Your top ten tips for reducing plastic!

Your top ten tips for reducing plastic!

Learning from each other: it's so powerful and so exciting! And there's so much to learn! We are on a journey to become more sustainable and more ethical. We're doing our best but there's always room for improvement. At Lucy and Yak, we are so grateful that our customers are so knowledgable. We asked for your help with how to reduce plastic and here's what you came up with!

1) Ditch the tea bags.

Did you know that 96% of tea bags contain polypropylene? Hi there, more hidden plastic! But we're onto you now. Did you also know that although loose leaf tea can be more expensive initially, you can actually use the leaves several times and the tea gets better each time? I get my tea from the Rare Tea Company. The tea is delicious and it comes in reusable caddies that look great on the shelf! Thanks to @betsyboo84 for this tip!

2) Buy bars of soap, shampoo, and conditioner rather than those that come in plastic.

@melon_bean has a good point with this one. I've recently switched to soap bars around the house and there are lots of great shampoo and conditioner bars available too. Check out our Primal Suds range for some great shampoo bars; here's what they say about their products.

It's fascinating to discover that research on the effectiveness of soap bars for handwashing has been going on since the 1960s. And the conclusions are pretty clear: a soap bar is just as good as liquid soap and there's no additional risks of sharing germs. Even when they injected a bar with e-coli it didn't get passed on and didn't cause infection.

It's also a better option because of something called triclosan. This is an ingredient found in antibacterial hand washes that contributes to the problem of antibiotic resistance. So if we want antibiotics to work in the future we need to get this stuff out of our homes.

3) Buy local: get fruit and veg from a local grocery shop (and take your own containers).

Buying local just makes so much sense: we can support the local economy, cut down transport costs and emissions and reduce our use of plastic. Take along your own bags and containers and everyone is on to a winner! And you can chat with some friendly faces who know exactly where your food has come from and what it has and has not been sprayed with. You're right – it's win-win!

4) Carry a reusable water bottle

And if you're not sure which one to go for, Which have done a test of lots of different kinds! I hadn't thought about the fact that buying one reusable bottle will also save money as well as plastic! So although the initial cost is higher it doesn't take long before you'll have made a big saving. There are so many horrid plastic bottles floating around in the ocean but at least we won't be adding to the problem. Thanks to @miniginger94.

5) Use reusable pads for removing make-up

This is a simple one – it's not hard to do as there are lots of reusable pads on the market. But you don't even need to buy them new. As @chloe_stearns said, you can make your own out of upcycled fabrics! There are lots of YouTube videos to help if you want to make your own; I like this one. Or there are lots of options to buy if that works better for you. In that case, it's worth looking at bamboo as it's often a more sustainable option.

6) Wash your hair less often

This is a really interesting one. We don't actually need to wash our hair as often as we think. We've got so used to washing it every day but it turns out that's not great for even fine hair. This is a fascinating article about making the change to soap bars and developing a more sustainable routine for hair care.

Thanks to @m_ay.a for the heads up on this one!

7) Bring back fabric handkerchiefs!

@theoxygenjunkie I love this one! We are missing out on some super-cool accessories, as well as destroying trees just so we can blow our noses! I've got to admit the first thought that popped into my head was “But aren't hankies a bit unhygienic?” And here's the answer. What this article says is that it's not really the product that's the problem, we should be looking at habits. If you use a tissue and put it straight in the bin that probably is the most hygienic solution. But if you leave it on the table or put it in your bag, it's probably worse than a carefully folded hankie. So there you have it, let's start a movement!

8) Shop consciously, and only when you need to.

This is a great tip. @maggieeeeeeed suggests that we wait until something runs out and then look for a plastic-free alternative. It's so easy to have a knee-jerk reaction and want to rid our houses of plastic in one fell swoop. But actually, that isn't such a great idea as it involves wasting what we already have, instead of getting as much use as we can out of it. Once it's finished, that's the time to look for a better alternative.

9) Follow zero-waste influencers

This is all about learning from each other and there are some people out there who really know their stuff. Thanks, @katmuir_ for this suggestion. There's a blog post coming up on this, so keep your eyes peeled.

10) Make one change at a time, and let it become a habit

It takes time to change habits and there are lots of habits that we might feel we need to change. But trying to do it all at once makes it a lot less likely that we will succeed. One thing at a time and the changes build up and stick around. @brikemball has a great point with this tip.

So where are you going to start and what's your next step? Keep in touch on Instagram and help us take our next steps too. Check out our zero-waste range and sign up to our mailing list. Together, let's make things better!

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