Friday, 23 July 2021

Great Eco Swaps you can make during Plastic Free July {Review with SaveMoneyCutCarbon}

  * AD - The items featured have been gifted for an honest review. *

*All thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely my own. *

I'm sure by now you already know that it is Plastic Free July, it has been all over social media and I have seen a whole lot being shared about huge steps like plastic free shopping lists that are spilling over with swaps. However being Plastic Free in any part of our life is almost always an initial higher outlay with the savings coming over time so it's not always possible to make huge changes in one go. That is why I am a firm believer that being eco-friendly can be something you do one small step at a time, because one small swap can have a very big impact. Which I think aligns with the accessibility of SaveMoneyCutCarbon and their products.

I feel like this month in particular our SaveMoneyCutCarbon was full of products that are all items perfect for the summer season and will see the most use over the next few weeks. Which of course makes them the perfect swaps to choose from during Plastic Free July. 

Inside our box we had:

As I said these small swaps can help cut down your plastic use in big ways, by choosing one swap to change during Plastic Free July you can find that it leads to you finding other swaps you can make. When we first started making better eco-friendly choices it began with reusable cups for coffee and drinks when we go out, we slowly added to our swaps list and now it's been around 4 years. In those 4 years we've tried many eco swaps and changes in our lives. Most have stuck and been loved even more than the products we left behind. 

What is Plastic Free July?

This is the question I have seen most on social media this month, the name seems to give the idea that we should ditch all plastic during the month of July. The problem is we live in a plastic centred world, almost every product is available as a plastic or with plastic packaging included. The reality is that Plastic Free July is a movement that wants to encourage people to reduce their plastic use. A whole month dedicated to raising awareness of how easy and how much better eco-friendly products can be. It is this ethos which I want to highlight with the products we have been sent from SaveMoneyCutCarbon this month.

Why should I try swapping something to be plastic free?

It's no secret that right now our whole world is drowning in plastic, quite literally. Studies have found plastic is now in our air which we breathe, microplastics are in our water, soil and even our food. It is a problem, one which is helping cause the environmental crisis we now find ourselves in. By cutting down our plastic use, less plastic products are used and that in turn tells big companies that they shouldn't make as many or hopefully at one point, any at all. This cut in single use plastic particularly will impact more than  microplastics not reaching our oceans, it reduces the carbon used to produce more and more over time. We need to be conscious of our own carbon footprints more than ever before and plastics push our carbon usage up with every use. As you can see above we have recently had a reduced plastic picnic, it only included two products with plastic packaging which are crisp packets and coconut roll snacks. This was thanks to many of our previous and current sustainable swaps including some from SaveMoneyCutCarbon! We ditched a whole bag of plastic waste by using alternatives which we can reuse over and over again. 

So where do I start?

Making the decision to ditch even just one single use plastic from your life is easier than you think. When you have decided to take part in Plastic Free July you can take a look at the products you use regularly, it can be anything from toothbrushes to anti-bacterial wipes or ditching plastic shopping bags for a reusable bag instead. 

I recommend choosing something you use in your daily life which you can easily swap for an alternative without having to change your habit of using that product itself. Of the products from our SaveMoneyCutCarbon July planet positive box I would say the best option to begin would be any of  the three Cheeky Panda products. 

Starting with the easiest switch which I think would be the Bamboo Kitchen Paper. We have all seen the ads of paper roll brands claiming they can absorb more than the others, ones which claim to do better for longer at cleaning up. However we never see the claim to be plastic free, better for the environment without compromising on absorbency. That is what you get with the Cheeky Panda Kitchen Paper, the quality and absorbency levels are better than other brands we have used, they come wrapped in a recyclable paper packaging which is better for the environment and ditches the usual plastic packaging, helping you to ditch a bit of your plastic waste without any effort at all. 

Another great swap for people who prefer to use wipes over kitchen paper is the Cheeky Panda bamboo anti-bacterial surface wipes and the handy wipes. We all get how easy it is to grab a wipe and clean up a surface, no added bottles needed, no additional cloths. However not everyone knows that wipes are generally made of up to 90% plastic! Each wipe contains plastic, the packaging is plastic and they are a single use product. This is not the case with Cheeky Panda wipes at all, they are made of sustainable bamboo and even come in biodegradable packaging. We have found these wipes to be super soft and they even smell fantastic so your not giving up any quality or convience by making this swap, your simply choosing better for the planet.

I particularly love the Cheeky Panda handy wipes which have made it into our summer grab and go bag, full of essentials we need out and about with three children during the summer. They make the perfect addition to allow me to quickly and effectively clean busy touch points or even tables when we stop outdoors or on public transport.

What if I don't use these products?

Not everyone uses kitchen paper or wipes in their homes or daily lives, if you don't then that is great! There are still some really good swaps you can make to cut down your plastic use, one we used right from the start of our plastic free journey is reusable shopping bags! The Kind Bag reusable compact bag is just perfect for keeping with you in your car, handbag or near your front door. By keeping the bag handy you will be more likely to remember to grab it when your off out. The extra great thing about Kind Bag's is that the brand use recycled plastic to make up their bags, this means your not only saving plastic from being used at shops but your also stopping plastic waste going to landfill and reaching our oceans. Two wins from one small and handy swap, perfect!

Another big area of plastic waste in most households is cling film, I find that particularly in summer I see many people using cling film since taking packed lunches on days out becomes more normal. The same is said at BBQ's and of course the warmer days mean we eat later or less than during colder months. SaveMoneyCutCarbon have two products which are the perfect swap to help you ditch the cling film this summer, the first is one we already love and shared lots about earlier this year. That is Stasher Bag's, we have recently used them on a picnic to help ditch the plastic waste we created on our day out. 

The other is a product that I simply love the name of, it sums up how I wish I could tell people to be more plastic free and that is Non Plastic Beach's Boll**ks to cling film which are silicone food covers. They come in a pack of 6 sizes. These silicone covers are perfect for cups, pots, small plates and so much more. We used them on our picnic to cover over a small glass pot we reuse after eating the cheesecake it contained along with a bowl that contained some pasta. We also used both to bring back food that wasn't eat which meant we could put it in our compost bin instead of the already full bins at the park.  

There is one final product which came in our Planet Positive box from SaveMoneyCutCarbon which I can honestly say I had never thought too much about, natural sustainable firelighters from Fire Up. Now we don't have a fire, fire pit or even a BBQ so we are actually passing this pack onto a friend who is always looking for better eco products too. However I wanted to share how little thought I have ever put into what we use to light BBQ's or create a fire, many people use firelighters but I have never had a conversation about if they are sustainable or even natural. In fact I haven't even seen either mentioned on packaging before. Making the choice to use a sustainable and natural product over the readily available products we see commonly used will always impact the earth. 

So what is the benefit of using Fire Up natural sustainable firelighters? 
  • There is no petroleum
  • Fossil fuel free
  • Non toxic
  • They can be used indoors and outdoors
  • No added chemicals 
  • Made with FSC certified wood mix
  • No plastic
  • Have a low odour
  • They are compostable 
  • They are safe to cook food with
  • Carbon Neutral (they produce no carbon emissions)  

We have loved all of this months swaps without question, in fact there hasn't been one that we have found difficult to use or that we haven't used regularly. Which is why I feel they would all make the perfect summer swaps for anyone who uses these products regardless of if they have made eco-friendly swaps before or if this is their first experience through Plastic Free July. 

I would love to know if you have made any swaps this month? 
Or if your now planning to make a swap which of these products would make a great swap in your life?


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