Less plastic waste in our house: 3 more little steps!

We’ve already talked a bit about our journey to use less plastic, and we gave you some great places to get started by swapping out straws, cooking sauce sachets and bathroom sponges.  A few days ago, Suse committed to not buying any more teabags due to the hidden plastic polymers in heat sealed teabags.

Remember, ours is not a zero-plastic or plastic-free journey. It seems too overwhelming to consider that in our modern busy life.

We are approaching this one little step at a time and we really hope that some of our little steps inspire you to make one little step yourself.

Here are our less-plastic options to share with you today.

Less plastic options for… Milk and fruit juice

Returnable bottles with milk and fruit juice.
3 pints of milk, and some fruit juice please.

We are fortunate enough to have coverage from a milk delivery service where we live, so last week we made the brave jump to stop buying milk in plastic bottles. Our milk delivery service has online shopping and our local milkman delivers 3 times a week.

Setting up our account was not too difficult and didn’t take too much time. Trying to work out what to order was fun! We had just been buying milk as we needed it.

Suse eats porridge most mornings. Robin has at least 2 bowls of cereal on a normal day plus a daily milkshake. Sometimes we have hot chocolate made with milk, sometimes we make pancakes or other recipes that take milk. Don’t forget hot drinks, especially at a weekend when we have friends around.

So we ordered 4 pints of milk on regular order: 2 on Monday and 2 on Friday. Oh, and one extra for Pancake Day.  We had no idea. On Wednesday we ran out of milk and had to run to the corner shop! Next week’s order is already adjusted to 6 pints, 2 to come each day our milkman delivers.

It was delightful to find out that our milkman delivers OTHER things too! So we now have our fruit juice and butter arriving at our doorstep every week.

This means we are using less plastic than before as the milk and fruit juice from the supermarket came in plastic containers. The only waste we generate from these bottles now is the little foil cap. The glass bottles get washed out and put in the collection box to be returned, sterilised and used again.

Less plastic options for… Butter

Butter in our butter dish.
Real butter in a pat. Block. Cylinder? Or whatever you want to call it!

For absolutely years we’ve used spreadable butter substitute that arrives in a plastic tub.

So while we were setting up the milk and fruit juice order, we added a pat of butter. Block of butter. Cylinder of butter? This. In the photo. 250g of butter.

Whatever it was, it was butter and we put it in a butter dish.

This was a harder swap to make, we will admit. Literally harder.

The day it arrived was really cold and spreading it on bread was challenging. There have been a number of times this week that spreading the real butter from the dish has been slightly difficult. Maybe we just need to put it in a slightly warmer place.

But we aren’t sorry we made the swap. Not least because it tastes a lot better. The foil wrapper is less waste than a margarine style tub and is less plastic too.

Less plastic options for… disposable cleaning wipes

Cleaning cloth and spray.
No more disposable wipes.

Our household has given disposable cleaning wipes the heave-ho. And not the usual heave-ho of shoving used ones into the bin, either. We aren’t buying or using them any more.

So what are we using? Cotton tea towels and cleaning spray for counters, tables, the glass hob, hard surfaces and glass.

It’s just as important to be mindful about hygiene using cloths as you should be with wipes. Just the same as we wouldn’t use the same wipe for multiple surfaces we use a clean tea-towel for each surface we clean. We launder all the tea-towels at 60 degrees. For bathroom surfaces we use some microfibre cloths instead to keep them separate.

We found it convenient to get some cotton tea-towels but if you have some old t-shirts these can be cut up into cleaning cloths instead, as long as they absorb well.

Startlingly, a quick bit of summative research suggests that wet wipes can be made out of all sorts of different fibres – natural and plastic alike. This means we can’t actually know how much plastic we’ve just given up using!

But this method definitely produce less waste – and the plastic bag they came in is no longer going in the bin either. So this is definitely a less plastic win!

Stay tuned

We’ve got more great swaps to share coming up. Thinking of starting a gallery of less-plastic less-waste items for easy skimming through.

The sun is coming out and the garden is warming up. Lots of growing posts coming up soon. Soon you’ll meet our kitchen from the 1980s that we’re making do with and mending, and Suse will be doing some making to share!

Leave a Reply