20 Great Tips for Avoiding More Plastic
Plastic is omnipresent. For the environment, people and animals. It is a real challenge to avoid plastic entirely in everyday life. But the plastic can be reduced by just a few small changes. From now on, from the next purchase. This list shows how you can live more plastic-free.
1) Reduced plastic shopping in the supermarket
Buy reusable and do without disposable packaging. In supermarkets, there are often alternatives to plastic packaging: fruit, vegetables and herbs are also available loose, milk, cream, yoghurt, oil, vinegar, ketchup or mustard are available in glass bottles.
2) Do not use an extra plastic bag
Fruit and vegetables, in particular, are already packed thanks to their natural skin. At home, we clean, wash and cook the goods again anyway. Carrots, peppers, tomatoes or apples can also be placed loosely on the belt.
3) Do not buy more products packed in plastic
The XXL biscuit pack in triple plastic film? No thanks! Instead of handkerchiefs in individual packages, it is better to purchase tissues in a cardboard dispenser (by the way, they are also made from recycled paper). Even glass is a more eco-friendly option, instead of buying water in plastic bottles.
4) Avoid ready meals and cook yourself instead
Instead of buying plastic supermarket rolls, buy rolls from the bakery.
At the local bakery, the bread can also be packed directly into a cloth bread bag.
As packaging bags, e.g. fruits and vegetables - but also as garbage bags - can also serve old newspapers. There is a folding instruction here.
5) Find out about alternative shopping locations
On the market, in farm shops, at farmers, in speciality shops, in the organic supermarket or in "unpacked" shops, you can shop with reduced plastic. Here the goods can also go straight into the cloth bag or the container you brought with you.
6) Living plastic-free in the kitchen
When looking into kitchen cabinets and storage shelves, there are also a few things you can do without for life without plastic.
Store without plastic
One of the classics in every household is the famous Tupper tin - which is made of plastic. This is not wrong because it is reusable and therefore, much better than disposable plastic. So please don't throw away - but don't buy new ones either!
Bread, onions, pasta and the like are better kept in containers made of glass, ceramic or stainless steel. These are just as hygienic as they are, but they last longer and also look chic: Who would dispute that spices in a glass and a ceramic bread bowl are much more stylish than the same plastic items?
Plastic-free on the stove
Glass, ceramics, stainless steel, enamel or wood are attractive plastic alternatives when it comes to mixing bowls, sieves and the handles of pots and pans. Grandma's enamel pot and her excellent old cast iron pan may not offer modern comfort, but let's be honest: Grandma's food didn't taste any worse - on the contrary!
Incidentally, wooden spoons, knife handles or spatulas used to be made of wood - a trend that you can revive if you want to live plastic-free.
7) Live plastic-free in the bathroom
Do you think that there is not so much optimization potential in your bathroom to lead a life without plastic? Let yourself be surprised!
Cared for without plastic
The number one plastic trap in the bathroom is liquid soaps and shampoos, which can be found almost exclusively in plastic bottles. With the help of refill packs and soap dispensers made of glass, your "plastic footprint" can be reduced at this point.
It is even better to switch to solid soap bars for skin and hair. Soap is space-saving, economical and natural. And: It usually does entirely without plastic packaging. Solid soap bars are also available as shampoo or shaving soap. Give it a try!
Live and shave plastic-free
Speaking of shaving: Most shavers are largely made of plastic. This applies not only to disposable razors but also to system razors where you only throw away the blade block.
The more sustainable alternative is traditional safety razors made of wood or metal, where the metal blade only has to be replaced now and then.
Brush your teeth without plastic
It is similar when brushing your teeth: Instead of the standard models, you better buy toothbrushes made of bamboo or wood. Even dm's own brand Alverde has a wooden toothbrush in its range that is also vegan.
It is perfect for plastic-free life in the bathroom if you also set up a toothbrush mug made of glass, ceramic or, preferably, metal.
In the meantime, there is even toothpaste that does not need a plastic tube. The trick: dentifrice tablets that you chew until they foam up in your mouth and can then be used like regular toothpaste. They are available in unpacked shops or at drugstores.
Be mentally prepared for less plastic
Making less garbage is always a matter of personal attitude. If it is essential to you to conserve natural resources or to protect animals from certain death from plastic waste in the environment, the following behaviours will soon be anchored in your head.
1) Borrow things
If you want to live plastic-free, you are strongly advised not to buy everything. Instead, try borrowing things and offer others the things you don't need that much. Depending on your location, at several websites you can, e.g. borrow items like longboards, drills, etc. as needed. Avoid plastic waste with frequent consumption and share.
Use plastic items for as long as possible and don't just throw away everything that's made of plastic, but replace it when it's time. If your wooden toothbrush is returned after three months, give the bamboo wood of the toothbrush a second life as a plant holder in the flower pot. In a zero-waste life without plastic, there are no limits to your imagination and reuse is an essential part of it.
3) Teach what is important
Whether you are a provider, YouTuber, blogger or plastic-free consumer: We all have a common goal. To reduce the amount of plastic waste generated each year and thus save our environment and ourselves. Therefore, you must pass on your attitude to others. Nobody expects everyone to live plastic-free now. It is crucial, however, that at least everyone deals with the plastic problem and understands the danger that plastic poses to our environment and also to ourselves. For this reason alone, you should be a good role model and explain why you are living plastic-free.
Living plastic-free also means questioning necessities. When making future purchases, always be aware of whether you need items. You can also do many things yourself and so do without the plastic packaging. Often we let ourselves be influenced to make purchases on things that we don't need.
Ask yourself: Can I make sure that the article is plastic-free? Ask the manufacturer or provider why the item is packed in plastic or made of plastic.
5) Do it yourself
We have already listed DIY recipes in other articles but there is a lot more to go with. Nowadays you can teach yourself everything, and of course, you can also do plastic-free things such as detergent, toothpaste and the like.
6) Helping organizations
Removing plastic waste from the beach costs several million dollars a year. The Surfrider foundation directly organizes cleaning up the beaches, which are filled with plastic. Many projects are committed to the disposal of plastic waste from the sea and beach. Other projects can be supported either financially or personally.
Our tip: Collecting garbage on vacation has also become a real trend that brings you together with unique people to do something good.
7) Do it your own way
You can also easily organize your own cleanup event. Such events weld together. Contact organizations, if necessary, and try to persuade others to get a greener footprint. Do your part to make the world a bit cleaner and plastic-free and share your actions in our comments.
8) Recycle & Upcycling
Recycling should never be the first solution because the process requires a lot of energy and uses a lot of water. Think about whether you might be able to upcycle things into another cool something. For example, build a zero-waste stool from old books stacked on top of each other—just an idea. Everything is possible.
Do not throw everything away, because this is not in the sense of the zero-waste lifestyle. If your bike has a flat tire and a few other problem areas, fix it! The same applies to many other things. You can find instructions for everything on the internet, even if you sometimes have to visit the second page of Google searches.
Have you ever heard of minimalism? It says that you only have the things you need. That makes you more flexible, happier and saves a lot of money. As always, the first steps into something seem to be the hardest. We listed 5 steps to take for minimalists and those who want to become more minimalistic.
Our tip: You might be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of possibilities on how to reduce plastic waste. Before you reset your lifestyle completely, take a step back and write down what interested you the most. Being more aware of your plastic waste is tough and takes years to be fluent in. With that in mind, try to incorporate what you wrote down in your daily life, one step at a time.