Sunday, March 27, 2011

Plastic Free Household Shopping

Bins are plastic, no need for plastic liners

Ice scream scoop and zeste
How does one survive with out bin liners? People get pretty emotional about this one for some reason.  Bins are usually plastic anyway - so no need to line them again with plastic.  Just place the rubbish straight into the bin, and if you have moist/wet rubbish use newspaper to wrap it in before placing it in the bin. Then empty the whole bin into your large wheelie bin.
I have found I generate less rubbish since I started a plastic free year, and organic waste can easily be composted.

Ecology Provisions range uses recycled stainless steel and natural bamboo (a sustainable resource) and the company has a philosophy of considering every aspect of development and manufacture process of a product in order to reduce the environmental impact of it's products and packaging.
I brought an icecream scoop and a zester - I love the fact the packaging is made from 100% recycled materials, and can be placed back into recycling. The product is even tied to the packaging with brown string - no plastic tags here! They have a lovely earthy look too.

I've been using these for a few weeks now, and they are great. They come in eco-packaging which is 100% recycled cardboard, and there are a variety of cloths for different household purposes eg. windows and kitchen. No chemical detergents are needed and my mirrors and shower walls are streak free. When they are dirty, just throw them in the wash - they last for around 300 washes.

Handmade soaps that look good enough to eat ;-)

Delicious package free body and hand soaps can be found at homemade craft fairs, health stores, organic stores, farmers markets and co-ops, but supermarkets often offer no choice but to purchase commercially made soaps in packaging. Luckily a few supermarket soaps are packaged in cardboard not plastic so look out for those ones.

"Safe" toilet paper - packaged in 100% recycled paper
Safe toilet paper can be found in major supermarkets and offer 'original' and 'super white' toilet paper options. Their environmental cred is pretty impressive:

Made from 100% recycled paper, are 100% Australian owned and made, not rebleached, no added fragrance, Biodegradable tissue, safe for all systems including septic, and they are endorsed by Planet Ark.

For more information on Safe toilet paper and other great Planet Ark endorsed products visit Safe toilet paper.

"Aware" garden friendly laundry detergent packaged in 85% recycled board
I have been refilling my old laundry liquid and laundry softner containers at CERES Environmental Park store, but another option availble at supermarkets is Aware laundry powders that are made with plant oil based surfactants instead of petroleum oil derived surfactants and are biodegradable with no phosphates added. Phosphorus chemicals in conventional detergents feed blue-green algae and lead to algal blooms. This contributes to the build up of weeds and algal slime in our waterways and choke other precious aquatic life forms by using up the available oxygen. Other benefits are the packaging is recyclable and uses 85% recycled board, and it is safe for grey water systems. For more info visit Aware.

If you would like to know more about the challenge, or have plastic free suggestions for me, you can:
Like me on Facebook – A Plastic Free Year
Follow me on Twitter – PlasticFreeYear
Subscribe to YouTube – PlasticFreeYear


  1. This is awesome! I will be following closely and trying to reduce my own plastic use. How are you going with having a plastic free bin? My two main concerns with going plastic free would be the bin and freezing meat - I always use ziploc bags to freeze portions so they won't get freezer burn. I am looking into freezer paper and tryng to find a brand that isn't plastic coated.

  2. I recommend trying Lush products, they are packaged in paper and you can get hard shampoos and perfumes, which are awesome! (The shampoo)
    And lots of their products are Vegan, but I think they're mostly vegetarian! (No palm oil either, or animal oil, which are very hard to get out of when buying soap.)
    Great job with your plastic free year!

  3. Thanks for the inspiration, love your blog so far!

  4. Hi , I have a blog called simpleliving about recycling,reducing,reusing &rethinking , tips on saving time,energy & money , crafts,sewing,recipes ! I would love you to drop by
    Sherrie from Simpleliving :)

  5. I went a little bit mad today and got inspired by your amazing blog.

  6. Hey awesome blog, all the best! Thanks for the toothpaste research and inspiration :) By the way 'Beauty and the Bees' is a good one to try, they don't have the additives and fragrances Lush have.

  7. I'm enjoying your blog but I had a thought today - what're you doing for rubbish liners?

  8. I wonder where you live, I could suggest some good shops if you're in Brisbane. The farmers markets are such a good way to avoid plastic wrapped food. To dispose of your rubbish you could do as the old timers did and wrap it in old neswpapers-we forget how long we humans survived without plastic but in our busy life we rely on it hugely. I tried going plastic free a few years ago and it is insidiously wrapped onto and around so many things! Good luck, all the best!

  9. You can reduce on toilet paper (and packaging!) for #1s by using cloth wipes - cut up old Tshirts and other cotton interlock items of clothing.

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