Simple ways to reduce plastic in the home

pile of plastic and plastic carrier bags

There has been much in the news recently about the short-term climate predictions for our planet, and it's not looking good. Of course, no one really knows what the situation will actually be come 2030 or 2040, but if millions of us make just a few changes in our household, like reducing the plastic in the home, we can collectively make a difference together. Here we look at a few easy ways you can reduce your use of single-use plastic and be kinder to our planet.

Shop local

There have been huge campaigns to support local shops over the past year or so, not just to help those who have lost out on business through the pandemic, but there is a green benefit too. If you have a farm shop nearby, go there to get lovely local fresh produce, use a local butcher and a local bakery. UK supermarkets use an astonishing amount of plastic packaging every year - an astounding 900,000 tonnes in 2019. Of course, once the fruit, meat or veg has been removed from its packaging (after the journey home in the car) it is disposed of, ready to end up in landfill or in even worse, our oceans. Without doubt, small local shops use much less packaging  - and you'll probably get a more personal service with a smile.

grocery store with refillable containers

Shop at refill shops

This may be an option for some of you who have a refill shop near you, if not, have a look online, there could well be one in your neighbourhood. They are becoming very popular now and new ones are popping up more and more. You can also switch to natural cleaning products like lemon, vinegar and bicarbonate of soda to help reduce plastic waste in your house. We are starting to see the return of the milkman - this is another top way to reduce the amount of plastic that comes into your household.

Swap to soap

This is an easy and very lovely swap to help reduce your plastic - use soap instead of shower gel and shampoo bars instead of liquid shampoo. The average person uses 11 bottles of shower gel and 10 bottles of shampoo a year - so how much does that come to across the UK? It's hard to imagine the mountain of empty bottles that leaves behind. Swapping to paper wrapped soaps really will start to make a difference as more and more households make the switch.

reclaimed wood dining table close up with glass top

Buy less and better quality

In general, we should buy less and make make a collective effort to invest in furniture that is well made and will last. This may not be the cheapest option in the short term, but in the long run it saves buying more as well as helping reduce landfill. Reclaimed wood furniture is a perfect option - solid, aged wood that is repurposed after its previous life as part of a building, ship or a railway track. A reclaimed wood table or a hand-finished solid wood chest of drawers will become a treasured piece of furniture and will last for years and years.

reclaimed wood tv unit with baskets

Buy solid wood furniture

The benefits of opting for solid wood furniture deserves more elaboration! Obviously, we should all think twice about buying furniture produced from fast grown and quickly felled new wood - especially when reclaimed wood is readily available as an alternative. Just look at the Beam Reclaimed Wood TV Stand - it ticks all the boxes for an eco-conscious purchase - it's handmade in a small family-run workshop here in the UK from old beams and will look amazing in your living room paired up with a full of character rustic coffee table! The same can be applied to other areas of the home including your kitchen/diner or bedroom - a large industrial dining table crafted in reclaimed wood will keep its perennially cool style, whilst a solid wood bed will last a lifetime. 


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