During Plastic Free July our mission is to bring awareness and to support the global movement that dramatically reduces plastic use whilst we travel and for everyday life! By showing you 10 eco-friendly products that are more sustainable then single-use plastics we hope you see the impact you can make on a global scale, for the environment and ultimately for your own health!
Imagine a world without plastic waste! Unfortunately, it is estimated that by 2025, dump sites and landfills will account for an 8-10% of global greenhouse gas emissions. And by 2050 there will be more plastic in our oceans then marine life.
The plastic water bottles, bags, coffee cups and takeaway containers are used for minutes yet, unfortunately, last forever!
break up, not break down – becoming permanent pollution
have low rates of recycling (only 9% of all plastics ever made have been recycled) and are mostly downcycled (made into low grade product for just one more use) or sent to landfill
‘escape’ from bins, trucks, events etc. to become ‘accidental litter’
end up in waterways and the ocean – where scientists predict there will be more tonnes of plastic than tonnes of fish by 2050
transfer to the food chain – carrying pollutants with them
increase our eco-footprint – plastic manufacturing consumes 6% of the world’s fossil fuels
“Virtually every piece of plastic ever manufactured still exists in some form today,” says Executive Director and Founder of the Plastic Free July Foundation, Rebecca Prince Ruiz. “Plastic, particularly single-use plastic or ‘throw-away’ plastic items, are not getting recycled effectively and are having a detrimental impact on our environment.”
RELATED: “The Perfect Eco Travel Water Bottle“
Reusable Coffee Cup
Over 50% of us are regular coffee drinks, with 16.3 million coffees being consumed
Most paper cups aren’t made from paper alone. They are lined with polyethene to prevent leakage. This makes them unrecyclable!
It’s estimated that 5 billion disposable cups (single use) end up in landfill a year, which is about 1 million cups every day!
This year alone I personally have saved over 200 cups going to landfill by investing in a keep cup! Imagine if we all did this!
Get in the habit of carrying a reusable coffee cup. I have both a Frank Green and 2 Keep Cups that I rotate on a weekly basis.
Reusable Water Bottle
ONE MILLION plastic bottles are bought EVERY MINUTE around the world — and that number will top half a TRILLION by 2021. Less than half of those bottles end up getting recycled.
Along with the above staggering fact, bottled water is also impacting our health! Bottled water brands have poured millions into convincing us that their water is the healthiest, safest option. Yet recent research has revealed that bottled water is subject to far fewer safety tests than tap water, and is much more likely to be contaminated or cause infection.
I use a Kabi reusable double insulated bottle. I wrote a full review about it which you can view here.
Here are a couple of quick facts about why I love my Kabi Bottle:
With it taking up to 450 years for a plastic water bottle to degrade naturally in a landfill its time to invest in a reusable bottle!
I started using eco-bags years ago, as they just looked better! Then I learned ‘Nearly TWO MILLION single-use plastic bags are distributed worldwide every minute.! ‘
Last week both Coles and Woolworths finally made the cut! They no longer offer single-use plastic bags! It’s time to opt for a durable fabric that keeps the environment clean.
Eco bags made from natural fibres like a canvas that comes in a range of sizes and can be used for years!
I also use net produce bags that I keep in my handbags they roll up small and are great for those purchases you might not anticipate buying!
There are over 7 billion people in the world, most of which brush their teeth with a typical plastic toothbrush. Most of these people will go through several toothbrushes a year, equalling an incredible amount of waste in our oceans and landfills!
By buying a bamboo toothbrush means you are buying a product made from the world’s most abundant natural resource! This sustainable material has been used to create clothing, kitchenware and now dental products!
Made with an environmentally sustainable bamboo handle and biodegradable bristles, the Life Basics Charcoal Bamboo Toothbrush that I use is perfect! With activated Binchotan charcoal infused soft bristles, this bamboo toothbrush is naturally antibacterial and antifungal.!
Sustainable Sanitary Products
It is time to invest in a menstrual cup! Periods are a fact of life, and on average women will use 200+ tampons a year! Not only are we adding unnecessary waste into the environment there is a hefty cost factor (that is unfairly taxed) that adds to this!
A menstrual cup is easy to use ( yes easy!), cost-effective, eco-friendly and once you do it you will wonder why you didn’t make the swap soon!
A reusable menstrual cup is used in place of tampons or pads and is simply emptied and cleaned after each use. Most companies offer varies sizes for heavier and lighter flows. They can be worn up to 8 hours, unlike tampons which need to changed every 4 hours.
Just like plastic bags, bottles and takeaway coffee cups, straws end up in landfill and our oceans, polluting the environment and causing harm to our marine life! They are a non-biodegradable waste that simply isn’t necessary!
Plastic straws can take hundreds of years to actually break down! Take a stand by saying ‘no thanks’ to plastic straws next time you are at a cafe, restaurant or bar!
Like most single-use plastic items there is a couple of great eco-friendly alternatives! I use both bamboo straws and stainless straws both from nourishedlife.com
These are great for at home use, but I also pop one in my bag in case I ever need one on the go!
Takeaway Lunch Packs
Packaging is the highest contributor to plastic pollution! Invest in cute stainless steel lunch boxes and bamboo cutlery! Not only will you be helping out the planet, it’s much more cost-effective when travelling to pack picnic lunches and snacks!
Eco-friendly Beauty Products
It’s time to cut out those hard to pronounce nasty chemically products that are extremely harmful to our environment and to our bodies!
I get all my beauty, skincare and even house items from nourishedlife.com.au, they are completely toxin-free and cruelty-free! Although not everything is vegan they have a huge range of great vegan products, and because everything is reviewed by the customer you really know if it’s good or not!
My favourite natural products are:
Eco Gadgets and Accessories
There are many innovative gadgets and accessories that don’t harm the environment. A solar battery charger is not only great for the earth but also if your phone runs out and there are no outlets in sight.
Another great invention is the Scrubba wash bag! Working on the same principle as an old-fashion washboard, just fill with clothes, roll and clip, deflate and rub! You can read more about the Scrubba here.
Water Filter or Steripen
Whilst we take fresh drinking water for granted in Western Countries, trusting the tap water in many countries is a major risk! Yet it’s hard to ignore the impact of plastic in South East Asia when endless amounts of rubbish being washed up on the beach.
Water purifiers eliminate the need for travellers to purchase bottled water, allowing you to continue your eco approach to travel! Here are 5 of the best water purifiers!
We can do more for the environment than choosing to ban ourselves from single-use plastics. I wrote this post that gave tips from travel bloggers on how to travel more sustainably!
Here are some more great articles on Eco-Travel.
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