This week marks the start of Plastic Free July. This initiative is part of a global movement to reduce plastic usage and pollution - an issue we feel strongly about at ELK.
We know that being eco-friendly isn't always straightforward, so here some tips from our Ethics & Sustainability Coordinator, Erika Martin, on how to reduce everyday plastic waste.
Use Beeswax Wraps Instead Of Plastic Cling Film Wrap
They are washable, reusable and can be used to store food in the kitchen as well as wrapping lunches and snacks for on the go. You can purchase them online or are easy to make with cotton fabric - Youtube is an excellent resource for tutorials.
Here are some tips on using and caring for your beeswax wraps.
Photo credit: The Wise House
Swap To Who Gives A Crap Toilet Paper
We use Who Gives A Crap toilet paper in our office, stores and warehouses. Who Gives A Crap toilet paper comes in a cardboard box, and each roll is wrapped in paper – so no plastic! And 50% of the profits are donated to help build toilets for those in need.
Photo Credit: Who Gives A Crap
Repurpose paper from shopping, newspapers, books (or your Who Gives A Crap toilet roll wrappers) to use as gift wrapping paper. Use natural twine instead of sticky tape and decorate with leaves or flowers. Check out Youtube videos for wrapping ideas. Get creative!
Make Your Own Reusable Shopping Bag
Take reusable shopping bags with you whenever you go shopping so that you can say no to single-use plastic bags. There is no single best type of reusable bag – the most important thing is to reuse them as many times as possible!
If you are handy with a sewing machine and have some old fabric lying around, there are lots of patterns available online to make your own bags.
Browse through Pinterest for different sewing patterns and ideas.
We regularly sell Boomerang Bags at our ELK retail stores, crafted by local makers in Melbourne from our leftover materials.
Photo Credit: Boomerang Bags
Store Food Without Plastic
There are lots of ways to store food without plastic. Fresh herbs can be stored in glass jars with their stems in water on the bench or in the fridge. Or you can roll herbs in a tea towel and store in the refrigerator.
Bananas and other fruits can be frozen whole, and if you would like to store chopped fruit, silicone ziplock bags or glass containers both freeze well.
Photo Credit: Food 52
Plastic Free Tea
Did you know that there is a small amount of plastic in most teabags? Look for plastic-free tea bags or switch to drinking loose leaf tea with a metal tea ball or a teapot.
Did you know that you can make pots for growing seedlings from newspaper? Great for fast-growing seedlings. And the best thing is they can be planted directly into the soil, so the growing plant roots don’t get disturbed.
You could even upcycle your empty toilet roll tubes to make seedling pots!
Photo Source: HGTV
Buy Milk In Refillable Glass Bottles
Avoid plastic bottles by buying your milk in reusable glass bottles. Here at ELK we have switched to buying our full cream milk in refillable 1L glass bottles from Schultz Organic Dairy. Saint David Dairy in Fitzroy also offers a refillable 1L glass bottle option.