Simple, effective and can make a huge difference. How many of the below do you already do?

Shopping bags – once your plastic bags have worn out, purchase canvas or cotton bags to use for your food shopping. Easy, strong enough for even the heaviest of shopping hauls, and will save you money over their lifetime. (just remember to take them with you when you go to the shops!)

Reusable coffee cups – if you like a hot drink on the go then treat yourself to a good quality metal coffee cup. Any reputable coffee shop will use your cup instead of their own disposable cups (lined and lidded with plastic). Or even better take some you time and enjoy a sit down coffee in a ceramic cup.

Say no to bin bags – in the majority of counties there is no rule stating your waste has to be bagged. You can put it straight from your bin into your wheel bin for collection. Leave out using a bin bag and save plastic plus money.

No more straws – made popular recently, metal straws are the new in thing. How about just saying no to straws in the first place? Unless needed for medical reasons the majority of us should be fully capable of drinking from a glass without one. Read more about the ban on straws here.

Refuse coat hangers – if you buy some clothes from the shop, make sure you leave the coat hangers behind. Shops will usually reuse these and you won’t end up with loads of hangers that end up in the bin.

Reusable water bottles – most of the time we don’t need bottles for drinking, often we can just use a glass at home or work, but for those times when portability is key, make sure you have one that can be used over and over again. Did you know a lot if companies now offer a free refill for water? Just ask.

Beeswax wraps – used instead of Clingfilm, a natural way to cover food items in the fridge, or wrap things up for packed lunches. Able to be used over and over again and eventually compostable when they get to the end of their life. We love these ones from Alisons Bee Class from Telford. Head over to the Directory to find a local supplier near you.

Fruit and vegetable bags – simple cotton bags to help you gather up your fruit and veg to be weighed at the local shop or supermarket. Can be used over and over again removing the need for those little plastic bags found in the fruit and veg aisles.

Cloth nappies – swap to cloth and cut out over 3,000 disposables nappies every year! Your local nappy library can give advice and offers hire kits for you try before you commit to buying. We have a few listed in the Directory. Alternatively support a local knowledgeable business like Bundle of Love for the best nappies at amazing prices.

Home made wet wipes – cotton flannel makes the ideal wipes that can be used wet or dry for babies. General household cleaning, or as face cloths etc. You can buy pre-made reusable wipes or you can even use old cut up t-shirt with the same effect.

Caroline Talbot
Author: Caroline Talbot