with unnecessary amounts of salt and synthetic food additives. We simply refuse the items or if we know we will be hungry, we make our food to go at home, put it in a container or old glass jar and bring it with us.
4. Yogurt in plastic pots
Yogurt in glass jars or none at all works. Thankfully, our local farm makes yogurt in glass jars, which can be returned for the equivalent of 30p or they jars can be returned and refilled.
5. Disposable paper products
Plastic plates, paper towels – except for toilet paper. We use cloth napkins that we already had and use our ‘real’ plates – even if paper plates are more convenient in a group setting.
6. Face wash, body wash, soap, shampoo, conditioner in plastic bottles
Usually, we do not use shampoo, only water and apple cider vinegar found in the kitchen or if we do we use our bar shampoo.
The bars work just as well and are lighter to carry when travelling.
7. Cotton rounds
It came in plastic packaging and we used around 8 a day, so we stopped buying them and got handmade reusable rounds instead.
8. New books, magazines or newspapers
Buying second hand, borrowing from a friend/library or using soft copies online works too. Most newspapers are now available online.
9. Tea bags
Some have polypropylene (plastic), a sealant which helps the bag retain its shape in boiling water. If we do buy tea, we buy in bulk and put into our glass jar. (A video about buying in bulk is coming soon.)
10. Cleaning products
We make an all-purpose cleaner using orange peels and vinegar we already had in the cupboard.
- Collect your orange peels in a glass jar until it fills it
- Pour white distilled vinegar until the top
- Seal the jar for two weeks
- Open it and strain the solution to keep out the orange peels
- Mix the orange vinegar with some water – We make ours 50% orange vinegar – 50% water for a strong solution
We then use this to clean most surfaces.
Do not use this solution on any marble top counters, as the vinegar will erode the marble.