Top tips to reduce single-use plastic in your life
Plastic free in the home
There's a whole host of simple swaps to be made to create a more eco-friendly home.
Clingfilm for tuppaware or beeswax wraps
Refill where possible - Heaven & Earth on Preston Street, The Cupboard Store and Parapura market stalls in Faversham will refill your washing up liquid and your clothes washing liquid amongst other things.
Ditch the hand soap dispensors for actual soap or refill them.
Unboxed in Canterbury (now on the high st) will refill all sorts of cooking spices and other tasty treats. It also offers a great range of plastic free household alternatives.
Swap shampoo, conditioner & soap bottles for bars - Increasingly shampoo and conditioner bars can be found in toiletries shops such as Heaven & Earth and The Cupboard Store and Parapura market stalls in Faversham or Lush in Canterbury, or you can refill and reuse your existing shampoo bottles in Heaven & Earth.
Many reusable items end up being much cheaper in the long run.
Home-made reusable make-up remover pads
Moon cups are a brilliant to way to reduce tampon landfill
Traditional razor with replaceable blades
Out & About
The key to reducing single-use plastic is being prepared. If you are food shopping, take reusable tupperware for your meat and fish and string bags for your veg.*Did you know you can put plastic ziplock bags in the dish washer and they will live to be used for another day.
Reusable water bottles, flasks, and coffee cups need to be regularly in your mind if you like to rehydrate on the go. Look out for the Refill signs in shop windows about town, or just try your luck - chances are they will happily refill your bottle.
Reusable pint glasses - plastic or metal are So useful, but not just for festivals - venues such as theatres mostly serve their drinks in plastic glasses - a prime opportunity to look smug when you produce your reusable cup!!
Parties can be tricky as they often require more plates and glasses than you would normally have at home. But these days help is at hand. There are companies set up that hire out all the equipement that you need - both adults and children's parties. Failing that you can always borrow from your mates!
www.makeitpop.shop hires out reusable party supplies.
www.littlecherry.co.uk supplies biodegradable party supplies
Some toys are not only made of non-recyclable plastic but come wrapped in swathes of plastic packaging. Buying second hand can not only save money but avoids further landfill.
Buying quality over quantity means toys are less likely to break as soon as they are purchased and thus also reduce landfill.
Experiences to create memories
Is anyone else finding that in fact kids these days have many more toys than they can play with, and as birthdays and Christmas roll on, the pile of unplayed-with clutter grows higher. One way to tackle this is to buy your child an experience that will stay with them for ever!
Christmas can be an eco-warrior's nightmare with all the single-use plastic and paper that is discarded over the festive period. But it is also an opportunity to get creative to find solutions.
Follow @plasticfreefav on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to find our festive ideas, from making plastic-free crackers to eco-gift pop-up shops.
Wrapping paper - do the scrunch test - if it pops back out after it has been scrunched - then it is not recyclable. neither is anything shiny or that has paint, sticky tape or glitter on it. Consider using fabric, newspaper or paper saved from last year. If we all did this - we could really make a difference!
More on Wrapping paper
Thinking of using recyclable wrapping paper for your presents? Brown paper, reused paper and newspaper can look really lovely - but what if you or your kids want to decorate it? Will it still be recyclable? Well the answer is here:
You can recycle paper with ink on it but not paint. An extract from one recycling company: "Paper with paint on it cannot be recycled. The same goes for other kids’ art supplies such as: crayons, glitter, large globs of glue, stickers and foam".
These are all contaminants. Even if your children use a water-based paint, the paper still can’t be recycled. This is because it’s not the paint itself that makes the paper unrecyclable but the fact that the paper has been wet. Once paper or cardboard has been wet, the paper fibres are damaged and can’t be recycled.
Did you know that some things that do not go into your council recycling bin CAN actually by recycled by TerraCycle!
TerraCycle will recycle items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes, crisp packets, biscuit wrappers, pet food pouches, make up - the list goes on. They need to be deposited in specific recycling bins and the good news is that Faversham has lots of drop off points around town. Use the map here to find out where to recycle your rubbish.
Find out more about Terracycle here
Single-use plastic and mountains of sugar! It's enough to keep you up at night.
Try to reuse or pass on old costumes rather than buying new - or have fun making your own - these are nearly always the best ones.
Making your own decorations, sweets and treats is really the only way to reduce the amount of single-use plastic on this ghastly night. These are great activities to do with the kids and it can really get you into the spirit of the whole shebang!