Would you like to reduce the plastic in your kitchen/bathroom/LIFE? I've put together 21 of my top plastic purge items, easily replaced with inexpensive, reusable earth-friendly options 🌏.
"The world doesn’t need a few people doing zero-plastic perfectly, it needs millions of people doing it the very best they can."
Following on from day 14 and the seemingly endless array of plastic polluters sitting not so innocently in our bathrooms, I thought I’d share my DIY face cleanser and body scrub recipes with you so you can purge the plastic these items typically come in AND save money! So incredibly simple to make and just as lush and effective as their much more expensive shop-bought versions. The ingredients can be sourced from the supermarket or health food store (in glass) or from the bulk food store (BYO bottles/jars).
OIL FACE CLEANSER. WHAAAT I hear you say!? OIL to clean my face??! Yep. Your skin produces oil because it needs it and an oil cleanser is actually the most efficient and effective way to dissolve excess oil (blackheads, sunscreen, dirt and makeup) cleanse, soothe and balance your skin. Simply massage the cleansing oil onto your DRY face and then gently wipe off with a warm, wet washcloth (it needs to be warm – cold water will not remove the oil efficiently). There is lots of further information on oil cleansing and its benefits to be found on the internet.
125ml Oil-Cleanser Recipe:
40ml Sweet Almond Oil
40ml Jojoba Oil
40ml Macadamia Oil
Mix and voila! I also add a few drops of food grade essential oils, but I would suggest starting with just the plain oils to begin with because essential oils are quite potent and can cause sensitivity in some people.
Sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil, caster oil….are also good oils to use. Experiment to find your favourite blend,
Sugar Body Scrub Recipe
1 cup brown raw sugar
35ml Apricot oil
35ml Avocado oil
35ml Coconut oil
+ 5-8 drops of the essential oils of your choice (I’ve used Bergamot and Geranium…so so yummy).
Mix in a non-metallic bowl and pour into a glass jar. Use a wooden tongue depressor or spatula to scoop out the scrub to use.
Environmentally BLAH disposable makeup remover wipes. Packaged in plastic and made with synthetic materials that can take 100 years to breakdown in landfill. Get rid of them! Honestly, if you use the DIY oil cleanser from yesterday’s challenge, you won’t need wipes anymore because the oil cleanser removes all makeup – even the waterproof kind. But, if you do find yourself reaching for the wipes to remove your makeup from time to time, an awesome eco-alternative are these reusable pads.
Super-easy to make if you have an overlocker or cheap to buy if you don't. If you’re making your own, flannelette is nice and soft and gentle for removing eye makeup, or if you want them for entire face cleansing, use flannel which will gently exfoliate your skin at the same time. Simply add a few drops of the oil cleanser from Day 15 (or your cleanser + water) to the pad and wipe off.
To clean, simply throw in the washing machine (in a delicates bag) and hang them in the sun to dry. Also really useful to use as breast pads for lactating mums and to keep in your handbag for blotting away the shiny-face during the day! 💚
Yep, we’re still in the bathroom! I think we’ve all seen the photo of the seahorse swimming along with its tail wrapped around a discarded plastic cotton tip? The photo was taken by photographer Justin Hofman back in September 2017 and up until then, I honestly had not given the seemingly harmless cotton tip a second thought.
But the reality is that the stick is made of plastic….and just like all plastic, it takes hundreds of years to breakdown…via micro plastics…which are killing our marine and bird life and destroying our planet👎🏻
Thankfully, there are some SUPER AWESOME brands out there such as Green & Kind who make cotton tips out of 100% biodegradable bamboo and natural cotton. So, if you’re a cotton tip junkee like me, source these biodegradable ones and know that they are not contributing to the global plastic pollution problem 💚
Purge the multiple bottles of unnecessary household cleaning products! I remember a time when I had a different cleaning product for every surface in my house. There were at least 4 or 5 different products – all of them packaged in a plastic bottle and containing a multitude of toxic chemicals that were bad for my skin, lungs and even worse for the environment.
Multiple cleaning products is such a marketing/consumer rort! You can honestly clean your house with as little as 2 ingredients : water + vinegar. Vinegar is a great natural degreaser and effective at breaking down mould and bacteria – and that simple 2-ingredient mix is PERFECT for cleaning glass leaving it streak free. But for the remainder of the surfaces in my house, I make up the following blend which is powerful enough to clean everything – benches, toilets, bath tubs, shower screens…and it is gentle on the skin, lungs and environment. 💚
DIY Surface Cleaner
1.5 cups distilled water (or cool boiled water)
0.5 cups white vinegar
1 teaspoon of Dr Bronners Sal Suds
20-40 drops of citrus essential oils – I like to use lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit. The essential oils are optional, but they will smell amazing and cancel out any lingering vinegar smell.
Combine in a glass spray bottle and gently shake to mix.
NOTE: Unfortunately the Dr Bronners Sal Suds still comes in a plastic bottle….but a single 1ltr bottle will literally make 200 bottles of this DIY cleaner…which is far better than the 200 plastic bottles of spray and wipe it replaces!
I am so excited about today’s plastic purge! Goodbye expensive laundry liquid in a plastic bottle….hello soapberries!
Soapberries are the fruit of the Sapindus Mukorossi tree which grows in the Himalayan region. The fruit is picked, the seed removed and the shell dried. This dried shell is full of a substance called 'Saponins' which are a nature’s soap. Saponins reduce the surface tension of water, releasing dirt and grime from fabrics and surfaces. They are naturally antibacterial, anti fungal and hypoallergenic.
Simply pop 5 of the berries into the supplied little cotton bag and throw it in with your clothes. This little bag of berries will do another 4 loads of washing. When the berries start to break down and feel brittle, throw them in your compost or garden to break down naturally! ZERO WASTE.
TIP: Soapberries release more saponins in warm/hot water, so if you wash in cold water (like me), simply soak the bag of 5 berries in hot water for 5 minutes before throwing the bag and water into the washing machine.
I am totally converted. I do approx 4 loads of washing a week so this 250g bag will last me almost 6 months and cost only $16.50 through my favourite online store for all things eco-friendly – Flora & Fauna.
Purge those plastic clothes pegs! Don’t throw out what you have by any means…keep using them until they are no longer usable, but consider replacing them with stainless steel pegs like these ones.
Plastic pegs like all other plastic items remain in landfill, slowing breaking down into dangerous micro-plastics over hundreds of years….yawn….I feel like I’m on repeat!
The reason why I’m cheering on stainless steel pegs over wooden pegs is because they will last forever if properly cared for (don’t leave on the line in the weather). Where as the small batch of wooden pegs I have remaining have either broken or lost their spring and they are only 12-18 months old. These stainless steel pegs are made from just ONE piece of wire – they will never break – and come in a variety of strengths and steels (ie: marine grade if you live near the beach). They were not 'cheap', but over the period of a lifetime, they work out to be much cheaper than pegs that eventually break and much friendlier to our beloved Mother Earth. I love them as much as I love my soapberries from yesterday challenge 💚
The final day of the 21 Day Plastic Purge Challenge! Let’s talk about nappies. Facts in a nutshell: cloth nappies have much less of an environmental impact than disposables and will save you a lot of money in the long run. Disposables create hundreds of thousands of tonnes of landfill around the world every year, take over 500 years to rot, and slowly release methane gas into the atmosphere which is a significant factor in global warming.
Disposables were designed for convenience and ease…but just like most single-use plastic items, they are an unsustainable source of waste. Cloth nappies do require more effort and time for washing/drying…so using them does require a commitment to helping reduce the plastic pollution our planet faces.
This post is not intended to shame parents who use disposable nappies because parenting is hard enough – it is simply to raise awareness. And to be honest, my son has been out of nappies for 4 years and back then, many people in my extended circle did use reusable cloth nappies, but I didn’t. I felt the pressures of parenthood were enough without adding the time needed to wash up to 12 nappies a day so I understand why most people choose disposables. But if I was to have another baby today….? Things are different for me now…I am much more environmentally aware, so I would make the commitment and switch to cloth.
Have you considered trying cloth?? Even if you were to switch to cloth during the day and save disposables for only nighttime use, you would be reducing your nappy waste by about 85% which would be incredible. Even if you were to use cloth for just a few nappies a day, you'd also be making a huge reduction in your nappy waste. And they look so damn cute these modern cloth nappies!
Week 3 Wrap Up
And that’s a wrap! Week 3 of the #21DayPlasticPurgeChallenge is now complete. Thank you to everyone who followed along and purged their plastic for eco-friendly alternatives. Together, our small collective changes are making a difference! 💚
How did you find the 21 Day Challenge? Were you able to make some changes or are there other plastic purges you’ve made that weren’t covered in the last 3 weeks? Please let me know below👇🏻