Top Plastic Free Ideas for Plastic Free July
Shampoo bar instead of shampoo and conditioner in plastic bottles!
Our first plastic free idea is to swap your shampoo in a bottle for a shampoo bar packaged in paper or nothing at all. Plus, swap your conventional conditioner for apple cider vinegar that you've filled up at a bulk food store or bought in a glass bottle. Biome sells apple cider vinegar in bulk at our four Brisbane stores. Not all shampoo bars are created the same! When shopping for a shampoo bar, look for one that is not packaged in plastic, doesn't contain palm oil or palm derived ingredients (e.g. vegetable glycerine), or things like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, synthetic fragrance, synthetic colours or preservatives. Biome shampoo bars don't contain any of these ingredients, plus come packaged in either cardboard or a handy reusable tin. Some people say they don't like the way their hair feels after using a shampoo bar. It takes around four washes with a shampoo bar to remove the built up product, so keep persisting. Rinse your hair with four tablespoons of apple cider vinegar diluted in one litre of warm water after shampooing and do not use conventional conditioner. Shop shampoo bars here >
Soapberries (or soap nuts) instead of laundry liquid in a plastic bottle!
Our organic soapberries are the dried shell of the fruit of the Sapindus Mukorossi tree and are exceptionally high in 'saponin', which is nature's soap. They come packaged in just a calico bag that can be reused or composted at the end of its life. To use your soapberries, simply place the equivalent of five berries in the small calico bag provided and pop in your wash. You might like to add a few drops of pure essential oil to the small calico bag with the soapberries for gentle fragrance. That Red House organic soapberries that we sell at Biome are wonderfully effective and get great reviews from our customers. Combine them with our stainless steel pegs and you have the best plastic free laundry solution! Straight from nature to your home, soapberries are economical and the most sustainable way to do your laundry with no plastic waste, no fillers or harmful toxins, and no palm oil. Shop soapberries here >
Good old fashioned bar of soap instead of liquid soap in a plastic pump bottle!
It's time to embrace once again a humble, good quality, palm oil free bar soap. Biome is the only eco store in Australia that is 100% free from palm oil (we are truly cruelty free!), so you can be certain that our soaps have not contributed to the death or harm of orangutans and other animals in the South East Asia. Use a sisal exfoliating sponge or a Safix scrub pad (pictured above) as a soap saver instead of a soap rack. The scrub pad saves soap from running down the sink so that you can benefit from the entrapped soap next time you scrub! A divine 100% olive oil Est soap balls is also pictured. Shop bar soap here >
Bamboo stick cotton buds instead of buds with plastic sticks!Cotton buds are another plastic item hiding away in our bathrooms, and we will never unsee the heartbreaking photo by Justin Hofman (below) of the seahorse clinging onto a discarded plastic cotton bud. There is a plastic free alternative though.
Our cotton buds with bamboo sticks, unlike their plastic counterparts, will biodegrade and can be composted at the end of their life. They are fantastic quality, work just as well and are great for makeup application, removal, or cleaning small areas. They are one of your favourite plastic free ideas! Shop bamboo cotton buds here >
Konjac facial cleansing sponge instead of lotion in a plastic container!Did you know you can clean your face with just water and a sponge? Our 'naked' (packaging free) Kuu Konjac sponges allow you to do just that. Just add water and massage gently around your face. Each sponge lasts for six to eight weeks with daily use and can be composted when it is too small to keep using. If you need to remove make-up, try the Biome Skin Care range, pure jojoba oil or our Dirt Magnet facial soap, made with just saponified olive oil and charcoal! Shop our package free Kuu Konjac sponge here >
Organic cotton bags or jute bags instead of polypropylene "green bags"!Did you know that the "green bags" you pick up from the supermarket are generally made from polypropylene (a type of plastic) and won't break down at the end of their life. In fact, you have to use a supermarket green bag at least 104 times to make a difference to the environment because they take more material and energy to produce than single-use plastic bags (1). The problem is, however, because they are so cheap and poor quality we tend to discard them before that many uses. Biome's range of 'real green bags' are a similar shape, but made made from jute or organic cotton, are sturdy, biodegradable, and will last an age if well cared for. They are also not lined with plastic as many other jute-look bags are. Shop organic cotton bags and jute bags here >
Fizzy toilet bombs instead of harsh toilet cleaner in a plastic bottle!
You can even make some plastic free swaps in the toilet! Pop one of our toilet cleaning bombs in your toilet once a week, give it a quick scrub with our plastic free toilet brush, and your toilet will come up shiny and clean in no time. The toilet cleaning bombs are simple and effective, using just sodium bicarbonate, citric acid and essential oils of eucalyptus, thyme and orange to freshen your loo naturally. Plus, no more chlorine bleach and harmful chemicals being flushed into our waterways and oceans. We love plastic free ideas like this! You can even make your own toilet cleaning bombs if you like. Find our easy recipe and links to ingredients here >. Similarly, you can also learn how to make bath bombs.
Home grown seedlings in newspaper pots instead of plastic seedling pots!It's rare for seedlings to come any other way besides a plastic pot, but you can grow your own in pot made from old newspaper. You could pick up yesterday's newspaper from a cafe if you tend to read your news online. Then, using our seedling pot maker, create a pot, fill it with dirt and plant your seed (heirloom seeds available at Biome). Once the seedling is at a robust stage, the seedling, paper pot and all, can be planted directly into your garden without disturbing the roots. The newspaper will break down quickly, or you could also use an egg carton or toilet roll, but they will take longer to break down. Shop seedling pot makers here >
Glass and natural rubber baby bottle instead of plastic baby bottles!A completely plastic free baby bottle does exist! And even better, it is designed in Australia by an Australian company too. The plastic free Baby Quoddle is made from borosilicate glass and pure hevea rubber. Hevea rubber is tapped from the latex vessels of the rubber tree without harming the tree's growth. All components of this plastic free baby bottle are free of BPA, polycarbonates, phthalates and PVC. Is is a safe, easy to use alternative to plastic. Shop Baby Quoddle baby bottles here >
Natural deodorant paste in cardboard instead of a plastic tube!Our range of toxin free, palm oil free natural deodorants is huge. While many of you love Black Chicken Remedies axilla deodorant paste, you don't like the fact it comes in a plastic container. Well luckily, we have a great 100% plastic free alternative from Earths Purities. Our Earths Purities Natural Deodorant comes packaged in 100% post-consumer recycled paper tub which is fully compostable at the end of its life. Did you know you can also make your own deodorant? We have a great DIY deodorant recipe here >
Stainless steel safety razor instead of disposable plastic razors!Ok, we slipped an extra one in, we couldn't resist! Switch to a chrome-plated stainless steel safety razor and you will never use a plastic razor again! Featuring a traditional butterfly twist-to-open design and textured handle for grip, with the proper care this razor will last you forever. The razor blades are also recyclable too! So this is a long-lasting, truly zero-waste product. Shop safety razors here > We'd love to hear your plastic free ideas! Share them with us in the comments section below!
Further Reading (1) 2009 study by Associate Professor Karli Verghese from RMIT. www.news.com.au "The crazy truth about using green bags".