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06th Mar 2022

Seven eco-friendly household and beauty products I’m using for plastic free Lent

Melissa Carton

This Lent I’m giving up plastic.

My family and I are giving up plastic for Lent.

I’m not expecting it to be easy peasy to any step towards being completely zero waste is a step in the right direction.

I’ve had some people ask me what kind of products are I using to replace plastic items or at least replace plastic items that can’t be recycled, so below I’ve put together a list of seven products and brands that I’m using for my plastic free Lent.

1) Stasher bags

These are so handy, I honestly don’t know how a lived without mine. I will often bring a sandwich or a pastry into work, but I find lunchboxes are just too bulky and don’t fit in my laptop bag.

The reusable silicone bags are not only a great way to cut down on using single use resealable bags but they are also dishwasher and microwave safe.

Stasher bags come in different shapes and sizes but the version pictured above is €17.90 from the official Stasher website but I picked mine up at the Zero Waste Festival in Dublin so you should be able to find them in any Irish zero waste store.

2) The entire LUSH naked range

If you’ve read any of my beauty articles before you’ll know that I am a big fan of LUSH. Their shampoo bars are one of their best known products and one of the first things I ever bought from LUSH but many people aren’t aware of just how many ‘naked’ or plastic free products they have.

In the last few months I’ve switched from my usually body washes and skincare products to LUSH’s solid bars of shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser, shower gel and even perfume.

3) Metal straws

A lot of food establishments have been actively trying to get rid of disposable straws from their restaurants, but sometimes straws are necessary so what do we do then?

Metal straws are a great alternative and they are something that my family and I have started to carry with us when we’re out and about.

They can easily be bought online (though most Irish shops have begun stocking them) and you can also find bamboo and glass versions too.

4) Stojo Cup

Reusable coffee cups have shot up in popularity over the last couple of years, but they can be tricky to carry if you’re not bringing a bag out with you.

Last month I bought a Stojo cup (usually around €13) and it’s a complete game changer. The cup is completely collapsible so you can easily stick it in your coat pocket before you go out. It also has a round drinking hole which means you can fit a straw if you’re a fan of iced coffee.

5) Bamboo toothbrush

It’s recommended by dentists that we all change toothbrushes every couple of months but with most toothbrushes being made from hard plastic it means thousands of them end up in landfill every year.

Hoping to cut back on this waste within my own family we’ve made the switch to Bambooth toothbrushes, one of many varieties of bamboo brushes. Adult Bambooth brushes cost €5.70, while their child sized brushes are priced at €5.15.

6) Dr Bronner’s household cleaners

Now I know what you’re thinking, that looks like a plastic bottle. Yes, Dr Bronner’s comes in a plastic bottle but it ultimately cuts back on plastic waste because it lasts so long.

I’ve had a bottle of multipurpose liquid castile soap from Dr Bronner’s for a year now, and even though I use it to clean everything in the house from the cooker to the shower I still have half a bottle left.

It’s also made from natural ingredients, so it’s safe to use on surfaces like high chairs that young children will be eating from.

7) String bag

I remember my grandmother having this kind of shopping bag, and having used one myself I can see why.

Reusable shopping bags have been doing the rounds for a while, but I find a lot of fabric totes don’t carry a lot of shopping.

These string bags on the other hand stretch for maximum grocery buying.