TB Tidbit: Living with less plastic

Categories: How To, TB Tidbit
Tags: ,
Published on: January 17, 2016

Transition Brockville / Lisa Callaghan / 17 January 2016

3500As plastic waste builds up in the oceans and is increasingly found in the bellies of birds, fish and marine mammals, there are changes we can make in our daily lives to transition away from these petroleum-based products.

Here are some of the ways we can combat this problem.

  • Use a 100 % compostable toothbrush (wood handle, natural bristles)
  • Shave with metal safety razor instead of plastic shaver (both men & women)
  • Use bar soap or bar shaving cream
  • Switch to handkerchiefs instead of tissues – reduces plastic packaging
  • Choose bar soap over liquid
  • Use shampoo bar instead of shampoo in plastic bottles
  • Choose natural wooden hairbrush and comb
  • For household cleaning use vinegar and water or baking soda
  • Clean toilets using a wooden, natural bristle brush
  • Ditch liquid laundry soap for powdered in cardboard packaging or soap nuts
  • Buy powdered dishwasher soap in cardboard packaging
  • Hand wash dishes using baking soda or bar soap
  • Use natural rubber gloves
  • Cut old cotton t-shirts or natural fibre clothes into cleaning rags
  • Check clothing labels & buy clothes made with natural fibres
  • Carry reusable cloth shopping bags
  • Use glass, ceramic or stainless steel travel mugs & water bottles
  • Substitute cloth produce bags for the plastic ones in grocery stores
  • Shop local farmers’ markets to reduce plastic packaging
  • Buy from bulk bins
  • Provide your own cloth bag for fresh-baked bread & store inside airtight metal container
  • Bring your own berry & cherry tomato containers to farmers’ markets
  • Take your own container to butchers
  • Buy milk in returnable glass bottles (available through Wendy’s Mobile Market)
  • Choose wine bottled in glass with cork stopper & recycle cork
  • Avoid frozen dinners
  • Bring your own lidded, handled Mason jars for shakes and booster juices
  • When buying take-out bring your own containers
  • Request glass cup and no straw in restaurants for drinks
  • Choose cones over plastic dishes for take-out ice-cream
  • When ordering take-out pizza, request no little plastic table in the middle
  • For leftovers use saved glass jars to store or bowls with saucers on top (stackable)
  • Substitute plastic wrap with beeswax-coated hemp wrap
  • Freeze food in glass (allowing room for expansion) and metal airtight containers
  • Bring lunch in wool-insulated, cloth lunch bags
  • Pack sandwiches in cloth sandwich bags or stainless-steel tins
  • Use a glass blender
  • Choose non-plastic coffee makers: Chemex, Hario, Ecojarz are options
  • Use a plastic-free kettle
  • Avoid non-stick cookware
  • Make ice cubes using stainless steel trays
  • Discourage workplace and others from single-use plastic coffee pods
  • Make popsicles in stainless steel molds
  • Filter water with charcoal sticks instead of plastic cased filters
  • Compost food waste
  • Choose lip-balms, lotions, make up in plastic-free packaging
  • Buy solar-powered bamboo calculators and bamboo staplers
  • Avoid plastic disposable pens-use fountain or refillable pens
  • Make your own glue with flour and water
  • Wrap gifts in decorative tea towels, table cloths or handkerchiefs tied with a bow
  • Use brown paper tape on cardboard boxes & brown paper for mailing packages
  • Avoid Scotch-Guard spraying of furniture
  • Buy furniture made from natural materials using natural latex foam

Living Rooms in Kingston, Verde in Kingston and Terra20 in Ottawa are great places to find some of these environmentally-friendly products. Plastic-free items including coffee makers can be purchased on-line at lifewithoutplastic.com. Chemex glass coffee makers are also available at Bridgehead Coffee in Ottawa or on-line at oldfaithfulshop.com.