Common Sense Tips for Transitioning to Plastic-Free

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At Honest Cleaning and Services, we spend time preparing our cleaning solutions, sourcing vegan products to use, and devising Team protocols so that our client’s homes are fresh and plastic-free when we leave.

In the goal of creating a zero-waste household, the toughest stage for our clients is going to be the reduction and elimination of plastic waste. In our consumer culture and buying convenience, many are not familiar with bar shampoo and conditioner, plastic-free laundry soap, and zero-waste dispensaries.

We encourage everyone to begin their transition to removing plastic from your grocery and shopping lists, and although it will be extra work, to create a better life for our children and be part of the solution of healing the planet, feels amazing!

How to Start Living Plastic-Free

Grocery shopping

Traditional shopping guarantees that you come home with lots of plastic. Our whole shopping system is set-up this way, and if you show up ready to fight against plastic, your experience at the grocer will be easy and very soon, it will become second nature.

Take with you reusable bags – recycled totes, drawstring cotton and/or mesh bags, and if you are visiting a zero-waste store, have your glass jars (various sizes), food storage containers, and round metal canisters ready for filling.

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Look for your closest bulk store or grocer with a good-sized bulk section for everything you can imagine being available. The usual selection should include pasta, dried beans, nuts, seeds, baking supplies, dried fruit, spices, granola and cereal, nut butters, coconut oil, rice, pulses, legumes, and even candy plastic-free.

Get loaves of bread and bagels at a local bakery into a cloth drawstring bag. When you return home, transfer them to an air-tight container for storing.

If your life is too hectic now to enjoy grocery shopping, sign up for a food box service to get plastic-free vegetables and other kitchen items delivered to your door in a reusable bin.

Bathroom Products

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The next source of plastic waste to be concerned about is the bathroom. Self-care and personal hygiene habits can be hard to adjust, but they bring significant health advantages. Many of the products found in our bathrooms contain unsafe chemicals linked to health issues like cancer, hormone disruption, and some respiratory problems.

With all increasing handwashing exponentially, it is advisable to buy unpackaged natural bar soap. From Whole Foods to your local health store, ‘naked’ soap is easily found. All scent-free natural soap is not specific for hands and is useable on your whole body and can replace body wash in the shower.

Solid shampoo and conditioning bars are new to the marketplace, are quite pricy, but they last much longer than a bottle of shampoo and are plastic-free.

Moisturizers can be sourced at retailers like Lush and Body Shop, or opt for fair-trade coconut oil for make-up removing, chapped skin, and after shaving.

 

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For toothbrushes, natural compostable bamboo is now available at most health food stores (use worn toothbrushes for cleaning grout and corners), cosmetic companies have long had refillable palettes available, invest in a reusable razor over disposables, and boxed paper-wrapped toilet paper bought in bulk at big box stores.

Plastic-Free Food on the Go

In a city with so many delicious restaurants and fast food outlets, how is it possible to eat on the fly without adding to the garbage pail? Those are the moments when your newfound commitment to plastic avoidance may be challenged.

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The first solution is the most obvious – do not eat fast food! You will be healthier, have more energy, and wasting time in your recycling centre, trying to figure out where everything goes! Think ahead and pack all the food you will need when you leave home. We are all used to carrying out a water jug or a sustainable coffee mug, so adding a snack container should be an easy addition.

If you are already in the habit of packing a lunch or are looking to begin, we suggest investing in high-quality reusable containers made of glass and washable cloth bags. When you have your basics, you will eliminate the need to use disposable sandwich bags, plastic wrap, and plastic containers.

[Expert-Level Tip! Keep a zero-waste food kit in your car at all times. A reusable container with reusable straw (or two), a coffee cup, a water bottle, a napkin, a collapsible bowl, chopsticks, and whatever else you may need]. 

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The other option when you are seeking to eat and find yourself without reusable cups or dishes is to sit down and enjoy a meal in a cafe. Eating inside will avoid the plastic takeout container and disposable cutlery. Plus, when you time it, standing in line at a food truck, ordering, waiting, and then finding somewhere to sit before eating is the same length of time involved in sitting on a patio in the sun.

Take the time to enjoy establishing new habits, and it will be easier to tackle the next level of changes – such as household cleaning and a closet clean to help get organized!

At Honest Cleaning and Services, we know that creating the time in your day to begin transitioning to plastic-free will be a tough mental shift, but knowing your actions are going towards a greater good will bring valuable moments of satisfaction and happiness.

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Author Profile

Marisa Pothier
Marisa Pothier
Marisa is the owner and operator of Honest Cleaning and Services. She is passionate about animal welfare, human rights and is an advocate for many causes, both locally and internationally. When not cleaning and over-seeing the HCAS Teams, Marisa can be found enjoying a nature hike or involved in activism for causes she believes in.

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