Simple Ways to Reduce Plastic in Your Life AND Save Money! The Using Less Plastic Challenge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello! ūüôā

Ok, so the image above of women wearing plastic face protection from snowstorms may have not caught on (thankfully), most of us can still reduce plastic in our lives very easily!

Here are some simple ways to reduce plastic in your life (adding onto my previous Using Less Plastic Challenge Posts).  Most, if not all, of these simple steps help you save money in the long run too!

1. Switch to body oil to moisturize your body.  Most lotions come in plastic tubes or plastic bottles.  By switching to body oil packaged in a glass bottle with a metal lid, you help to make sure that the packaging is truly able to be recycled.  Just make sure that your skin is damp (just after taking a shower is a good time to moisturize skin with oil), and you do not need to use very much.  A small amount really goes a long way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.¬†¬†Switch to¬†handkerchiefs.¬† This may seem like it does not actually have to do with plastic, but it does.¬† Most disposable tissue boxes do have a plastic window around the opening where you grab a tissue from.¬† Handkerchiefs are so much more economical (only have to buy them once and they last for years) and you can just throw them in with any wash load you wish.¬† Plus they feel, and are, so much softer on your nose!¬† The above image is my collection of handkerchiefs that I have been using for several months now ūüôā

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Switch to at least a couple natural homemade skincare products.  I know it is hard to switch all of your skincare products over, but even just switching over one or two helps to significantly reduce the amount of plastic consumed.  Honey is an awesome cleanser (the only one I use at this point) and fresh lime juice is a wonderful acne and acne scar treatment.

Click here to see My Skincare Routine for Clear Skin Naturally post about how I use these!  You will also save money by switching to these if you typically use a little bit more pricy cleansers and treatments.  Also, you will not have as much visual clutter in your bathroom.

4. Switch to a safety razor.¬† What is a safety razor?¬† It is like a disposable razor, but rather than throwing the razor away, or buying new cartridges and throwing the old ones away, you buy a metal razor¬†(some do have plastic handles) and you just replace the blades.¬† I have not¬†bought a safety razor¬†yet (I’m using up my disposable razors first) but many people who do use them say they give closer shaves, and that you do need to use a lighter hand when using them (ever notice how much pressure you have to use with disposable razors to shave?).

Now, you can buy a new safety razor, but they are expensive (the cheapest I’ve seen is $60 and up).¬† So, why not be extra nice to your wallet and the Earth by buying a vintage one? (You won’t be using¬†vintage blades- essentially you’ll only be reusing the handle).¬† You can buy a vintage safety razor at some antique stores, www.etsy.com, among other sites.¬† And replacement blades can be bought in bulk on Amazon and are much less expensive compared to the replacement disposable cartridges.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Buy some of your clothes secondhand.¬† Although while researching I do not get a definite yes or no answer, most polyester (if not all) is actually plastic.¬† Have you heard of the polyester clothing made from PET bottles?¬† That’s why that is possible.¬† So, by buying some of your clothes secondhand, you help to reduce the amount of clothing made of thermoplastics, and also help to reduce the amount of clothing discarded yearly.¬† Buying secondhand also helps your wallet!¬† If you have a little bit more money to spare, organic cotton, or hemp, clothing are also nice alternatives to man-made.¬† The image above is a beautiful blue striped sweaterdress that I found at a local thrift store for $2.50!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Make your own laundry soap with castile bar soaps!  Even if we ignore the possible health problems of conventional laundry detergents (including even ones such as Tide Free & Gentle), these along with even most eco-friendly laundry detergents are packaged in plastic.  We can simply avoid this constant buying of laundry detergent packaged in plastic by making our own!  Above is a photo of the container I am using at the moment to hold my laundry soap (It is an old castile liquid soap container.  I plan to switch to a glass container at some point) and an old laundry detergent lid that has the measurements on it.

How to: Take one bar of castile soap and grate 1/3 to 1/2 of a bar.  Bring about one gallon of water to a boil.  When the water is boiling, stir the grated soap into the water, until it dissolves.  Let it simmer for another 5-10 minutes, stirring occassionally.  Then, take the pot off the stove and let the laundry soap cool for a couple of hours (or until it is completely cool).  Lastly, place into a container of your choice.

And there you have a wonderful laundry soap!¬† I personally use Dr. Bronner’s Castile Bar Soaps.¬† They smell amazing, and their Baby Mild¬†one is nice if you are very sensitive to scents, or if you have young children.¬† My three favorites are Lavender, Peppermint, and Baby Mild.¬† They are a little less than $5 a bar of soap.¬† You can buy the Lavender and Peppermint scents at Target, or you can buy all of their scents on Dr. Bronner’s site at www.drbronner.com. So, you are paying $2.50 for laundry soap that is safe for the planet, safe for you, you are saving money, and you are reducing the amount of plastic consumed! ūüôā¬† It’s a wonderful feeling.

I’ve found that I use the same amount of this laundry soap as I did with conventional laundry detergents.¬† If you have not used castile liquid soap to wash your clothes before, I have read that it may take a wash or two for your clothes to get the residue of the previous detergents off.¬† However, I have not found this to be the case, even when I switched from conventional detergents over to a castile liquid soap I bought (it was so expensive though).¬† Also, this laundry soap works nicely even in hard water!¬† I have extremely hard water, and it cleans wonderfully in it.

So there are some simple ways to reduce plastic!  Have you tried any of the suggestions above, or have any others to add?  Any questions?  Leave them in the comment section!

Have a sunny day!

~Kim

Please Note: The image of the women wearing the plastic snowstorm protectors is used under the Commons license, shared by the Nationaal Archief on Flickr, and can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nationaalarchief/4193509756/  All the other images shown are my own.

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Sunny Mother Nature Says Use Handkerchiefs

Sunny Mother Nature says if you want to help save the world, use a handkerchief!

When I think of a handkerchief, I think of the 1700s, 1800s, etc. back when handkerchiefs were given to someone to show fondness towards a specific person.¬† I imagine a heroine from one¬†of Jane Austen’s books¬†either receiving, or giving away a handkerchief as a token of their affection.

Now, I don’t think too many people would appreciate getting a handkerchief anymore as a token of someone’s affection, but it still could help you attain Mother Nature’s affections.

Kleenex, tissues- whatever you want to call them, use up a lot of trees to make them.¬† And are they able to be used more than once?¬† No.¬† They have just become part of our throw-away society.¬† Now, if you are sick with a cold,etc.¬†don’t feel like you have to use a handkerchief-you would end up needing twenty+ handkerchiefs per day!¬† And how many people even have two handkerchiefs anymore?¬† The more practical thing would be to just use a handkerchief whenever you sneeze, or need to blow your nose on any regular day.¬† Then, just throw it in with any load of laundry to clean!

So, how can you help save Mother Nature just with one change?  Use a handkerchief! Mother Nature will throw her affections towards you if you do.