Hope you are all having a good start to the week and that you feel you are making progress with reducing plastic from your life. I know it is not easy – I find myself letting out a few expletives when I have left my reusable bags at home or when I buy an item thinking it is plastic free only to find the item has a plastic inner wrapping. None of us are perfect, but not trying to reduce your impact is worse. The more you keep trying, the more it will become part of your daily routine.
So, I thought I should talk to you about the types of materials used in products and how we can make the swap from plastic to these materials. It is very easy to become reliant on plastic, when many of our everyday items are made from plastic. Thankfully there are a few manufacturers that recognise this and are making efforts to produce items in sustainable, recycled and reusable materials. Here are a few examples:
Bamboo - Used to make many household items such as cooking utensils, bowls, hairbrushes, toothbrushes, sheets, towels and much more. Bamboo is not a wood, but comes from the grass family, which means it can regenerates after being cut just like a lawn without the need for replanting or the surrounding environment. Fast growing; it can be harvested every three years. Bamboo is naturally anti-bacterial, so it doesn’t require pesticides or fertilizers during growth, unlike cotton which needs both.Also, a lot of bamboo can be grown in a relatively small area, easing pressure on land. What’s not to like about bamboo.
Glass - Glass is the great recycler! For every ton of glass that is recycled, a ton of natural resources are saved, which includes sand and limestone. Buying products contained in glass, not only means the glass can be recycle, but it also means that containers can be reused. Use old bottles and jars to store other items like food, garden seeds, nails, etc. Thankfully, most glass containers are produced using some recycled material, because it is not only environmentally friendly, but economically
Husk - made from natural rice husks, which would normally be burned or discarded. Used to make cups, plates and products normally used for eating out or baby products.The material is dishwasher safe, so you can use them again and again. Once buried it biodegrades completely after 2 -3 yearsand the rice husk fibre makes it great for composting.
Palm Leaf - Produced in an energy efficient process, the naturally fallen leaves of the Areca Nut tree are collected (found in India). Used to make dinnerware that is heat resistant and is safe to use in the fridge or freezer. Completely biodegradable, composting within 12 -26 weeks.
Cork -that is harvested from the Cork Oak (Quercus suber) only from early May to late August, when the cork tree reaches 25–30 years of age. These trees are commercially grown mainly in Portugal and Spain. Cork is extracted from the bark tissue, but the great thing about this sourcing of a natural material is that the cork can be separated from the tree without causing permanent damage to the tree. As the material is flexible and semi-impermeable it makes it very suitable for bottle stoppers, but it can be used for a number of other items such as in sporting helmets, balls (cricket and baseball), in musical instruments, household utensils and more.
We hope this helps you in your shopping decisions. By looking for natural, recycled, sustainable and certified organic and/or eco certified you will be making more eco-friendly choices. The aim is to be as eco-friendly as possible, and the less plastic contained in items the less your impact will be on this planet we call home.
Working on being earthly passionate,
Attracta & the earthly passion team