12 Swaps for a plastic free life!

As promised I was going to cover some of the products that you can find at the Dear Planet Pop Up Store (Mechelen) here in a blog! It took me longer than hoped, but boy oh boy it has been already busy in the shop. Not complaining! I met so many wonderful people the past three weeks… All enthusiastic about a greener lifestyle. It’s amazing how much we can learn from each other.

Today I want to cover the products in my shop that focus on a plastic free lifestyle.

SWAP 1: plastic foil

Insane how much plastic foil there is used in one household. Wrapped around sandwiches and over every single freaking bowl. There are so many reusable and easy alternatives! Using plastic foil is even more of a hustle than these products 😉

Foodhuggers

I don’t know about you, but I often only need one half of a lemon or cucumber. Then I put it back in the fridge and the next day it looks like mummy skin, all dried out. Well I present to you Foodhuggers. But let us be honest, we all call them foodcondoms. Don’t you dare to deny it! You wrap them on your half fruit/veggie and after use, you can put these cuties in the dishwasher. Anyway, no excuses left to wrap plastic foil around your cucumber, no no, you have a silicone hugger (*cough* condom *cough*) for that!

Beeswax wraps

So beeswax wraps is a piece of cotton covered with beeswax. You can put these wraps over your bowls or wrap food inside before putting it in the fridge. To clean them you just wipe them off with a cloth and cold water. After months of use, you might experience that the wax is disappearing. No need to repurchase a wrap. You can just treat them again with some beeswax.

Silicone covers

Okay all good, but you want something more airtight or handy? Or you are vegan? I’ve got your back. The silicone covers are pretty awesome. Silicone is totally fine with the oven, the microwave, the dishwasher, the fridge and the freezer. You can put it on a bowl of food in the fridge (it even gets airtight), you can put it on a pot while boiling water for pasta, a plate to keep your meal longer warm, your drink to keep the flies out. And. The design is in daisies, watermelons, poppies, sunflowers and poppies. I mean. Pretty cute, right?

SWAP 2: Freezer bags

If your still use freezer bags to put food in the freezer, or even to put your lunch in… Please stop. I mean, it is extremely unnecessary. Every single use plastic is unnecessary, not healthy AND even worse for our planet. So I’ve got another silicone solution for you. Again this bag is okay for the fridge, oven, freezer, dishwasher,… And the possibilities are endless. You can use this bag to store leftovers in, freeze something in, to put chopped veggies in. But also if you eat fish or meat you can put it in the bag with a marinade. You can take it to work/school as a snackbag for your sandwich, cookies, nuts or fruit. You can use it as a travel bag for your cosmetics and makeup. Some ladies even use it for the transport their washable menstrual pads.

You can be creative with this amazing bag! Let me tell you, if you store everything in boxes in the fridge, you know how much space that takes up. Use these bags instead, compact storage.

SWAP 3: Plastic bags

The big plastic bag

BYOB! Read: Bring Your Own Bang.
Here in Mechelen, almost every person that came into my shop had their own bag with them. I do have paper bags just in case, but I rarely need use of them. One time someone came in with a plastic bag from the market and he asked ‘Am I allowed in with a plastic bag?’. So cute.

But people without a bag also have the option to buy the Dear Planet totebag! Let’s face it, you can never have enough totebags in your life! For daily use or groceries. And yes, it is just such a pretty bag 😉 *wink wink*

Produce & vegetable bags

When doing groceries, stay of the plastic produce bags. You don’t need them. You can put your veggies just loose in your cart or you can bring your own cotton produce bags. It’s as easy as that. I have vegetable bags, bulk bags (for seeds, rice or nuts) and bags for bread.

SWAP 4: plastic bottles

Make it a habit of leaving the house with a filled water bottle. Such a small effort, saves you money and A TON OF PLASTIC. Don’t reuse a plastic bottle, the plastic releases toxins with reuse.

In the shop you can find two options. Stunning glass bottles or stainless steel ones.

Glass

This glass water bottle is a fancy pants one if I might say so. Some people prefer not to take a glass bottle in their bag. But they use it at home or at work, so that they would drink more in a day.

But if you prefer a bottle during commuting or traveling that can handle more situations, you might prefer a stainless steel one.

SWAP 5: Take away packaging

Always leave your house prepared: Filled water bottle, container, snack bag, coffee mug,…

Coffee cups

Getting every morning a take away coffee? They will happily fill your own cup. If they response annoyed, just throw a smartypants fact to them like ’16 billion coffee cups are thrown away every year. No thanks, I’ll pass’.

At Dear Planet we have two options. Cups made of bamboo or handblown glass. Bamboo is biodegradable and glass is recyclable.

Containers

Grabbing a quick take away lunch somewhere? Make sure to bring your own container/lunchbox. You can find stainless steel ones at Dear Planet. I love steel because it is the material that gets most recycled. Besides that I also have a few bamboo lunchboxes.

Straws

If you are still using plastic straws, WHAT ARE YOU DOING. It is the easiest thing to say no to. There are so many plastic straws in the ocean killing sea life and releasing toxins. You can simply sip from your glass or cup. But if you just looove a straw (or you have kids), well there are alternatives for plastic straws.

Numero uno. Bamboo straws! These are biodegradable. Yihaa! No indestructible waste!

Or you can go for a stainless steel straw with a silicone mouth piece. This way you or your kids don’t harm their teeth on the steel.

Cutlery

Meet the Spork. Yes, a spoon and a fork in one. Genius. Am I right? This tiny thing is your new handy handbag/backpack friend. You’ll never have to say yes to plastic cutlery ever again, because – tadaaah – you have you own Spork. No more excuses!

Prefer to take your normal size ‘tools’ and a knife? Then you can opt for a washable cutlery wrap to put your cutlery in. This wrap comes with a napkin, two metal straws and a straw cleaning brush! The wrap is decorated with funky lobsters. Pretty neat.

SWAP 6: Period products

Ladies, you throw away 10.000 to 15.000 tampons/menstrual pads in your lifetime. I mean. THAT IS A LOT OF TRASH. Also it can’t get recycled and those products are so bad for you. Tampons & menstrual pads contain plastic, pesticides, chlorine, … Loads of harmful chemicals. So do yourself a big favor and a bigger one to the planet by using reusable period products.

Menstrual cup

For some people this still might be a new discovery. But you see this silicone cup? You bring it in and it collects the blood instead of absorbing it. Then you can empty it, rinse it & reuse it. For around 10 years. Yes ma’am. 100% silicone is save for your health and it is durable.

Washable pads

If a menstrual cup still freaks you out, you can always start using washable & reusable cotton menstrual pads. After use, put them first in cold water before you put them in the washing machine. This way you make sure it won’t get stained. At Dear Planet you’ll find regular and night menstrual pads, but also panty liners for daily use.

SWAP 7: Dental hygiene

For my male readers, thanks for reading through the menstrual part. You made it. It’s over. You’re save.

The next swap is about toothpaste and how it always comes in plastic tubes. You can easily swap to toothpaste that comes in a glass jar. The brand you find in my shop is an all natural toothpaste. Not only toothpaste, but also mouthwash in tablet form (in glass jars) & compostable dental floss (again, in a glass jar).

Another swap is to ditch the plastic toothbrushes and go for a bamboo toothbrush. These are biodegradable!

SWAP 8: Deodorant

Most deodorant are extremely harmful for your health. I won’t go into that now, this could require a blog post on itself. But the message here is to opt for a natural deodorant. A plastic free one. A chemical free one. And one that works.

I tried a solid deodorant in the past, but it didn’t work for me. Rubbing it under my armpits also made my skin irritated. So I tried cream deodorant. And, I am sold. Not only does it feel awesome to smear it under my armpits, it doesn’t irritate my skin AND I SMELL GOOD ALL FREAKING DAY LONG. I remember the days of having to spray 2-3 times a day. With this babies, I am good to go only once in the morning.

I have them in a tin or in a cardboard stick (which you have to push up, not twist). Personally I have never liked the use of a stick, so the tin is my hero.

SWAP 9: Razors

Okay shaving. Men shave beards, but let’s be honest, most of you boys also shave much more than only your jawline. And boy oh boy, ladies, society today made us shave our whole freaking body. It’s weird if you think about it, because hair grows for a reason, I guess. But still, I too will always shave because it just feels more hygienic and… soft? BUT, I still hate shaving, it’s time consuming and I have sensitive skin. It has never been my favorite part of the bathroom routine. But ah well.

The problem with shaving these days are the razors. They are made of plastic AND the blades (that your throw away every several weeks) are also covered with plastic. Years ago, people shaved with a normal steel safety razor. No need for plastic. It not only looks strikingly fancy, but it gives a wonderful clean shave. You do have to get used to it and shave a bit slower. You can’t just go “yolo” with a safety razor.

SWAP 10: Diapers

Moms, dads, is there a baby in your life? Don’t put your money in single use diapers. For 4 years, you need around 7300 of them. That is not only 7300 freaking stinky diapers on the landfill, it also costs you like €2200 or more.

Investing in a few washable diapers sounds pretty good now, doesn’t it?

SWAP 11: Cotton pads

Removing make up with single use cotton pads is just silly. You use it a few seconds and BAM, it’s in the bin. What a purpose they served for those 3 seconds. More the reason to do an easy swap to washable cotton pads! You can reuse these babies every day! Et voila. No problemooo.

SWAP 12: Cotton buds

Another unnecessary bathroom item is the cotton bud to clean your ears out. These single use buds with a stick made from plastic are thankfully already getting replaced with a bamboo stick instead of the plastic one. But they are still used just once. So let’s skip that step and go for a reusable option. Like a bamboo ear cleaning spoon! You just, you know… -spoon- the earwax out of the entrance of your ear and then you simple wash it off. It is a simple as that. And no it is not disgusting.

There you go, 12 easy swaps for your journey to a plastic free life. The products that I showed here are the ones I sell at Dear Planet. But there are so many alternatives. 🙂 Be creative!

Have an amazing day!

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I am a natural, healthy & green lifestyle enthusiast, an animal lover, a reader, a cinephile, a plant and crystal hoarder, but above all a life enjoyer.

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