A beginners guide to using less plastic

It’s Plastic Free July are you ready to make a change?  Do you know about this Global Movement that encourages millions of people across the globe to become part of the solution to plastic killing the environment?https://www.plasticfreejuly.org

The decision to live a plastic-free life or just using less plastic can be rather overwhelming.  Almost everything we find in stores these days comes in plastic containers, contains plastic or is made of plastic. So, how can we make a difference? How do we change? Where does one even start? It’s just your luck that you decided to visit our blog because today we’ll provide you with 6 easy ways to reduce plastic in your everyday lives, with alternative products linked. Use our Beginner’s Guide for reducing plastics and you’ll immediately contribute to saving the earth. To do so we’ll use our A, B and C’s:

 A -  Adhere to your commitment to saving plastic;

B -  Be Vigilant in your efforts

C -  Change, Check, Cloth, Cover, Cup and Choose

Change your container!

Many people wash their hair and body almost daily. The result of which could be more than a million plastic soap bottles over a lifespan of 65 years. Swap your shampoo and conditioner bottles for natural bars that are packaged in paper/boxes. It’s better for the environment, your hair and body!  Check out our new plastic-free shampoo and conditioner bars.

Crowd-pleaser shampoo bar

Genie-in-a-bar conditioner bar

Want to save on soap bottles in the kitchen and the bathroom?  Try a bar of natural body soap or dish soap wrapped in paper rather than liquid soap in plastic bottles. Opt for washing powder that comes in a cardboard box. Buy milk in paper cartons or glass bottles instead of plastic containers.

Body soap bar 


Peanut butter fan? Buy a glass container rather than a plastic pot of peanut butter. Recycle the glass and use it for the multiple uses you will find for it in your home. Pick pasta in a box instead of a plastic bag.


Check your teeth!

Did you know that the average person uses +300 toothbrushes in their lifetime? Something so simple, yet billions of plastic toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes are disposed of annually. How do we change this? Bamboo toothbrushes and plastic-free toothpaste are great alternatives in reducing plastic use and here at Earthly we stock both of those. 

Bamboo toothbrushes

Toothpaste bits

Dental floss and plastic toothpicks are 2 big culprits. Use wooden toothpicks and reduce the length of your thread of floss or choose biodegradable floss. Small steps, big results!

Biodegradable dental floss

Cloth bags, the way to go!

Going grocery shopping?  Swap your plastic shopping bags for cloth bags to not only carry your groceries in but whatever else you choose to buy.  You can use smaller ones for your loose fresh fruit and vegetables as well as the ones you use in the fresh produce section. Avoid ready-packed products by perhaps shopping at your local farmers’ market with your own bags. What about your bin bag? Well choose compostable bin bags over plastic. Did you know that about 1 million plastic bags are used globally every minute of the day? Needless to say, the topic remains a significant issue when it comes to plastic pollution. So, remember…BYOB (bring your own bag); not only are you helping the environment but also supporting Local.

Compostable bin bags


Cover with cloth

Let’s move on to leftovers. Storing leftovers is unavoidable and there is nothing easier or more convenient than to just cover the dish with plastic cling wrap – no mess, no fuss.  Not the way to go, warn environmentalists.  This daily waste of plastic can be avoided by rather using material covers that are available in a variety of sizes to keep those yummy leftovers for the next day. What about school lunches?  You had to ask! Use Natural hemp/soy wraps, wax paper or one of the most recycled materials, aluminium foil.

Large hemp dish cover

Medium hemp dish cover

Reusable hemp-soy wax wraps


Cup for keeping Coffee and other liquids

Let’s be honest, coffee plays an important part in most of our lives today. However, if you are constantly on the go, get yourself a Keep Cup and/or thermos flask when ordering coffee. Not only will you be giving yourself a boost with some coffee but you will also be boosting mother earth by reducing your plastic usage.

Same goes with bottled water, take a reusable bottle with you, this way you will stay hydrated all day as well as reduce your plastic/carbon footprint which is really the goal.

Ceramic travel mug

Bamboo travel mug

Bamboo wrapped flask

Stainless steel bottle



Choose to change the little things

- Choose silver, stainless steel, gold, any reusable type cutlery and forget using plastics forever!

- Choose glass/ ceramic reusable plates instead of plastic plates when you braai on Sunday!  

- Choose and carry your own straws. A variety of stainless steel, bamboo and glass straws are available to buy!

- Choose a reusable glass bottle or a flask for your water on the go. Toss those plastic bottles (in a safe recycling bin)!

-  Choose a pasta that is stored in a paper bag or carton rather than plastic!

-  Choose paper bags for the small bins in the home!

-  Choose environmentally-friendly earbuds!

-  Choose to at least recycle all plastic bottle caps, if you do nothing else.  Even the paper inside the cap can often be recycled!

-  Choose to be part of the Solution, not the Problem.  The choice is yours!

 Wendell Berry said:The Earth is what we all have in common.”  So, let’s learn and use our A, B & C’s and stand together in our fight to save our beautiful Mother Earth. 


There are many other ways to reduce your plastic usage but remember, if 80% of us make a 20% difference, the results will still be phenomenal. Make a sustainable difference!


1 comment

Louise Hofmeyr

Well said! Small steps, big results!

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