I challenge you.

| 10 November 2018

I love to recycle. On a Sunday afternoon, I purposely run around the house trying to find things to recycle before the blue bin collection on a Monday morning. I’m not satisfied until both large blue bins are full and my black bin is almost empty.

We’ve all seen the headlines about the huge environmental problems caused by single-use plastics. When Myni.life contacted me about reducing single use plastics in our home, I was excited to accept their challenge as I thought I was already the Eco queen because I fill up our blue bins with countless amount of plastic water bottles. It never crossed my mind to reduce the amount of plastic that we use.

Monday started off with a weekly shop at our local Sainsbury’s. Browsing the aisles, I noticed almost everything was covered in plastic, even the loose fruit and vegetables had plastic stickers on them but I was determined not to leave until I made a few changes. I swapped my liquid detergent to a cardboard box of powder detergent. I also bought dishwater tablets in a cardboard box, saving me £2.80. Gone are the baked beans that come in the snap pots and hello to baked beans in a tin, saving me another small fortune. Liquid soap has now been changed to a bar of soap, although I do have a number of pump bottles still to finish. I needed bread but as it was all wrapped in plastic we went to the Golden crumb bakery instead and treated ourselves to cinnamon loaf. I was pleased with the changes I made but being honest, it was slightly more difficult to reduce single use plastic while shopping at a large supermarket. At least I didn’t use any plastic bags as I still use my good old faithful hessian bag that I bought whilst living in London, 7 years ago.

During the week, I made a conscious effort to shop locally at the butchers and greengrocers, they are more than happy if you wish you bring your own containers. I swapped ham from a packet to freshly sliced ham which has been a big hit. Although, it is slightly more expensive, it is much better quality of ham, plus I’ve saved on my cleaning products from the Sainsbury’s shop.

We don’t tend to buy sweet treats very often but as a treat for the children at the weekend, we swapped the Percy Pigs in plastic to a paper bag full of handmade fudge from I love fudge NI at St George’s Market


I was kindly gifted a bamboo tooth brush and a collapsible coffee cup. When the tooth brush arrived I wasn’t overly keen on trying it. I don’t know why but I just wasn’t looking forward to it. I can safely say, I will never buy a plastic tooth brush again.  I wouldn’t be a big coffee drinker but instead of driving through the Starbucks drive through,  I have been using the silicon coffee cup filled with tea for the park runs in the morning with Luke.

Other small changes we have made are ditching the sandwich bags for tupperware. Single use water bottles are now changed to a water flask. I keep a glass jug of water in the fridge instead of having a fridge drawer full of water bottles and juice cartons. We may only use these items for a few minutes but they will remain on our land and oceans for over 450 years. That means every piece of plastic that has ever been made hasn’t decomposed yet.  I bought shampoo Kubes from the lovely Teal at doyourbitni.com They are zero waste, plastic free, vegan and organic beauty product made in the UK. Completely biodegradable and sulphate-free and palm free. I also added to my shopping list truth paste which is a natural mineral toothpaste, again plastic free. I have ditched the kitchen sponge and bought a lovely wooden econut brush, I used to look forward to a Zara order arriving at the door but now I get excited over a scrubbing brush. My shopping habits have changed this week and i’ve actually enjoyed being a more traditional shopper and now I would love the milk man to deliver milk in a glass bottle. I’ve bought less because I’ve had to think about what we really need. It has been an interesting eye opener.

So many of you have come up with lots of other ideas, such as swapping cling film for beeswax wraps. I have been shopping around and they do seem expensive. I never really use cling film but I’m willing to try them. A few other single use plastic alternatives are:

Swap plastic straws for paper or metal.

Make freshly squeezed juice instead of buying a plastic bottle

Use a razor with replacement blades rather than disposable razors

How would you feel about going back to cloth nappies?

Ladies, reusable menstrual pads??  I will let you decide, no I haven’t tried them.

Reusable organic bamboo makeup remover wipes. I been making these over at Grace James Handmade for the last month. Ditch the wool pads in plastic and order from me.

Use matches instead of plastic lighters

Swap Tea bags for loose tea

When buying hangers, choose the wooden or even wire.

I’m sure there are plenty of other changes if we really think about it. Please tag #onesmallthingmyni with images showing your alternatives to single use plastic.

This is a paid partnership with @myni.life


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