• 30 Plastic Free Ways for 30 Days Challenge

    September 7, 2018 • GUIDES, PLASTIC FREE / WASTE FREE

    After 14 years with Biome, I have learned many ways to reduce plastic use.  Like you, no doubt, I forget to reflect and celebrate how far I have come with my every day actions.  So for Plastic Free July this year, I challenged myself to share a plastic free way every day for 30 days on our Instagram and Facebook!  The positive engagement with our community was phenomenal with so many people sharing their ideas and support.

    Since Biome began in 2003, we have helped countless choices that create less waste and that are free from toxins to enhance your health and our precious environment.

    One of the many wonderful aspects of Plastic Free July is that it was founded by one person who wanted to change the waste that her family produced. In 2011, Rebecca Prince-Ruiz was working in waste education in Perth and, shocked by the mountain of waste she saw at a recycling facility, she decided to go single-use plastic free for a month. Seven years later the challenge has spread to millions of participants across 150 countries. If you ever doubted that one person can make a difference, this is inspiring proof you can.

    Individually we are one drop, together we are an ocean —Satoro

    July was a phenomenal month all round for moving our world towards a single use plastic free future.

    My 30 Plastic Free Ways for 30 Days

    In this video blog, we feature three of the most popular ideas for plastic free cleaning:

    • How to wash the dishes with an old fashioned bar of castile soap
    • How to make citrus vinegar cleaning spray
    • How to make dish washing liquid using soap berry (or soap nut) tea.

    About Citrus Vinegar Cleaner

    I keep an air tight glass jar on my counter, particularly because I love how pretty it looks as it fills with citrus peels like orange, lime, lemon and grapefruit. As you add more peels, top it up with white vinegar. Shake occasionally. Once it has been sitting for about two weeks, pour some liquid through a piece of muslin to strain in to a glass spray bottle about 3/4 full. Top up the rest with water. You now have an all purpose cleaner for bench tops, sinks, bathroom, windows, and walls. When done with the peels, add them to your compost (not worms).

    Some More Highlights

    DAY 12: A NAKED BINThe reason many of us tend to want a bin liner is for wet food scraps. However, when you divert them to compost, and place recyclables into various other containers, I find there is little need for a bin liner.

    This stainless steel Oggi bin sits on our bench top looking rather swish. It has a charcoal filter under the lid which allows the bin to breathe, reduces smells and keeps pests out. We previously used a Bokashi bin, which I also love as it lives right in your kitchen too.

    Making it simple for everyone in your home to separate waste in the kitchen is the key to success.

    DAY 15: HOW TO MAKE GLUE AND WRAP GIFTS WITHOUT PLASTIC

    Today, I made glue…It fascinates me that many of the solutions to plastic free products involve rediscovering the ways things were done when first invented. Before petrochemicals, machinery and electricity, people looked to how they could use what nature already provided. But, as technology advanced we sought more control over nature and found synthetic ways that were more predictable and convenient. This of course led to packaging pre-made products and mass commercial production.

    I made rice starch glue with sushi rice and water. It is a wet glue so it does make the paper pucker, but it sticks when dry! There are loads of glue recipe variations on the internet, so I recommend you check out several before having a go.

    DAY 16: BUY IT ONCE: STAINLESS STEEL PEGS

    Plastic will take at least 500 years to decompose in the environment—in fact, every single piece of plastic ever made still exists! Such longevity would be a great feature if plastic didn’t break so easily rendering the item useless and adding to the mountains of plastic being disposed of. On the other hand, well-engineered items made from high grade stainless steel, and that are looked after, can last several lifetimes without breaking.

    Imagine buying one set of stainless steel clothes pegs for life, never spending money again on replacing pegs.

    DAY 19: ‘CHOCOLATE CHEEKS’

    I wore my new one ingredient cacao bronzer to work. It is literally just cacao powder! How exciting is that? The crew at Biome, and even my teen daughters, think it looks great. The best part is that it was fun, and started conversations about how uncomplicated things can be.

    You can mix all sorts of powders to achieve your desired colour for your eyes, cheeks or face, such as arrowroot, beetroot, hibiscus, rose hip, cinnamon, pink or red clay, activated charcoal and mica for shimmer.

    DAY 23: SALAD SPINNER

    Those plastic bags full of pre-washed spinach, rocket and lettuce are so tempting with their promise of not having to wash and dry the greens! However, having a quick and easy way to wash and dry them at home makes it easier to avoid the temptation.

    If you don’t already own a salad spinner, place the wet leaves into a mesh produce bag and swinging it around like a lasso to create a centrifuge. Step out to the verandah or bathroom if you can, as this does send water spraying around!

    30 Plastic Free Ways to Reduce Plastic Use

    Over on Instagram you can find these posts with a description under each to help you OR search this hashtag when logged in to Facebook > #30plasticfreewaysfor30days

    1. Citrus vinegar cleaner to spray & wipe without plastic
    2. Palm oil free shampoo bar
    3. Reusable wax food wraps
    4. Bamboo toothbrush
    5. Organic cotton string shopping bag
    6. Face cleansing konjac sponge
    7. Fizzy toilet cleaning powder
    8. Save your dough: BYO bread bag
    9. Soap free, exfoliating clay body bar
    10. Plastic free produce
    11. Palm oil free dish washing with a bar of soap and scrub brush
    12. A naked bin – the secret is waste separation and composting
    13. Natural room fragrance
    14. Body care choices in plastic free packaging
    15. ‘Wrapped’ about no plastic – made my own glue and gift wrap without plastic
    16. Buy it once – pegs that never break
    17. 100% plastic free stainless steel drink bottles
    18. Plastic free cotton buds and reusable face wipes
    19. ‘Chocolate Cheeks’ face bronzer made from cacao powder
    20. Save food waste with Swag bags
    21. Reusable bubble tea straw and glass jar
    22. DIY dry shampoo and plastic free hairbrush
    23. Salad spinner
    24. Reusable razor and soap bar
    25. Purify and alkalise water without plastic or waste
    26. DIY grapefruit shea body whip
    27. ‘Real’ green bag made from 100% compostable jute
    28. “No straw thanks” – reusable stainless steel, glass and bamboo straws
    29. Soap berry tea and dish wash liquid
    30. Wood and ceramic toilet brush and holder set

    Once again, to see all these ideas, search on the hashtag #30plasticfreewaysfor30days within Facebook or Instagram.

    Stay tuned for more blog posts where we explore these!  And, as always we’d love you to share your ideas in the comments below.

    Visit Biome’s Plastic Free department with all the tools and tips to help you live with less plastic.

    Tracey, Biome Founder

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