Bambo toothbrush

As we prepare to head into spring, you may be considering a serious declutter, undertaking a new project or maybe you just fancy making a few changes within your home and garden.  Well, if you fancy making this spring a more sustainable one, then let us help you cut out some unnecessary plastic products.  The Make Me Local team have hunted around their local high street to come up with the following easy household swaps that you can easily fit into your everyday life.   We’ve also included the main recycling symbols to watch out for…

Try a bamboo toothbrush

If we follow the advice of our dentists and replace our toothbrushes every three months, it means that a potential 264 million brushes are thrown away in the UK alone every year.  Make an easy switch to natural, compostable bamboo toothbrushes that are 100% Biodegradable, recyclable and compostable and flaunt charcoal bristles.

Swap wipes and cotton pads for reusable face cloths

Did you know it can take some make-up wipes up to 100 years to break down in landfill and often create those vile sewer-blocking fatbergs we often catch sight of on TV?  Some shops have banned the sale of them completely, while other brands have opted for biodegradable wipe alternatives.  Our advice?  Stick to reusable bamboo face cloths that you can simply use and rinse with some water.  Alternatively, pick yourself up some Face Halo’s award-winning makeup remover pads next time you’re in Boots the Chemist.  They are dual sided and reusable, replacing up to 500 traditional makeup wipes.

Ditch the takeaway cups and replace with reusable coffee cups

If you haven’t caught onto this one yet, it is well worth swapping in order to help us eliminate the damage caused from the 2.5 billion takeaway coffee cups thrown away in the UK every year.  We are unable to recycle 99.75% of them as their plastic and paper lining cannot be processed at most recycling plants.  M&S, Debenhams and Next all have lovely ranges to choose from.   If you own a coffee pod machine, maybe consider swapping your pod out for a good old-fashioned cafetière instead?

Plastic straws for reusable straws

If you’re partial to a cocktail or two in the summer, sip guilt free by swapping plastic straws for metal or glass ones.  Try and say ‘no’ to plastic if you’re offered one whilst on a night out at a bar.   You’ll find plenty of options at Lakeland, they even have a travel option!

Replace plastic storage containers for glass containers

Swap plastic containers for glass storage containers instead.  You find these in lots of shops including supermarkets – they will also last you much longer than plastic ones.   Also, try using beeswax-infused wraps – a great alternative to single-use plastic sandwich and food bags and cling film.

Don’t forget about your gardens and allotments…

Unless you are growing your own, you might want to consider swapping cut flowers for real plants.  Not only will you be doing your bit for the environment (many are imported from abroad and transported to the UK, stored in refrigerators and then wrapped in lashings of cellophane), they help remove airborne pollutants too. You would also benefit from investing in a compost bin to pop all your food waste into.  You’ll not only reduce your waste but save money on compost too!  Harvest precious rainwater with a water butt rather than reaching for the hose.  You’ll lower your water consumption and have a fabulous looking garden.

Buy your plants and accessories from a garden centre with great green credentials.  Coolings Garden Centre in Knockholt has a great pot recycling scheme on site as well as two massive reservoirs that are used to water all their plants.  They also grow all their plants on site using recyclable taupe pots and recently won the Commitment to the Environment Award at the 2019 Kent Excellence in Business Awards (KEiBA).  Follow their progress as they are fast on their way to becoming one of the greenest garden centres in the UK.  Plus, we are lucky enough to have them pretty much on our doorstep.

Recycling symbols UK…

If you need some help sussing out what all the symbols mean on food packaging, make sure you watch out for the following …

Don’t be fooled by this green dot.  It doesn’t mean the product is recyclable, but that the makers have made a contribution to recycling services.

This logo tells you that this part of the packaging is only recycled by 20 – 70% of local authorities.  Check with your local council before putting anything with this symbol on into you recycling bin.

If you spot this symbol on packaging it is telling you that over 75% of UK councils will recycle it (check with your council).

This symbol indicates that the product is capable of being recycled. It does not guarantee that the material will be accepted by your local recycling centre or collection. It does not signify that the product is made from recycled materials.  A percentage in the centre indicates the proportion of recycled materials used.

Fully sustainable products are still slim pickings, so search for recyclable plastics via the symbol scale above or take a comprehensive look into recycling symbols.  In a nutshell, you will do well to look for three arrows forming a triangle, with a number in the middle and letters at the bottom:  for example, 1 (PET) is widely recycled, 2 (PVC) is trickier, and 6 (PS) is near-impossible to recycle.

Don’t forget, we are great at recycling websites!  Whether you want to spring clean your existing site to optimise lead generation or simply start from scratch and build a whole one, we’d love to help you.