Plastic pollution has emerged as a pressing global crisis, and the question on everyone's mind is, "What can we do about it?"
The answer lies in small but powerful changes, and Plastic-Free July offers an excellent starting point. This month-long challenge urges us to seek alternatives to single-use plastics that contribute to landfills and take years to break down.
At BotaniVie, we believe that sustainability shouldn't come with a hefty price tag. That's why we've hunted down 20 plastic-free swaps that won't cost you a penny. Embrace the challenge, take action, and make conscious choices to reduce reliance on single-use items, starting right in your own home!
Many coffee shops offer a discount if you BYO cup. Ask them to skip the single-use cup next time you visit your favourite coffee shop. It saves waste & saves you money!
Reusable Water Bottles
Ditch disposable plastic water bottles and opt for a reusable one. Carry it with you wherever you go and refill it whenever needed – also great when travelling (free airport & street water fountains will become your new best friend).
Bring Your Own Bags
Always keep reusable bags handy when grocery shopping or running errands. Say NO to plastic bags and opt for fabric or mesh bags instead. Top tip: if you fancy a craft challenge, use old clothes or fabric around the house and repurpose it into a handy tote bag!
Replace paper napkins with reusable cloth napkins. They are eco-friendly and add a touch of elegance to your dining table. Endlessly washable and saves buying & throwing away additional plastic packaging.
Start composting your kitchen scraps and garden waste. It reduces the amount of plastic garbage bags needed and creates nutrient-rich soil for your garden. Repurpose an old tub or large yoghurt pot with a lid to store in your kitchen safely. Top tip: if you have chickens, they will love your food scraps!
If you have a garden or plants at home, opt for plastic-free gardening practices. Use biodegradable pots or make your own seedling starters from newspaper or eggshells. Use natural materials like bamboo stakes or twine for plant support instead of plastic ties. Top tip: 1. see what you already have in the garden shed that can be repurposed, and 2. it can be a fun activity for kids to learn about growing sunflowers, all starting life as a young seedling in an eggshell.
Homemade Cleaning Solutions
Make your own cleaning solutions using simple ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and lemon. Store them in glass jars or repurposed spray containers. Cheap, easy and environmentally friendlier than using harsh cleaning chemicals!
Swap to Natural Beauty Products
Explore homemade or DIY beauty recipes using natural ingredients like coconut oil, olive oil, honey, and oatmeal. They are healthy for your skin and avoid plastic packaging.
DIY Cloth Face Wipes
Instead of using disposable makeup remover wipes or cotton pads, create your own reusable cloth face wipes. Top tip: cut up old cotton t-shirts or towels into small squares and use them with your favourite cleansing products. Simply wash and reuse them afterward.
Loose Tea Leaves
Ditch the tea bag - did you know most are made using plastic! Instead, make your favourite brew using loose tea leaves. Top tip: loose tea leaves bought in bulk are usually more cost-effective than buying individual tea bags. You can easily regulate the strength of your perfect brew & use one dose to make more than one cup of tea. Even better- once used, tea leaves can be added to your garden or compost to add nutrients back into the soil –zero waste all round!
Repurpose Glass Jars
Instead of buying plastic food storage containers, reuse glass jars from pickles, sauces, or jams to store leftovers or dry goods (rice, pasta, nuts, oats etc).
Plastic-Free Food Storage
Wrap sandwiches or leftovers in beeswax wraps (use old cuts of cloth soaked in wax, these can be regularly recoated to keep them fresh & in use). Or use silicone food storage bags that can be rinsed & reused as plastic alternatives to cling-wrap and single-use sandwich bags.
Before throwing away broken items, try repairing them. Use glue, thread, or simple tools to fix minor damage instead of replacing them with new things. Top tip: join a local fix & repair group and "borrow" others' knowledge to repair something you might not have been able to do alone. Swapping and exchanging knowledge & experience is a rewarding activity.
Swap plastic laundry detergent bottles for laundry soap bars or make your own laundry detergent using a few simple ingredients such as soap nuts, borax, white vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice. Top tip: the internet is your friend for endless ideas and DIY recipes!
Look for stores that offer bulk options for fruit, vegetables, grains, nuts, pulses and spices. Bring your own cloth bags or containers to avoid plastic packaging. You can buy as little or as much as you want of each item, reducing waste & unnecessary packaging.
Cancel Unwanted Catalogues
Sick of receiving endless amounts of junk mail? Reduce paper & plastic waste by opting out of unnecessary catalogues and junk mail - contact the companies or use online services to unsubscribe.
Plastic-Free Office Supplies
Use refillable pens, pencils, and markers instead of disposable ones. Top tip: these could be great as gifts, if family & friends are looking for practical & eco-friendly ideas!
Share and Borrow
Encourage your family or community to set up sharing or borrowing programs for items like tools, kitchen appliances, and books to reduce the need for buying new products. Top tip: join online Facebook groups or local swap groups to advertise what you have to share & swap. See what "new" items you can borrow and use without spending a single penny!
Repair, Reuse and Donate
Extend the lifespan of your clothes or belongings by repairing them when possible- a simple needle and thread and some patience will repair most nicks, lost buttons, and pesky holes. Reuse and repurpose items creatively before donating good-quality items to reduce waste.
DIY Natural Air Fresheners
Instead of using costly plastic air fresheners or aerosol sprays, create your own natural air fresheners using ingredients you already have at home. Boil citrus peels, cinnamon sticks, or herbs like lavender or mint in water to create a refreshing scent. Eliminates the need for plastic-packaged products but also promotes a healthier indoor environment free from artificial fragrances. Top tip: if you love essential oils or have a collection at home, these could be used to create your own unique home fragrance.
Every small action counts in the fight against plastic pollution, and with these 20 plastic-free swaps from BotaniVie, you can make a significant impact in reducing your plastic footprint without spending a penny. Embrace sustainability and inspire others to join the movement towards a cleaner and greener future for our planet. Together, we can create lasting change and protect our environment ONE SWAP AT A TIME. Start your plastic-free journey today!
“Be the change you wish to see in the world”. Gandhi
“We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.” Anne Marie Bonneau
“It’s only one straw – said 8 billion people”. Unknown
“There is no such thing as away. When we throw anything away, it must go somewhere.” Annie Leonard