We’ve been making a transition in our apartment to becoming a plastic free home, (and closer to zero waste) over the last two weeks.
There were many things that we already incorporated into our lives that made this transition much easier for us that it might be for some. But we were still using a lot of paper and the quantity of plastic products that we use was getting overwhelming.
Commit to a plastic free home
What makes it easier to make this change is the commitment of both myself and my partner. Without him being of the same mindset, we might have failed already. Here are some of the ways that we stay plastic free in our apartment, and what you too can do to have a plastic free home.
And for the most of these ideas, we didn’t spend a thing.
We still have a bit of plastic packaging in the apartment from items that we haven’t yet used. Once we use them, we won’t replace them with the same items.
- Glass bottles are great to replace buying a lot of extra storage containers for your kitchen. Clean off the labels and with a blow dryer and scouring sponge and refill with just about anything.
- Get your spices from a bulk store. We buy everything at our local shops and it is amazing the variety of spices they have for us to try.
- Use old wine bottles as vases. Some are very beautiful and will definitely serve the same purpose without having to make an extra purpase.
- Keep birthday candles to use at the next opportunity. (We were able to reuse the 8 from Alex’s sons birthday and the 3 from mine, to make a perfect 38!)
- Refill plastic containers from travels with condiments to take along with you for lunch or when traveling or camping.
- Keep clips from coffee bags to close other packaging instead of purchasing butterfly clips or other devices. My favorite Hawaiian coffee comes with these great metal clips. (And the coffee is the most amazing I have tried. Love coffee, too? Try this one!)
Recycle jars into candle holders
I love recycling glass jars for everything, holding nails and picture hangers, into cups, for holding spices and nuts and dried fruits, but my favorite use is for decorating.
- Repurpose yogurt jars into glass candle holders. They’re durable and can withstand the head from the tea light.
- Decorate with string from packaging. Everything can have a second life.
Cloth and other reusable bags
Most of the reusable bags I have for collecting groceries and other shopping have been given to me. There’s not need to purchase bags just to have a plastic free home. And if all else fails, just use a backpack! It doesn’t have to be a custom shopping bag to hold your groceries.
- Free bags are everywhere and can be repurposed. I use the cloth shopping bag from my Lululemon purchases as my lunch bag. I’ve had it for years and it’s leak proof and durable.
- Keep free canvas bags to pick up groceries or even to hold other bags.
- If you have to take a disposable bag for some reason, keep it and find another use for it. I keep paper bags to hold my paper recycling. Try to avoid the plastic ones.
- Buy a cooler bags to keep food cool when you plan a day out camping or at the beach. I got this stylish bag Fit Fresh Bag that comes with a water bottle, two tupperwaves, and a cold pack inside.
- Keep the bags organized and in line of sight so that you will never forget them. We have these hooks on the wall near our kitchen door.
- Save power by search for solar power light for your outdoor spaces. These lights were under $30 and are durable and beautiful. I gave a second life to the plastic and metal ties in the packaging by using them to tie on the lights.
- Decorate with meaning – buy things during you travel that will also serve a purpose in your home. Like these lanterns I go in Qatar that go great in our balcony.
- We decide to purchase a small mint plant and transplant it when it got larger. And boy did it get larger fast. With the right care, we’ll have great, fresh ingredients without having to purchase them from the market. Even while living in an apartment!
- Reuse the plastic holder. We transplanted a cactus and gave it room to grow.
Invest in a water filter
- We purchased the Brita On Tap filter and couldn’t be happier. The water tastes good and if we need to get water straight from the tap it’s quicker than a jar that filters. (This one comes with two filters that last 3 months each!)
- Reuse glass bottles for water. The glass bottles keep the water colder and are easy to clean and store. I reuse these vermut and beer bottles. And I think it make them quite stylish.
Use a traditional Italian coffee maker
- Using the Italian coffee maker helps us make coffee with little waste from filters or capsules.
- Buy bulk coffee. We were able to find a shop that has great international coffee available in bulk, will grind it to match your machine, and don’t use any plastic.
Those are just some of the way we have been building our plastic free home. And we’ll keep at it. We’re going to keep posting and going more and more plastic free each day!
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