Sustainable Saturday: The Best Places to Shop for a Plastic Free and Zero Waste Lifestyle

Hello friends! Ever since the second season of Blue Planet aired, there have been some major changes being made in laws regarding the production and sales of single use plastics across the United Kingdom. Supermarkets and huge brands are having to look at other ways to keep their products fresh without these singles plastics, and all establishments that sell food or drink are starting to use paper straws instead of plastic ones.

It is amazing that this one programme has delivered such an important message, one that has shocked it’s viewers and has made all of us realise the impact we have on our planet! However there are still some companies that aren’t quite there yet, and whilst some of these bans and laws are still being put in to effect, these shops may take just as long or possibly longer to phase out their single use plastics for more renewable and sustainable packaging and products. This in turn makes it difficult for us at home to really start making a difference in our day to day lives.

Screen Shot 2017-12-16 at 20.43.40(Image credit: My Own)

I will admit that as someone that really cares about the environment, I have been finding it hard to break the habit of buying plastic things when it’s so convenient and almost everything is wrapped or stored in plastic. But, I have started to make small changes that has kicked off my journey, and with a bit of effort everyone can do it, too! I started off by switching out my plastic toothbrush for a bamboo one I bought off of Amazon. I’ve started making it a habit to wash out any plastic produce containers, cartons of juice or tins/cans before placing them in the recycling. I have two separate bins in my own bedroom as well, one for usual waste like sweetie wrappers and another just for recyclables such as paper and card. Making small changes like that will help kickstart your journey on to becoming more environmentally conscious and friendly.

Below I have put together a list of online stores that promote and sell products for eco-friendly living. I’ve added quite a few so you can look at some that may be more local to you. This is a bit of a hefty post, you have been warned!

Bambaw

(Image credits: Bambaw)

Bamboo are a company from Belgium that are encouraging consumers to ditch plastic for renewable, sustainable and long-lasting products. You can find them on Amazon, where they have a range of different homeware and hygiene products, such as bamboo straws that come with a tiny brush for cleaning them, a stainless steel razor with a bamboo handle, reusable bamboo paper towels and bamboo fitted bed sheets. Bamboo is a renewable source and is one of the fastest growing woods in the world and it can be grown almost anywhere in the world, which make sit the perfect sustainable wood to use  for making fabrics, furniture, accessories, etc., you name it!

Zero Habits

(Image credits: Zero Habits)

This website is probably one of my favourites! I’m a sucker for natural and organic beauty products, which if you’ve read any of my older posts you’d already known from my obsession with LUSH, and Zero Habits delivery on all things health and beauty (except for make up). They sell bars of soap, shampoo bars, dental floss infused with activated charcoal, solid on a stick or in a jar toothpaste, bamboo and cotton buds, solid or cream deodorants, reusable make up wipes and cotton face clothes, there is so much to see, buy and try out! What’s also impressive about all these products is that the packaging is also environmentally friendly and recyclable. It’s either in a box made from card, in a cotton bag, in a glass jar or a tin container. These beauty items are also cruelty free, and are listed as vegan. Some of the products have beeswax in them and are listed as vegan, which means if you are vegan, it depends on your own definition of veganism and whether or not this means it’s vegan to you. Each to their own opinion.

(Image credit: Zero Habits)

As well as selling environmentally friendly, organic and cruelty free non-tested on animals beauty products, they also sell sustainable items for the home! Like Bambaw, they also sell their own bamboo straws, but they also stock a range of different kitchen utensils and items for food and drinks. They sell cooking spoons, baby spork and bowl, and tongs all made from bamboo, beeswax food wraps and stainless steel containers, canisters and cups. Zero Habits also supply organic and eco-friendly soap-nut shells that are apparently good for all allergen sufferers and kinder to your clothes. It also comes with a small muslin bag to put the shells in for when you need to do a load of washing. They also stock a natural stain remover the helps get rid of enough the toughest of stains like red wine from your clothes.

(Image credits: Zero Habits)

To even further promote and supply the perfect items for a zero waste lifestyle, Zero Habits supply objects and products for when you are on the go. This ranges from reusable bottles and resale bamboo coffee cups, to bamboo cutlery and cotton, netted grocery bags for when you buy loose produce from farmers markets or even at your local shop.

(Image credit: Zero Habits)

They also supply a range of starter kits for each category mentioned above! They all come neatly packaged in a box. To top it all off, they even have a vintage section on their site where they sell old vintage glasses and bottles, tumblrs and ceramic spice jars! Honestly, I think I’m in love!

Less Plastic

Screen Shot 2018-04-26 at 22.35.06(Image credit: Less Plastic Homepage)

With powerful messages and images straight away on their homepage, Less Plastic aims to encourage the British population to  refuse the use of single us plastic, only use useable items and reduce their part in plastic pollution. Less Plastic is a family run business based in Devon, UK, and started in 2015 as a response to the concerning amounts of ocean plastic that are washing up on beaches locally and across the UK.

“We offer inspiration, strategies, educational resources and in-person talks to enable individuals, businesses, schools and organisations of all sizes to use less plastic.” – Amanda & James Kettley, Directors of Less Plastic

Less Plastic provide a range of tips and tricks on how to live without plastic and also arrange beach clean ups in Devon in partnership with Surfers Against Sewage. This is something I find fantastic and really creates a community spirit amongst those that live locally to the beach. They also offer advice on how to start your own ocean clean up event.

(Image credits: Less Plastic)

They also have an online shop selling items that are ocean friendly for on the go meal times. This ranges from reusable cups, metal lunch boxes, stainless steel straws to reusable sealable food bags that aren’t made from plastic.

Surfers Against Sewage

Surfers Against Sewage is an environmental charity that aims to help protect the ocean and wildlife. The charity was founded after surfers complained about literally having to swim through sewage when they went out to catch some waves. Yes, literally. I know, it’s gross. This of course had a disastrous impact on the beaches and Surfers Against Sewage worked hard to clean up our waves here in the UK.

“The campaign grew loud, proud and strong and thanks to the passion and perseverance of our members — the UK now enjoys some of the cleanest beaches in Europe.” – Surfers Against Sewage

However, this wasn’t the only problem they’ve had to face when trying to keep the shores of the United Kingdom clean. Even with the sewage problems sorted, they still have plastic pollution to deal with as it is not only an eye-sore, but it’s killing marine wildlife, releasing harmful toxins in to the water and is getting in to our food chain.

(Image credit: Surfers Against Sewage)

They have an online shop where you can buy some pretty stylish clothing apparel with cool slogans across them, all about saving our waves and made from organic cotton! You don’t have to be a surfer to buy and wear these items. They also have clothing for children as well! I think I’m going to get myself some t-shirts!

(Image credits: Surfers Against Sewage)

They also sell accessories like these tote bags made from cotton or form recycle bouncy castles, how cool is that!? I love the bright colours! Or how about a comb made form recycled plastic or a sterling silver wave ring? These would make great gifts for people and the bags are good essentials for when you go out shopping.

(Image credits: Surfers Against Sewage)

And, of course, they sell products to promote zero waste living. I find the coconut scrubber made from coconut hair fascinating! Such an amazing idea! They sell products for on the go like the activated charcoal water bottle, or metal water bottles and bamboo fibre reusable coffee cups, as well as a camping mug and stainless steel straws. The money from sales go towards helping keep our waves, oceans and shores clean a tidy from pollution.

Anything But Plastic

(Image credits: Anything But Plastic)

Anything But Plastic is another eco friendly shop that sells products to help you lead a zero waste lifestyle. They sell some of the same brands and items as Zero Habits do, with some that are different such as mascara in a small glass tube, eyeliner in a tin and a shaving kit that comes with a shaving brush and soap. I like that they have some lovely styling images to show how these products can be used and how they work.

Ethical Superstore

(Image Credits: The Ethical Superstore)

The Ethical Superstore is exactly as it sounds! They literally sell everything and anything that supports fair trade and eco friendly living. They sell similar products to the stores mentioned above, but they also cater to almost every other aspect of life.

(Image credits: The Ethical Superstore)

They sell organic and fair trade clothing for all genders and children and provide eco friendly laundry detergent to wash your clothes with! They also stock a load of different eco friendly cleaning brands. I personally love Ecover as I’ve used their detergent before, but I have heard good things about Method. Both brands are not tested on animals making them completely cruelty free and Ecover’s packaging and plastic bottles are biodegradable! Method’s are recyclable.

(Image credits: The Ethical Superstore)

What about stuff for the home? The Ethical Superstore has that covered as well! From cooking appliances to furniture, dinnerware or bedding, they have it all! Some of the kitchen appliances are made from plastic, but this is due to the fact that you would be using it more than once. They have some gorgeous dinnerware sets that are hand made, which means no plate is the same and it adds interest and style. How about a rug made from recycle cotton? A pair of book ends shapes like a bicycle made form bicycle chains and a fruit bowl upcycled out of old keys? Recycled fabric storage baskets, fair trade and sustainable wood furniture, eco-friendly throws and cushions, and recycle glass vases and glasses? The list goes on!

(Image credits: The Ethical Superstore)

It doesn’t stop there! They even have the outdoors as well as indoors covered where plants and the environment are concerned. Compostable leaf bags, hedgehog igloos and bug hotels, grown your own mushrooms, fruit and herb kits for being self sufficient, hanging baskets and planters, a planter upcycled out of an old tyre… It honestly feels endless. (Probably like how this post is feeling.)

You can find many of the cleaning supplies in most supermarkets across the UK, however some local shops and smaller convenience stores won’t stock them. This online store has basically done all the hard work for you and will save you time trying to find them on the shelf.

The Wise House

(Image credits: The Wise House)

The Wise House pride themselves on helping their customers make an easy transition to being eco-friendly at home. They offer a similar range of products to the others but also some with differences.

(Image credits: The Wise House)

All of their textiles are made from 100% cotton. They sell products for the home such as cushions as well as for the kitchen in the form of tea towels, aprons, fabric lunch box bags, tea pot cosies. One thing they have that is different from the rest is cotton bowl covers, which is perfect for any vegans looking to be eco-friendly in the home and don’t want to use beeswax food wraps. They do sell beeswax food wraps, but they also sell cotton sandwich bags and covers. They also sell a bamboo and cotton “None sponges” for the washing up. These cotton products all come with cute little pattern designs on them and the bowl covers come with some cool graphics and slogans. My favourite from this is the one with marine life on it that says “Be part of the solution, not the pollution.”, which really sends a message, doesn’t it? The pineapple one is quite funky, too!

(Image credits: The Wise House)

As well as homeware and food storage solution, they also sell products for health and beauty. Natural soap and deodorant, all cruelty free and vegetarian and vegan friendly.

 

Now of course using metal tins, boxes or containers would be preferable to using plastic ones, it should be noted that using your plastic bowls and lunch boxes is still eco friendly as they are food grade safe and will still have years of use left in them until they break or you are in fact done with them. Buying metal bentos is amazing but only if you have a real need for them. Metal is also a very important material and resource, even if it is renewable and recyclable. And if you have food that needs to be reheated in a microwave on your lunch break, a metal lunchbox is most definitely not a good idea for that purpose, so keeping your microwavable tupperware lunch boxes is still good, though if possible you could still take it in a metal bento and transfer it’s contents to a microwavable plate instead.

If you’ve made it this far, firstly, well done! Secondly, I hope this has helped you find places and ways to begin to become more efficient and conscious about what you use when going about your usual daily activities, and how you can start to lead a more sustainable lifestyle!

I certainly will be referring to these stores for my own day to day needs and I hope that you have been inspired to do the same!

For anymore eco-friendly, cruelty free, vegan and vegetarian friendly gifts, clothing and products check out my post I wrote for christmas last year here.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Danica xx

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