How To Live With Less Plastic

A basket for toys made from old newspapers. zero waste.

I will admit to stalking a few ‘zero heroes’ on Instagram – the people who are far more organised and, let’s be honest, more willing to make the changes from living with plastic to banishing it for good.

I will admit that I initially thought it was a bit bonkers. We haven’t used plastic bags in our house for years, we religiously recycle what we can and I use environmentally friendly everything.

Wasn’t this enough? Well actually, turns out it’s a big, fat resounding ‘NO’.


Half of what we put into recycling doesn’t actually get recycled. We can no longer turn a blind eye to the astronomical amount of plastic that we have in the world, and have had for too many years. Yes, paper and cardboard also take a long time to break down.

Plastic, however, in all its petrochemical glory, takes much, much longer – packaging, regular nappies, bottles and yoghurt pots (just to name a few) take up to 500 years to disappear.

Long after our children, and our children’s children’s children are gone, our little joys’ Little Yeo pots will still be kicking it around somewhere on our precious planet.

We have compiled a list of the ten things that we can all do at home that can help make a difference. You won’t be alone because we here at Mumfidential HQ will be challenging ourselves to make these changes too. Good luck to us all!

Loose fruit and veg

Avoid needless packaging by buying your all your fruit and veg in loose pieces.

Left overs in glass jars

Tupperware and cling film be gone! Use old jam jars etc. to store any leftovers. If you haven’t kept any then these from Ikea are fab :

Use own shopping bags

They’re everywhere! Take your pick, but try to stick to natural fibers.

Bars of soap

Try using soap bars for hand washing instead of buying plastic soap dispensers every time. Take it further by using specifically designed bars of soap for shampoo, and for your body wash. Check out Wild Sage & Co ( or Amphora Aromatics ( )

Milk in glass bottles

The perfect recycling system – put those bottles back out to be refilled for next time. Environmentally friendly, old school and they look pretty cool too.

Who gives a crap

Soft, made from recycled paper, and delivered in plastic free packaging. Think that’s all? They also donate 50% of all profits to help build loos for those in need.

We’ll be trying it out as soon as they stop being sold out. Their secret is out!

Bring your own coffee cup

Some coffee shops are offering incentives by giving people who bring their own coffee cups a discount. Think about getting a cup made from recycled plastic, rather than bamboo. May as well use up what’s out there rather than harvesting natural products.

No to straws (or cotton buds)

Try to avoid buying or using plastic straws. They’re unnecessary for the great majority. Equally, try to avoid buying cotton buds with plastic stems. If you can’t give the latter up there are cotton buds out there with cardboard stems – available at your usual suspects.


I like to use Ecover cleaning products. They are slightly pricier but I can help cut that cost by getting my old bottles of laundry detergent, fabric conditioner and washing up liquid refilled at my local As Nature Intended store.

I just take my old bottles and voila – cost reduced for both the environment and my pocket.

Stainless Steel bottles

Rather than buying those wonderful, non-drip, fabulously decorated, plastic bottles or sippy cups that invariably get replaced over and over try a stainless steel bottle instead. Great for both kids AND adults. These bottles from TwoThirds are an investment but they’re practical, durable and gorgeous

Go further

Packaging free shops are starting to show up all over the UK. Use paper bags or take your own glass containers and buy all the rice, pasta, lentils, dried fruits etc. you want by weight. Who said the old way wasn’t the best way? TheZeroWaster are great website that have helpfully provided a list of package free shops all over the country.

Take a look at The Ethical Superstore for more inspiration on ways to reduce the nasties in your home.


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