The Weekend Series: help save the environment with these plastic-free essentials
Look, we’re going to level with you. The planet is in a bad way, and it’s our fault. Non-biodegradable materials are clogging waterways and landfill in record amounts, which is playing havoc with our ecosystems and the environment at large. The high use of plastic is partially to blame, but it’s not all doom and gloom. Loads of companies across Australia and the world are fighting the good fight by creating plastic-free variants of regular household items. These reusable goods are functional and stylish, while also reducing the amount of plastic waste we produce. We’ve made a quick hit list of plastic-free essentials you should own to help do your part in saving the environment.
You’ve probably already heard, but those out of the loop should know that single-use plastic straws are now public enemy number one. A massive contributor to plastic waste, straws have seen a huge decline in usuage as outlets across the globe have begun switching to biodegradable varieties or have stopped stocking them completely. Reusable straws are now a must-have item for anyone known to stop in for an iced latte or smoothie, and the crew at FinalStraw are producing one of the best straws on the market. This collapsible straw raked in over $1.8 million on Kickstarter, showing just how in-demand the product truly is. Each FinalStraw comes with a sexy coloured keychain-friendly container, a cleaning squeegee and a drying rack, making cleaning a breeze.
Food huggers from Seed & Sprout
Cling wrap – as handy as it is – is a huge contributor to plastic waste. But what are you supposed to do with your tomato and onion halves? Tupperware is always a better option for food storage, but it doesn’t always do the trick with oddly shaped foods, and what are you supposed to do when you misplace a lid? Seed & Sprout has a solution to cling wrap and Tupperware-induced conundrums – a collection of food huggers that prevent your produce from withering in the fridge without resorting to toxic wraps. Made from food-safe silicone, these huggers stretch over fruits and vegetables such as apples, cucumbers, lemons, onions and tomatoes, keeping them fresh for longer. The products can also be used as lids for open cans, jars and bottles, and are dishwasher, microwave and freezer safe. Seed & Sprout also has numerous plastic-free alternatives to check out, including insulated lunch bags, stretch lids, food pouches, steel straws and drink flasks.
Image: Seed & Sprout
Bamboo toothbrushes from Biome
Like Seed & Sprout, Biome is heaven for fans of environmentally friendly bits and pieces. It has an entire section devoted to plastic-free goods such as lunch boxes, toast tongs, cotton mesh produce bags, coffee cups and more, but it’s the hygiene products we’re into right now. Biome offers a selection of bamboo toothbrushes, which are minimalist alternatives to the plastic brushes that litter bathroom counter tops and landfills. These brushes boast long-lasting polyester bristles with tapered ends for better (and more durable) cleaning, while the shapely handle is made from heat-treated MOSO bamboo. Also on the hygiene front, Biome stocks shampoo bars, deodorant pastes, agave washcloths and cotton buds.
Reusable beeswax wrap from Honeybee Wrap
Another cling-wrap buster is the absolutely brilliant influx of beeswax wraps hitting the market. Honeybee Wraps is responsible for producing loads of these wraps, made from organic cotton, natural Australian beeswax, organic coconut oil, tree resin and Australian jojoba oil. An environmentally friendly alternative to most mass-produce wraps, these coverings mould to the tops of dishes and containers to create an airtight seal, and can also be used to wrap vegetables, cheeses, sandwiches and snacks. The best thing about Honeybee wraps is that they can last for a whole year, and can be washed with a mild dish-soap rinse and air dried. Once they lose their effectiveness, simply toss the wrap into a worm farm or compost bin and they’ll degrade naturally. Beeswax wraps can also be obtained from Bee Green Wraps, Bee Wrappy and Beeutiful.
Image: Honeybee Wrap
You’d be surprised at what times can be made more environmentally friendly – it’s usually something you wouldn’t initially consider. Other goods that you should consider picking up include biodegradable bamboo clothes pegs available from Flora and Fauna, environmentally friendly cutlery with a handy cotton pouch from Ever Eco, reusable mesh produce bags from Onya and Eorth’s dish brushes made from coconut husks.
Image: Black and Dane