As a "Plastic Free Poole Business Champion" and with it being plastic free July I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to share with you what I do to stop single use plastic in my business, and in my home, and hope that you can take some of the ideas to do at home yourself too.
What I do
Back in 2020 I applied to become a plastic free business champion for Poole. To do this I had to do a plastic audit of my business to see what I could swap. You would be surprised how much single use plastic you use without thinking about it. It was a real eye opener for me.
Some swaps I made were stopping putting my prints in plastic cellophane bags.
I swapped disposable change mats (which I was using a lot of!) for re usable ones, which to my surprise are actually 100% leak free and they look pretty too. I get these from Cheeky Wipes and simply wash them in the machine when they get wet.
All of the snacks that I offer my clients during sessions are now in plastic free packaging.
Loose prints and client gifts are wrapped in tissue paper with eco stickers.
Even the company I order my boxes and USBs from package without these items plastic.
All of my packaging is plastic free, even down to my parcel tape.
What you can do
As a family, we are keen to do our bit to save the plant. These are some of the simple changes you can do , if you don't already, that won't cost you a fortune:
* Keep fold up shopping bags in your handbag, your car, baby change bag, by your front door and anywhere else you can think of so that you always have one with you when you are out and about.
* Remember to bring your own cup when you buy takeaway coffee, you sometimes even get a discount/extra loyalty stamp for doing this.
* Stop using cling film and food bags. Make use of any reusable tubs that you have at home, and keep ice cream and margarine tubs to store leftovers in. Cling film can be substituted with beeswax wraps , which can be expensive to buy but are so simple to make. See below for instructions to make your own.
* Try soap instead of shower gel, shampoo bars, and mouthwash / toothpaste tabs to reduce plastic bottle waste. See what you get on with , even one small swap helps.
* Switch to bamboo toothbrushes and cotton buds. I think these also look nicer in your bathroom too!
* Try to buy loose produce from supermarkets and try out your local plastic free shop for other loose food items.
* Start carrying a reusable water bottle with you. I never leave the house without one.
Even making one small swap helps.
How to make your own beeswax wraps
Trust me it is super simple, all you need is some material of your choice (cotton is best) some beeswax pellets (cheap to buy on amazon) some baking paper and your iron!
1. Firstly choose some material in patterns that you like (I went to the Dorset Scrapstore, and took the kids to fabricland to choose some that they liked) and cut it to size. It is a good idea to make a few different sizes depending on what you are going to use them for. I mainly use mine for sandwiches and to cover bowls of leftovers.
2. Cut some baking paper to just over twice the size of the piece of material.
3. Put the baking paper on the ironing board, then the piece of material, then sprinkle some beeswax pellets over the material, then fold the baking paper over the top making sure that it completely covers the material and there is about a 1inch gap around the outside to stop the wax going onto the ironing board as it melts.
4. Gently iron the baking paper to melt the pellets. It is very important that the iron does not come into contact with the wax. You need to coat the entire piece of material with wax. If you find you don't have enough pellets to cover the whole piece simply wait for it to set them peel the paper off and add more pellets into the gaps , then re melt.
5. There is no need to coat both sides as the material is porous and the beeswax soaks through. Allow to cool then peel off the paper and your wrap is ready!
To use the wraps simple wrap up your food like you would with cling film and use the warmth of your hands to shape the fabric to fold it.
To clean the wraps simply wash in cold water.
I hope I have inspired you to make at least one change to reduce your personal single use plastic. I would love to know how you get on and please let me know if you decide to try making your own food wraps.