Aug 14, 2017

Reduce Your Plastic: Part 2- Going Out and About, Babies and Children, Cleaning and Personal Care Items

Reduce Your Plastic Part 2. Tips for while out and about, having babies and children, cleaning and personal care.

My friend Rosie at Green and Rosie Life posted 100 ways to reduce plastic and how she was doing with it. I thought I would do the same. These tips are the next 25 or so of her list and cover a variety of topics. Don't forget to check out the first post in this series that covers food, drink and shopping

Leave a comment about how many you are doing! Most links are to other posts I have written. Some links are affiliate links to Amazon. If you click the link and make a purchase I may receive a commission that helps to keep the blog running. Thanks for supporting Skip The Bag!

Out and About 

25.  Say no to plastic straws in food outlets

I love carrying my zero waste silverware kit! It helps me avoid straws and plastic utensils. There are a number of different kinds of straws that aren't made from plastic. You can get metal, bamboo, glass and even paper. Check out this article about National Drinking Straw Day to read more about these alternatives.

26.  Say no to plastic bags in all shops, not just supermarkets 

Absolutely! This blog isn't called Skip The Bag for no reason. I always carry a reusable bag in my purse and I've been able to refuse bags all over town even at hardware stores and clothing stores.

27. If you find somewhere that doesn't use plastic throw away cutlery, tell the world about it via your social media. 

I love this idea! I haven't done this yet, but I love the idea of praising restaurants that are doing their part (rather than shaming those who aren't).

28.  Say no to "cardboard" coffee cups - they are lined with polyethylene aka plastic.  Take your own mug instead. 

This is one I struggle with. Mostly because I so rarely get coffee that it's far harder for me to plan for a maybe once a month occurrence rather than a daily occurrence. Hubby, who drinks coffee daily, carries his own travel mug and he LOVES this one. I've thought about getting one for me, because he loves it so much, but haven't yet.

29.  Take your own wooden chop sticks to your local Chinese restaurant 

I don't think I would have thought about this! Many people have chopsticks included in their Zero Waste Silverware Kit. We have bamboo chopsticks for at home, but I don't regularly use them outside of the house so I haven't added it to my silverware kit. 

30.  Ask for a finger bowl and cloth instead of plastic wrapped wipes in restaurants 

I don't eat many places that have wrapped wipes, but this is a reusable solution to that I hadn't thought of before. 

31.  Don't buy plastic wrapped magazines 

I don't really buy magazines. I have a couple of subscriptions that were gifted to me, but that's about it. 

Don't forget to pin this list for later!

Reduce Your Plastic Part 2. Tips for while out and about, having babies and children, cleaning and personal care.

Babies and Children

32.  Switch from disposable nappies to washable cloth ones 

I will use cloth diapers with any infants I have!

33.  Ditch disposable wipes and use a washable cloth

I love this idea!

34.  Buy glass feeding bottles

Absolutely! Glass is better than plastic.

35.  Buy wooden toys

I love this idea! I'm always on the hunt for great wooden toys for the children in my life. 

36.  For pack lunches avoid plastic wrapped foods and offer sandwiches wrapped in foil or greaseproof paper, a piece of fruit, a home-made snack and a drink in a reusable bottle

Lunchables are a no-go in my house! We make our own sandwiches and put whole fruit for them. Although most schools provide lunch (and breakfast!) so we won't need to do this much.

37.  Pass on unwanted plastic toys to younger children/toy libraries/play groups, etc

It's so crazy to me how people want to just give children toys! Don't they know they already have a houseful?!


38.  Make your own cleaning products with bicarbonate of soda and vinegar ensuring these are bought in cardboard boxes and glass bottles

I buy them in cardboard and glass, but I'm not as consistent about using them as cleaning products as I could be.

39.  Use washing powder sold in cardboard boxes rather than washing liquid

I just bought some dish washing powder instead of the liquid in a plastic container. I'm excited that I have reduced a source of plastic in our house.

40.  Use soap nuts or washing balls instead of washing liquid 

I'm not here yet. I'd consider going back to powder, but I have an HE wash and it didn't work as well. Although this is a new washer so it may work better. 

41.  You don't need wipes - use a washable cloth

I do this, in fact I use dishcloths my grandmother kitted as my face cloth. 

42.  Use dishwasher tabs in biodegradable film 

This is probably the first one I disagree with. I don't think people should use dishwasher tabs at all. Ok, that's a little strong. I guess I should say: I think there are better alternatives to wash your dishes than dishwasher tabs, even if the film is biodegradable.

Personal Care

43.  Ditch disposable razors for a metal safety razor or go hirsute

I love my safety razor. Check out my articles all about safety razorshow to use a safety razor and not get cut, and a review on the best safety razor. It's seriously easy to use and I wonder why I didn't switch over years ago.

44.  Use a bar of soap not liquid soap in a plastic bottle 

Yep, this is one of my 5 simple plastic-free swaps for the bathroom that I've done.

45.  Use shampoo bars 

I am loving my shampoo bars. If you are considering them check out the ones I use and my review of using a shampoo bar that includes tips of how to use them. 

46.  Stop using shower gels that contain micro beads - these are made from polyethylene i.e. plastic 

I never used a lot of these, but I have completely eliminated them. 

47.  Buy wooden handled tooth brushes 

Yes! Another simple swap and I have been loving my bamboo toothbrushes

48.  Buy a wooden handled hairbrush 

When I need a new hairbrush I'll buy this.

49.  Use washable menstrual products

I have a cup, but haven't really got to try it out yet.

50.  Make your own remedies for minor ailments e.g. elderberry port for sore throats stored in a glass bottle 

This isn't really my style. I work in health care, so I'm particular about what I use for ailments.

51.  Use a handkerchief not plastic wrapped tissues

I don't do this, but we rarely use tissues. We maybe to go through a box a year. 

52.  Give up smoking!

Thankfully I've never done this!

This week there was more of a grab bag of items, but I'm happy to see I've been doing most of these things. Especially since so much of it focused on personal care and swaps in the bathroom. Don't forget to check out these more advanced swaps!


  1. I love reading how you have tackled these plastic issues. With regard to dishwasher tabs I understand that you feel there are better alternatives. I am looking to make my own but in the meantime prefer not to have tabs that are plastic wrapped. It is one of my many compromises.

  2. Really good article, plastics are injurious to our health and wealth. The usage of plastic harmful to our earth and we should try to avoid the usage of it and replace it with paper bags. best essay writing service