A plastic free shopping guide made up of our favourite plastic free products that have become a permanent fixture in our lives and have made reducing waste easier
In his book Make Sure of Your Comrades Medal, Don Oliver advises runners to train for the 89km Ultra-marathon in biteable bites and chewable chunks. It’s sage advice that can be applied to just about anything new you take on; especially the [intimidating] task of reducing your waste and becoming plastic free. It’s how we approach going plastic free, a lifelong journey done in biteable bites and chewable chunks, much like how our plastic waste seems to accumulate.
Not every plastic free alternative has stuck, but over the years we have accumulated some plastic free gems which have quite simply changed our lives and heavily reduced our waste.
South African’s Guide to Climate Change by Sipho King and Sarah Wild
This is a brilliant educational and empowering book that is a practical guide to both understanding climate change and doing something about it within a South African context. It’s important to understand climate change from a local level – how it affects you. There’s also plenty of tips to reduce your waste and consumption along with helpful local resources.
Eat to Save The Planet by Annie Bell
This book teaches you how to eat in a way that’s better for the planet. It’s known as the Planetary Diet and treats our health and the environment as a common agenda. It tells us how we should eat not only to maximise our good health, but also to halt the steady degradation of the planet at the same time. Bell goes into what it looks like – you don’t have to completely cut out animal products – and shares 100 recipes and a meal plan to help you get started.
Join The Greener Revolution by Ollie Hunter
This is a bright and fun book that shares 30 easy ways to live and eat sustainably from an individual level all the way to a global level. His tips range from homemade cleaning solutions to recipes to decorating your home better. It makes an intimidating subject fun, interesting and doable.
Kitchen & home
I use my Silpat mat multiple times per week. It’s fantastic for baking, especially crisp veggie chips, brilliant for freezing fruit for smoothies and making chocolate bark or brittle as everything seamlessly peels off. It also saves you on single use baking paper.
These spaza dish covers are one of my most used plastic free alternatives. They come in different sizes and shapes allowing you to cover just about any bowl instead of using clingwrap. They’re elasticized so they give you a snug fit and don’t fall off. I will let you in on their shining application – as a cover for dough while it rises. It’s what I use them most for, whether I’m rising dough for an hour or overnight.
The Lékué silicone cover is another favorite find. I prefer using it to cover dishes that have something wet like hummus or confit. However, where I love it best is for covering open melons – it stretches over them and hermetically seals them, which helps preserve freshness and aromas. They’re also really easy to wash.
Silicone bags are genius really. My Stasher bags are usually in the freezer filled with fruit I’ve prepped for smoothies; but I also like using them to store nuts and snacks that can be popped into a bag; and I’ve even used them to sous vide trout as they’re oven safe.
Lékué reusable silicone bags stand, have a wider mouth and a sealing strip that is completely removable. I love them for storing soups, sauces and herbs to keep them fresh.
Everything is better in glass and out of all the reusable straws we’ve tried, glass is without a doubt tops. We love the Restraw glass straws which come in different shapes and thicknesses.
For when you need disposable
There are times when you need disposable and for those times If You Care is our go to brand. Their muffin liners are the best (not a crumb gets left on the wrapper). They also make baking paper, paper bags, bin liners and coffee filters which are all fully biodegradable.
Daily Peach Reusable Pads
They sell two types of pads – cotton and bamboo which both come in small and medium sizes. The cotton is more exfoliating and good for long lasting foundations and matte lipsticks, whereas the bamboo is more gentle and good for eye makeup and toning. I have both and use them daily, but if you want to start with one, the green bamboo are my favorite.
Smittens Cleansing Mitt
Smittens are microfibre mittens that deep cleanse your skin in seconds using nothing but warm water. They have what they call tiny smart fibres which can absorb the finest, microscopic particles of oil, dead skin, impurities and even bacteria. They also help exfoliate your skin gently. I use them to wash my face in the morning when I prefer just using water and it also helps remove any residual makeup.
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Zissy is the co-founder of Nutreats. She likes to make things, do things and wear things.