Everywhere you turn, it feels like there is plastic. In an effort to cut costs, the world has become obsessed with using plastic to solve all of our life’s problems. A great way to help the environment is to make a switch to a zero waste home, but one of the most difficult parts of this transition is the plastic. Avoiding plastic or repurposing it can be difficult. To make it easier for those of you who are looking for plastic-free alternatives, I’ve created a room-by-room guide of how you can rid your home of plastic and what to swap it with instead. I have also found 15+ plastic free alternatives for a zero waste home! You can use these in all areas of your life to help you achieve less waste in your home.
Plastic Free Room Guide
I wanted to start our guide by going to the living room. Out of all the rooms, this one will probably be the easiest! The first swap is going to be with your furniture! This one will be a little bit of an investment, but you’ll end up with a sturdy piece that will last you a lifetime! The three main pieces of furniture to focus on are the couch, TV stand, and coffee table. I understand that these three pieces will unlikely be completely plastic-free, but you can choose pieces that are mostly not plastic, such as a leather couch or a wooden coffee table.
The next area in this room we want to tackle are the sneaky little pieces of plastic that many of us have in this space. This includes things like DVDs and decorations. Here are some great swap ideas for these items.
- Instead of DVDs, consider signing up for a streaming service and donating your old movies.
- Instead of plastic decorations that won’t stand the test of time, consider replacing them with quality pieces that will last a lot longer.
This is one of the rooms where you will see the most impact! I have a lot of swaps for this room, so I’ve put them all in a list of the most common ones to make it easier for you!
- Plastic Grocery Bags: We all have them, but instead of continuing to add to your collection, reuse the ones you have and replace them with reusable grocery bags.
- Tupperware: We all have those stained plastic containers that do a subpar job of storing our food. Instead, invest in glass storage containers. These are much easier to clean and will store your food much better.
- Convenience Foods: Food comes in a lot of packaging, many of which are plastic. Instead, make things from scratch and utilise bulk bins to avoid some of that excess packaging.
- Plastic Cleaning Tools: Scrubbing brushes are a great tool, but a regular sponge gets the job done too!
- Ziploc Bags: Instead of using plastic bags, look for reusable ones online! Some of them are even dishwasher friendly, and you’ll save some money over time too!
There are two main areas that we will be covering here, and that is the tools that you use, such as your toothbrush or hairbrush, and your products. In terms of products, very few things you buy will not come in a plastic package. This means you’ll have to think outside the box a little to swap it for a plastic-free option! For example, lotion bars and shampoo bars don’t come in plastic packaging. There are biodegradable bamboo toothbrushes out there and wooden hairbrushes that are a much better option.
There is one last room I want to cover, and that’s the bedroom. The reason why this one makes the list is that there are a bunch of small plastic items in here that often are forgotten! If they aren’t stored here, chances are that you may use them here. A few examples are the decorations you keep by your nightstand, the case you use to store your glasses, and even the container your bedroom spray comes in. For your glasses case, consider using a bag instead of a hard shell plastic case, or look into a wooden case instead. For the room spray, make your own and store it in a glass bottle.
While your home may have rooms I didn’t cover, this should serve as a basic guide to get you started! Switching to plastic-free alternatives is a great way to create longevity in the products you own, but also help you reduce your impact on the environment.
Plastic Free Alternatives
Here is a list of 15 plastic free alternatives that you may also be interested in.
- Stainless Steel Water Bottle
- Compostable Phone Case
- Cloth Produce Bags
- Stainless Steel Straw
- Soap Bars
- Reusable Ziploc Bags
- Compostable Tampons
- Beeswax Paper or you could make your own
- Stainless Steel Leftovers Container
- Reusable Shopping Bags
- Safety Razor
- Plastic Free Floss
- Shampoo and Conditioner Bars
- Reusable KCup
- Fountain Pen