Go plastic free...
We’re always saddened by the sight of rubbish and plastic washed up on the beach and with the local community do our bit to keep this stunning section of the north Somerset coast litter free.
But sadly, the problem of plastic waste in our ecosystem is a global one so we cannot prevent items floating in from the sea. All of us need to unite behind the fight against litter and particularly plastic to protect our wonderful wildlife and precious beauty spots like Porlock Bay.
With this in mind, we are supporting the Plastic Free July campaign and encourage you to do the same. This will see 120 million people worldwide try and reduce their use of plastics – especially single use – throughout the month and hopefully long after.
To help get you started, here are our top tips for going plastic free this July.
It is virtually impossible to avoid plastic wrapped fruit, vegetables and other goods if you rely on supermarkets. Instead head to your local grocer, butcher and baker where it is more than likely products will be loose with the price dictated by weight or item.
Where possible peruse your local farmers market for the best local ingredients. You can fill your own containers or bags with as much delicious local produce as you wish, plastic free and you’ll have the added benefit of supporting your independent local traders and growers.
If you do need to use a supermarket at any point, avoid all pre-packaged food, wave goodbye to the frozen aisles and ensure you have your own reusable bags to hand.
Takeaways are one of the worst offenders for single use plastic containers with each separate dish sealed in its own plastic box. On the whole, they’re also pretty bad for your health.
So, why not kill two birds with one stone and when you’re longing for some greasy fast food, get in the kitchen and cook up a delicious treat which will satisfy your cravings without the need for any plastic packaging and without compromising your health.
The most memorable presents are the ones which involved doing something amazing, rather than material gifts which the recipients often lose interest in after a few weeks, or in some cases a few hours.
Children’s presents in particular tend not only to be made of plastic but also packaged in layers of unnecessary plastic. Give your little ones a real treat this year with the gift of a trip to the zoo, theatre, adventure park or one of the many other activities guaranteed to get them squealing with excitement and wonder and live on in their memories for life.
Industrial cleaning products almost without exception come in plastic packaging. There are many easy-to-source natural alternatives which will do the job just as well – most which you are likely to already have lying around in your kitchen cupboards.
Mix one part vinegar with three parts water for an all-purpose cleaning spray. Bicarbonate of soda is an effective scrub for surfaces and for washing dishes, clove oil is great for mould removal and the citric acid in lemon juice acts as a great stain remover. Where you do need to buy washing powder, choose the products contained in cardboard boxes.
If you are hosting a party and need extra cups and tableware or other general household items, don’t just order them new but explore what you can pick up from your local recycling centre or via recycling apps such as freecycle and Gumtree.
It is amazing how much you can gather without the need to go shopping. This way you are saving both the planet and your hard earned cash. Remember: one person’s rubbish is another person’s treasure.
Always travel with your reusable mesh and cloth bags so you never get caught out when doing your shopping. Where necessary, bring glass jars, boxes and Tupperware to fill with nuts, beans, pulses, pasta and other foods from shops that sell by weight and let you fill your own containers. Choose glass milk bottles that can be refilled, keep cups for your takeaway tea and coffees and steel travelling water bottles.
Where you cannot buy products in any form other than plastic containers such as certain fizzy drinks or ready meals, simply cut them out – they’re really bad for your health anyway. You’ll be able to buy all your staples and health fruit and veg without the need for any plastic.
Don’t waste your money and the world’s resources on heavily packaged overpriced sandwiches and salads for lunch. Boost your health and your eco-credentials by making your own lunch each day and taking it in with you in reusable Tupperware or better still waxed paper sandwich wraps.
This way you can prepare something really tasty, packed with goodness and in the long term, you will save yourself a huge amount of money as well as helping save the planet. Extend this to any time that you require take-away food such as picnics or long journeys – don’t give in to costly convenience foods, prepare your own.
It is now fairly well publicised that many face washes, scrubs and shower gels contain tiny micro-bead plastics so to avoid this, steer clear of anything that lists ‘polyethylene’ among its ingredients. Use package free bars of soap instead of liquids in a plastic pump container.
You could even turn to natural hair and body washes – many people swear by baking powder, water and apple cider vinegar as shampoo but there are now shampoo bars available if you hunt around. As the war on plastic grows, the number of alternatives is growing so join the movement.
Next time you head to the beach or any other beauty spot, help out by scooping up any litter you come across and leave it looking even more lovely than you found it. If we all do our bit, we can make a huge difference and preserve our wonderful planet for future generations and the many plants and animals we share it with.