Reducing Plastic and going green
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I am trying to reduce my single use plastic. As I use too much and a lot can't be recycled.

I have switched to a soda stream, to reduce the fizzy water bottles I have to buy. It works out a a few pence per 2 litres more but it has really reduced the amount of bottles I am throwing away.

@davPaz I have switched to plastic free cello tape, as per your suggestion.

I don't use wrapping paper any more and have switched to brown paper, as it can be recycled.

I have switched my hand soap to a refillable container, so I can buy the refills, instead of the bottles.

Has any one tried the cleaning products that you drop a soluble tablet in water to use?

What are you wonderful folks doing?
Some good ideas there, especially the plastic-free tape one.

I'm quite veggie-curious at the moment, and for the last few months have been swapping out chicken, beef, and pork for meat-free alternatives from time to time. Some work, some don't, but it's fun to experiment.

When I filled my planter, I only used peat-free compost, but the dirty truck delivering it probably offset any ecological benefit.
KovacsC wrote:
I am trying to reduce my single use plastic. As I use too much and a lot can't be recycled.

I have switched to a soda stream, to reduce the fizzy water bottles I have to buy. It works out a a few pence per 2 litres more but it has really reduced the amount of bottles I am throwing away.

@davPaz I have switched to plastic free cello tape, as per your suggestion.

I don't use wrapping paper any more and have switched to brown paper, as it can be recycled.

I have switched my hand soap to a refillable container, so I can buy the refills, instead of the bottles.

Has any one tried the cleaning products that you drop a soluble tablet in water to use?

What are you wonderful folks doing?


I have thought about the cleaning sprays but when I asked Smol and another place about whether they were antibacterial they said they were ‘about as antibacterial as soap and killed around 90% of bacteria if you keep it well agitated when using’, which didn’t seem as effectively antibacterial as the 99.9% effective Dettol spray. We get the pouch refills, but it is still shipping a lot water. I use solid shampoo and conditioner bars but find I still need liquid shampoo every third or so wash as otherwise I get product build up.
I did look at smol etc, but my hygiene needs are minimal (e.g. nobody with compromised immunity or owt) so I decided to stick with hot water and elbow grease, and the occasional squirt of 'method' for the stubborn stuff (it's one of those brands that pretends to be eco friendly, but isn't really that great, but I do like the smell). If I'm feeling really traditional, bicarb and vinegar work for stubborn stains and lemon juice for grease.

In other areas I tend to go for the reduce angle rather than recycle - so I don't use kitchen towel, I have a massive stack of tea towels. I use microfibre instead of throwaway surface wipes etc. Although did recently find out that washing microfibre cloths releases micro plastics? :'(

One thing that really concerns me is the dog and his poo bags. I researched and bought biodegradable bags in bulk but even then you have a million different types of "biodegradable", with some that aren't likely to break down for 200+ years. :facepalm:

Generally my approach is as with most things though: laziness rather than a specific desire to do good. :S
Yes I was looking at the Smol. As a agree I seem to be shipping a lot of water.

I have not tried solid shampoo yet, I will look at it.
I think I'm seeing fewer things wrapped in single use plastics than in the past, and try to avoid them where I can. These days I always buy my veg loose, for example. I can scrub them clean at home if I'm worried about contamination from the trolley or checkout.

Most of the publications I subscribe to now come in either compostable potato starch or just plain paper* too.

Does anyone know if those air-bag things you get from ["Online retailers"] can be recycled? They tend to annoy me, take up far more space in storage than bubblewrap so aren't that useful for reuse, and popping them isn't as satisfying.

* for the New Statesman, obviously
Poo bags: attach a music player to the dog's collar that says "meow" on a loop, then no-one will mind it shitting wherever it likes.

@kovacsC - what brand of fizzy water uses single use bottles? Even the caps are being made recyclable on many now.

We go through loads of paper towel *and* cotton ones. It bothers me. The water/energy argument probably applies though?

Cheese is the worst offender in this house, particularly sliced. The volume of non recyclable plastic *really* bothers me.
Can you refill fizzy water bottle? They normally go in the recycling, the soda stream means I don’t have to recycle any bottles now.
Ah, I might be understanding "single use" wrong. Not a surprise :)
Metal straws and beeswax wraps.
KovacsC wrote:
Can you refill fizzy water bottle? They normally go in the recycling, the soda stream means I don’t have to recycle any bottles now.

We had a Soda Stream. I thought the drinks tasted like crap, and it was too much FAFF, so it ended up being given away. to someone else who probably won't use it, like that fucking stupid fruit juicer that someone in the household bought.

JUST EAT THE FUCKING FRUIT!!!!
Warhead wrote:
JUST EAT THE FUCKING FRUIT!!!!

:DD

My only complaint re: the reduction in plastic is that Tesco have now also stopped putting tray liners in their trays for home delivery, so when the shopping arrives I have to take it out of the baskets one by one. Accidentally got a bit narky with Gaz last night when he just stood in the doorway yacking to the delivery driver, in the way of my shopping removal (hormones). And then I managed to take a chunk out of my thumb on the plastic tray, which definitely wouldn't have happened if I'd been able to just lift the liner out.
This is fascinating. I had no idea you could get hormones for specific activities.
Warhead wrote:
This is fascinating. I had no idea you could get hormones for specific activities.

:p
We've done some pretty good veggie curries recently, and have tried some meat substitutes (jackfruit seemed to work quite well when we tried it). I'd like to cut down on our meat consumption and we've achieved it, at points - but there is one big problem... we find meat delicious.

Mimi wrote:
I have thought about the cleaning sprays but when I asked Smol and another place about whether they were antibacterial they said they were ‘about as antibacterial as soap and killed around 90% of bacteria if you keep it well agitated when using’, which didn’t seem as effectively antibacterial as the 99.9% effective Dettol spray.


I've kind of picked up on this as it's an interest of mine as I work in environments where we spend quite a lot of effort on trying to contain/eliminate nasties.... I'm not sure how much of a difference this % kill really makes in the everyday world, and how much of it is just for the benefit of advertising. Lady T used to love the anti-bac wipes but they do seem wasteful, and I feel that regular thorough cleaning with standard products would stop any nasties getting a foothold and locking in before spreading, which is really the danger (immunocompromised folk would need a higher standard of cleaning, of course).

For a while Lady T was making her own cleaning products using soaps and essential oils. I didn't really like it, but I was also a bit grouchy at the time.

At work, we are really troubled by infection and cross contamination and have begun using some stuff called 'zoono' on our equipment. This stuff has a long lasting residual action - it basically coats surfaces in tiny microscopic spikes that 'pop' any micro-organisms that touch the surface.
Sir Taxalot wrote:
(immunocompromised folk would need a higher standard of cleaning, of course).


That is me. I think if you only require the 90% efficacy then just soap and water are going to serve you as well as the SMOL products and it’s just what is more convenient/fits your lifestyle, but because I do have immune system problems the difference between 99.9% efficacy and ‘well, about 90% as long as you keep shaking it’ makes a difference to how I feel living in my house, anyway.
I think it is getting the balance of lifestyle and reducing waste.

I will be looking at metal straws and bees wax wraps next. Once I have used up cling film and other single use stuff.
We do metal straws, but we wash them in the dishwasher, so i'm not sure it's best in the end...
As long as you only run your dishwasher when it's full and at a low temp, it looks like a dishwasher can be better per dish than handwashing. No idea if that takes into account the resources used to build the thing though.
I freely admit that I'd be super reluctant to go without a dishwasher, I really value that convenience.
Squirt wrote:
As long as you only run your dishwasher when it's full and at a low temp, it looks like a dishwasher can be better per dish than handwashing. No idea if that takes into account the resources used to build the thing though.

The only way dishawshers can really clean is by using heat though isn't it?
Nope, just blasting things with water works pretty well, and the chemicals help quite a lot.
Unconvinced. Also pretty sure our dishwasher doesn't even have a temperature option, unless it's part of one of the other modes that we never ever use.
Ours has an "Eco" mode that it defaults to, and it's 50C.

The turbo mode is 65C, which gets used very rarely, but takes half the time.
Ours doesn't have a separate temp setting like the washing machine, but the different programs have different temps by them. The "Eco" setting is a lot cooler ( but lasts for longer ) than the standard one.
I'll have a look and expriment but if the dishes don't come out clean I'm holding you all personally responsible.
Our very old dishwasher has Full Load and Half load which run at a mindblowing 75 degrees, an Eco that runs at 50 and a "quick" option that runs at 60. There are a few other modes but I don't think I've ever looked at them
markg wrote:
Squirt wrote:
As long as you only run your dishwasher when it's full and at a low temp, it looks like a dishwasher can be better per dish than handwashing. No idea if that takes into account the resources used to build the thing though.

The only way dishawshers can really clean is by using heat though isn't it?

Turn off your water and let us know how clean your dishes get ;)
BikNorton wrote:
Nope, just blasting things with water works pretty well, and the chemicals help quite a lot.


I'm not sure which is the biggest factor (heat, powah spray, chemicals), as they all work together - but those chemicals are fairly strong alkali, I believe, and must be a pretty major component.

I can't remember when the last time I ran the dishwasher with a load but without detergent was. I'm not overly minded to try.

Our has a number of options but I can't remember the difference so I just use normal or heavy.
I have just got some wax wraps so I don't have to use clingfilm anymore.

Thanks Mali for the suggestion
I wonder if paper plates are better environmentally than using normal ones and running a dishwasher.

Come on you spreadsheeters, get busy!
KovacsC wrote:
I have just got some wax wraps so I don't have to use clingfilm anymore.

Thanks Mali for the suggestion

:hat: Sounds nasty to me.
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