It's Plastic Free July!
As you know, here at Hawksbill Rum we're passionate about saving sea turtles and we donate 10% of our profits to sea turtle conservation projects in the Caribbean. However, we're also trying to reduce our plastic consumption as a brand as we know plastic pollution has a negative impact on our planet, oceans and sea turtles too. From using glass bottles for our rum, corks made from waste materials and sugarcane fibre labels on our bottles, we're doing our bit. And you can too!
Seen as it's Plastic Free July, we asked one of our favourite bloggers Kate, who runs the 'Plastic Free Home' Instagram account, to share her top plastic-free hacks for the home to help you get inspired to make a change. Take it away, Kate...
Use what you have: This might sound silly but don’t throw all of your plastic out just because you’re wanting to reduce it in your home. It serves a purpose! I still have old Tupperware that’s been knocking around for years and when it finally bites the dust, I’ll replace it with a more sustainable option.
Reuse things before throwing them away: I use old toothbrushes for lots of different jobs around the house, they are great for cleaning grout and those hard to reach places. I also make sure I save any single-use plastic that I couldn’t avoid and reuse it before it ends up in the bin or recycling. Bread bags are great small bin liners, fruit trays are great for starting seedlings, takeaway cartons can be used again and again!
Save your jars: They can be used for everything! I use them for storing food in the fridge and freezing food, I even use them as cocktail glasses when we have parties! (They make a great vessel for your rum cocktails – and no need to buy extra cups!) I also use them for holding my toothbrushes, kitchen brushes, bobbles, propagating plants - you name it and it’s probably nestled in a glass jar in my house!
Stock up your pantry: There are loads of small businesses offering plastic-free pantry staples both online and in small shops. I always keep my dried foods topped up this way and plan my meals around what I have in my jars. It’s a great way to save on packaging waste, save on food waste and also eat more veggies too which is another great way to help our planet.
Buy in bulk: If you can’t get your hands on plastic-free pantry staples then another great alternative is to buy what you need, but in the largest size you can afford. That way there is less packaging overall and you’re also saving money because the more you buy, the less you pay. Before I found out about online refill stores this was something that I did with staples like rice and pasta.
Keep your bags by the front door or in the car: I know I don’t need to point out that having a reusable tote is way better for the environment than picking up a single-sse plastic bag every time you do your shopping, but the problem is remembering your totes every time you leave the house! My solution? I have a few totes right next to the front door and I also keep some in the car so that I’m never caught without one.
Remember your reusables: I have a little plastic-free kit of a flask, water bottle and tins which I pick up whenever I leave the house so that if I’m hungry or need a drink I can just use my reusables instead of buying single-use takeaway items! I couldn’t leave home without my reusable water bottle and always fill it up before I go out.
A little preparation goes a long way: The times when I do end up buying plastic is when I have been rushing about, unprepared and need to buy/eat something quickly. The way I try to avoid this is by prepping! I prepare my plastic-free kit every night and I try to meal plan and prepare the majority of my meals. As I cook so much from scratch, I also cook my meals in bulk and either freeze half for another day or store it in the fridge and turn it into a different meal the day after.
Choose natural materials over synthetic: This is a handy little tip for everything you buy. Always check the label and opt for either natural materials or recycled materials and you’ll be avoiding so much plastic. Until I started trying to stop using plastic, I had no idea that the majority of my clothes were plastic too! Polyester, nylon and acrylic are all types of plastic materials that shed micro-plastics every single time you wear and wash them. They also take up to 200 years to decompose. Who knew?!
Know your plastics: Similar to clothing, it's really hard to avoid a lot of plastics because we just don’t know the many places that it is hiding in plain sight! Did you know that receipts, coffee cups, chewing gum, wet wipes and wrapping paper mostly contain plastic? I was really surprised by all of these. If you start paying attention to labels, you’ll soon notice that there are plastic-free alternatives for most of these items so it's just about buying these instead. With receipts though, they all contain plastic, so if you can, just say you don’t need one.