Plastic Problem & Simple Ways to Help

We all know that plastic is bad for the environment & can be harmful to wildlife who ingest it (it kills turtles, penguins, dolphins, birds…). Australia alone produces 3 million tonnes of plastic a year of which <9% is recycled. Up to 130,000 tonnes will end up in the ocean each year. Unfortunately, this plastic never breaks down and only becomes smaller and smaller pieces over time.

Many of us are using plastic in our everyday lives without even thinking about it. In fact, a lot of the plastic used is used on the go or when travelling. The use of these single-use items are unnecessary and can be avoided with a little preparation beforehand.

 

Below are 5 simple ways to reduce your plastic usage:

Food/drinks

1-Always bring a water bottle with you

-This way you wouldn’t need to buy bottled water on the go

-In fact, 50 billion single-use plastic water bottles are bought each year

 

2-Refuse plastic straws

-Sometimes drink cups have another opening to drink from so a straw is unnecessary (e.g. T-mix in Melbourne)

-If you prefer to use straws you can bring a reusable bamboo or stainless steel straw

 

Shopping

3-Bring your own fabric shopping bags

-Fold 1 up and put it in your bag just in case you need to buy something outside your weekly shop

-Use reusable produce bags for fruits and vegetables rather than the plastic bags provided

-Or you can put large pieces of fruit or vegetables straight in the trolley without a bag

 

4-Buy less heavily packaged products

-Packaged food is usually processed food with added sugar and salt=Unhealthy

-Instead buy more minimally packaged or unpackaged whole foods such as whole grains, nuts, legumes, fruits & vegetables=Healthier

-Bring your own containers to bulk food stores

-When you need to buy products in containers, choose glass containers over plastic ones. This also applies to skincare products. These containers can be reused to store things once the product is used up

 

Home

5-Use soy wax wraps rather than glad wrap

-Can be used to cover food bowls & wrap up sandwiches and snacks

 

Take it slowly, maybe start with 1 or 2 things you are not already doing, as every lifestyle change you make in reducing plastic usage will make a difference.

Thank you for reading.

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Cruelty Free & Environmental Dental Care

Many of us have grown up using Colgate toothpaste and plastic toothbrushes. We used these without thinking, never considering that toothpaste can be tested on animals and the environmental impact of plastic toothbrushes.

Colgate is not cruelty free. It is currently listed as “working toward regulatory changes to reduce the number of animals used for testing”, but this does not mean that it will become cruelty free in the near future. The other well-known dental care brands Macleans, Oral-B, Listerine & Sensodyne are also not cruelty free.

I will provide some examples of toothpastes & toothbrushes that are kinder to animals and the environment.

 

Toothpaste

Grants

  • Natural toothpaste and oral care products. The mild mint toothpaste is available at Coles & Woolworths supermarkets. It is affordable at around $3-4 dollars and has a pleasant taste.

 

Red Seal

  • Cruelty free and vegan except for the propolis toothpaste. Available at supermarkets

 

White Glo

  • Vegan and cruelty free. Available at supermarkets

 

Zero Waste Beauty Australia (ZWBA)

  • One of their products is an activated charcoal & peppermint toothpaste. Activated charcoal is a natural whitening agent. This is more expensive at $16 for 65mL. It is in a glass jar with a biodegradable label and is available online.

 

Toothbrushes

Plastic toothbrushes contain no animal products, but plastic is polluting the environment. It is recommended to change your toothbrush every 3 months. In Australia, more than 30 million plastic toothbrushes are disposed of in a single year. And unfortunately most toothbrushes are made of plastic. Some prolong the lives of toothbrushes for cleaning which is good, but it is still plastic which is likely to end up in landfill or in the ocean…

 

Bamboo toothbrushes are a better option.

MOSO (or Mao) bamboo is sustainably sourced. It is fast growing, abundant and does not require pesticides. It can grow up to 1 metre a day!

At the end of its life, the handle can be thrown into the compost as it is biodegradable. The bristles which are made of polymer or nylon don’t degrade as well and can be removed and disposed of separately.

Usually there is a choice between a soft bristle or a medium bristle toothbrush, and there are toothbrushes with charcoal enhanced polymer bristles.

 

Thank you for reading this post.