July 1, 2022 marks the start of Plastic Free July, a global movement designed to empower people to create a better future and cleaner environment by ditching plastic. We use so much plastic in our day-to-day lives, that eventually this nonbiodegradable waste is left in landfills or ends up in oceans and the environment, causing serious harm to the planet and wildlife. Luckily, Marley’s Monsters has been hard at work creating sustainable alternatives and solutions to plastic items. We offer tons of colors and prints so that you can still keep your unique personality and style while saving the planet. Here are some simple swaps you can make in various rooms of your house for a plastic free home.
We spend a lot of time in the kitchen, cooking, cleaning, and doing dishes. But there tends to be so much plastic involved in our kitchen routines that it can be hard to see a solution. A good place to start is taking a look around your kitchen or home, and just observing what plastic products you can do without, or that may be packaged in a more eco friendly way. For example, ditch single use plastic like plastic wrap, and reach for Bowl and Pan Covers instead. They are a reusable way to tackle food storage, and feature a toggle cord stop and drawstring for a more customizable fit over your dishes. Plus, they finished with a waterproof and food safe PUL lining for easy clean up and to preserve moisture. You can toss them in your next load of laundry too!
Other alternatives for single use plastics include Snack Bags, the reusable and washable alternative to plastic bags. Each Snack Bag is made from a cotton outer layer, backed with a stabilizer for added durability and support. The interior lining is a waterproof PUL, BPA-free lining that is perfect for keeping snacks fresh. These snack bags are perfect for road trips, lunch boxes, playdates, or an afternoon snack. As well, skip single use plastic straws and try Reusable Straws. Make it easy to take your reusable straw with you everywhere you go when you house it in a Straw Pouch. Each pouch comes with a removable interior wet bag to keep your dirty straws separate from the clean ones. The wet bag snaps in and out, making it easy to remove and wash.
Dishes are unavoidable in the kitchen, but instead of stocking up on plastic bottles of dish soap, try a Dish Washing Block. This zero-waste, vegan dish washing block is made by No-Tox Life in Los Angeles, CA. It is a cleaning powerhouse with a rich, sudsy lather, and cuts stubborn grime and grease, without drying out your hands. Simply use a wet sponge or scrubber and rub the dish soap block to create suds. This dishwashing block can be used on porcelain, stainless, stone and glass sinks safely. We have seen customers use it to clean dirty and stained oven top surfaces as well! For a sturdy scrubber, invest in Scrap Felt and Burlap Scrubbers, handmade from fabric scraps in Eugene, Oregon. Each Scrap Felt Scrubber is unique, totally upcycled and super versatile. This truly multi-purpose product can absorb spills, polish silver or scrub pots and counters. Traditional kitchen sponges contain microplastics, and are a playground for bacteria. Make the swap to a Washable Sponge. They are plastic free, and you can throw them right in the dishwasher or laundry when it’s ready for a deep clean of its own.
The bathroom is another area of the home that can be littered with plastic products, but it’s also a great place to start your sustainability journey. For example, traditional loofahs are made of plastic and are non biodegradable. Instead, get the maximum out of your favorite bar of soap with a Soap Saver Pouf. This revolutionary pouf is made from organic cotton mesh and is totally plastic free. The interior is a mini soap saver bag to perfectly contain your bar soap, or odds and ends of soap bars that have gotten too small and slippery to use. The cotton is slightly exfoliating for a good scrub too!
Ditch plastic bottles and swap to shampoo and conditioner bars. These hair care bars are non-toxic, plastic free and they smell and feel amazing. No need to ship plastic bottles of (mostly) water when you can get concentrated hair care packaged in a 100% compostable, recyclable, and biodegradable cardboard box that is even printed with water-based ink. You can also find face wash in bar form. This Facial Cleansing Bar from Meow Meow Tweet is handmade in small batches with vegan and all-natural ingredients. It is plastic free and packaged in 100% recyclable materials. Organic Shave Soap is another way to skip the plastic bottles. This moisturizing, eucalyptus scented, high lather soap is complete with soothing organic aloe and bentonite clay for a refreshing and plastic free shave.
Try to avoid makeup wipes as they also contain plastics and are not that great for the environment or skin either. Try a Cotton Chenille Makeup Towel for taking off the day’s makeup. Our Makeup Towel is made with two layers of luxurious black cotton chenille and sewn on only three sides to allow the towel to be used as a mitt. It can be flipped inside out to use the scrubbier side for tougher areas. Instead of relying on your traditional plastic toothbrush, make the swap to a Bamboo Toothbrush, and store it in a Bamboo Toothbrush Holder. They are available in adult and kid sizes so the whole family can stay sustainable! Bamboo is biodegradable when used in raw form, and has a smaller ecological footprint. In addition, skip the plastic and waste that comes with toothpaste tubes, and try Unpaste Tooth Tabs, the perfect sustainable solution for your oral care routine. Simply crush the tab between your teeth and brush like usual.
Cleaning can be relaxing and leave you with that “brand-new” feeling. But cleaning products tend to be plastic and single use. Keep your home clean and the earth cleaner by using sustainable cleaning products like Felted Mop Pads. They are handmade in Eugene, Oregon out of fabric scraps from our cutting table, and are the perfect alternative to single use disposable mop head sheets. We felt multiple layers of cotton flannel together to create a versatile mopping accessory. The thick cotton middle is super absorbent and the single ply flaps on both sides can clip into most standard size mop heads. Use wet or dry, then, toss in your next load of laundry, and reuse!
Invest in a Washable Duster that you can use again and again. This duster is made from multiple layers of dust seeking flannel and fleece. Duster tendrils will curl after washing to make the collection of dust more effective. To wash, remove the duster from the custom made wood handle and slide back on once dry. However, don’t be so quick to toss your preexisting plastic duster handle. The washable duster head will fit on some standard plastic handles, so you can get the most out of the plastic you do already have!
As well, a lot of people use wet wipes to clean, but they are made of plastic and will not biodegrade. One easy way to reduce cost, waste, and harsh chemicals in your home is to make your own cleaning solution. Have a little fun with it! Invest in Cloth Wipes, the sustainable solution to single use wipes, and make your own wet wipes. Experiment with ingredients and recipes, but while you’re practicing, this is our favorite recipe:
- 2 teaspoons fractionated coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon castile soap
- 2 tablespoons witch hazel
- 5 drops essential oil
- 5 drops vitamin E oil
This DIY Wet Wipe Kit is the perfect place to start. It includes 12 black Cloth Wipes in a wide mouth mason jar with a Black ReCap. Visit our tutorial on how to fold your cloths, add them to the jar, close the lid and rotate the jar so all cloths are soaked. Then repeat weekly or as needed.
It may feel overwhelming at first to think about ditching plastic for good. But you don’t have to do a massive clean out this minute and kill your wallet. Sustainability doesn’t happen all at once, it’s a daily practice that takes education and effort. Make small swaps along the way! As products run out and you need to restock, look for more sustainable alternatives. With practice you will find new routines and alternatives that make sense for you. So, as you begin making sustainable swaps in your home, be sure to keep in mind that no one is perfectly sustainable all the time, that this is your journey to experience. Reach out and let us know how your sustainability journey is growing. We’d love to hear from you!