This time last year, I wrote one of my first blog posts ever on the easy switches you can make to take on Plastic Free July. At the time, I noticed that all of the products came from different brands, meaning multiple orders, higher delivery costs, and more emissions from the transportation of all these goods. I thought there must be a brand out there selling all of these different products to help consumers cut down on plastic in one place – but after scouring social media, I wasn’t able to find even one.
After arriving home from my travels (and after watching Blue Planet II) I decided I wanted to do my bit and help make it easier for customers to get all of their plastic free basics all in one place, under one brand – and so Atlas & Ortus was born. And I am very proud to say that less than a year after I wrote that blog post, we’re stocking almost all of the items that were on my list. Not only this, but Atlas & Ortus products are now available to buy on one of the biggest online eco-conscious department stores in the UK, Wearth London – including our Zero Waste Starter Kits!
So if you’re looking to reduce your plastic use, and aren’t sure where to begin, here’s my list of easy switches you can make to help you go plastic free – most of which you can buy from our store, www.atlasandortus.co.uk.
My Nine Easy Plastic Free Switches
1. Buy a reusable bottle
Humans produce almost 20,000 plastic bottles every second. The number of bottles sold in the last year alone, if placed end to end, would extend more than halfway to the sun. It’s time to ban the bottle.
Atlas & Ortus’ 500ml isothermal bottles keep your cuppa warm for 12 hours and your water cold for 24. They’re lightweight and made of food-grade stainless steel. They’re available in black or white with a matte finish and will only cost you £12.
2. BYO bag
Around the world, over one million plastic bags are used per minute – that’s around one trillion per year. These bags then sit around for about a thousand years and all too often end up in our oceans. But now you know just how bad they are, you’ll never forget to bring you own again. The best thing to do is always keep a spare bag in your car, or carry a small one on you. Organic cotton, jute and bamboo are the best materials to use, as they’re 100% biodegradable.
If you don’t already have your own, Atlas & Ortus’ Everyday bags are made from GOTS certified organic cotton, are Fair Trade certified, and also have an amazing story of freedom behind them. You can learn more about them on the Atlas & Ortus blog.
3. Say no to plastic straws
Did you know that disposable plastic straws are used for an average of just 20 minutes? Your straw could then spend the next seven hundred years sitting in a landfill – or end up in the sea and harming marine life. If you can’t just say no, there’s plenty of bamboo, paper and silicone options too (you could even try using pasta…).
4. Get your own reusable coffee cup
Annually, over 500 billion disposable paper, styrofoam and single-use plastic cups are used worldwide – with most of these being sent straight to landfill. So when it comes to buying your morning coffee, either drink-in or BYO cup.
Atlas & Ortus’ Reusable Glass Coffee Cups are 12oz – standard barista size, and come in grey, navy, cream and black. They’re also dishwasher and microwave safe.
5. Ditch the pre-packed fruit and veg
Supermarkets are led by consumer demand – the more we care, the more they care. So stop buying packaged veg, and buy loose, seasonal produce instead. Better still, visit your greengrocer or local market. Don’t forget, if you see any over-packaged food at your local supermarket, take a photo and call them out on social media, and use the hashtag #GoPlasticFree.
6. Use a bamboo toothbrush
Every year, 1 billion toothbrushes are thrown away in the US alone – that’s enough to go around the Earth four times. Making the simple switch to bamboo can make a huge difference.
Atlas & Ortus’ brush has a 100% biodegradable handle made from Mao bamboo (panda friendly), and recyclable nylon bristles – when you’re done, just pull them out and pop the handle in the compost.
7. Switch to a shampoo bar
Shampoo bars are a really easy switch to make when it comes to cutting down plastic in the bathroom. They work just like normal soap – lather them up in your hands or swipe down your hair. Depending on where you live and on your hair type, you may need to use an apple cider vinegar rise instead of conditioner. Another great reason to switch to bars is travel – as these bars have had all the water removed, you can pop them in your hand luggage and not have to worry going through security. They also last ages – on average around three months!
Atlas & Ortus’ Coconut Milk & Shea Butter Shampoo Bar is available for £6, here.
8. Use a soap bar instead of body wash
Another really easy switch to make in the bathroom is to use soap instead of body wash in a bottle.
Atlas & Ortus’ Sandalwood, Bergamot and Charcoal bars are made in Devon, and are not only beautiful, but smell absolutely incredible too. Get yours for £5, here.
9. No more cling film
Like most of the plastic products in this post, plastic wrap is used once and more than likely ends up in a landfill or in the ocean, either leaching chemicals or suffocating marine life. There’s so many alternatives available, once you stop you’ll never want to use it again.
Instead of using cling film to cover your leftovers or to wrap up your sandwich, use tupperware or a lunch tin (Atlas & Ortus’ is £18, available here). If you’d rather stick with covering or wrapping up your food, try using beeswax wraps. They’re a reusable, natural and biodegradable alternative made of organic cotton and beeswax. At the end of their life, they can be composted or used as a fire starter – just cut the wrap into strips to add to your compost heap, or wrap them around pieces of kindling. Learn how to make your own here – or if you don’t have time, give the Atlas & Ortus ones a go.
If you’re in the market for multiple items, you can get yourself an Atlas & Ortus Zero Waste Starter Kit for just £52.
If you’re looking to go one step further and cut out plastic from your beauty regime, you can also head on over to Acala for a range of plastic free cosmetics and more.