Out of 10, how environmentally friendly are you? It’s okay if you’re not 10 out of 10, generally, most people aren’t. But what you do from this moment on means you’re one step closer to helping the environment or a step closer to realising there’s a serious problem.

According to the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature)  over 95 per cent of plastic packaging is discarded after a single use, and around 85 per cent of Australian seabirds are affected by plastic pollution. Australia is a beautiful country because of our wildlife and environment, and it’s time to protect and nourish it while we still can.

Aqua’s hit song, Barbie Girl was wrong, life in plastic is definitely not fantastic. So here’s a list of 10 plastic-free items you can use over and over again which will not only save you money but help save the environment.

Shampoo Bars

This toffee scented shampoo bar from Lush will have you screaming, ‘Honey I washed my hair’. Photo: Emma McKnight

Did you know that around 552 million shampoo bottles could be ending up in landfill every year? That’s insane, but luckily Lush has a solution, it’s a shampoo bar. Add water and lather up so you have enough to wash your hair. When finished, put the bar on a soap dish so it can dry and be ready for the next wash.

Straws, straws and more straws

Bamboo, seaweed, pasta, silicone, and metal. What do they have in common? They’ve been made into straws, which gives consumers an eco-friendly alternative to the regular plastic straw. Here are two great straw alternatives that won’t break the bank.


Did you know that in 2017 Americans used 390 million straws daily? That’s more than what the population was at that time (fun fact: it was 325.7 million).

Disabled people rely on plastic straws, so a complete ban them is not the ideal solution, it is therefore on those who do have the ability to use an alternative, reusable options to choose to do so of our own volition. To find out why alternatives don’t work for parts of the disabled community check out Sarah Packwood‘s infographic below.

Photo: Sarah Packwood

Beeswax Wraps

Stop buying those plastic sandwich wraps from your local grocery store and swap them over for some beeswax wraps. Don’t be fooled by their price, beeswax wraps are a great investment and will last a long time, which will eventually save you money down the track.

Pouches upon pouches

You’re probably thinking, ‘well beeswax wraps sound great, but you can’t store yoghurt in a wrap’. Not to worry, try a food pouch. Seriously try it, you can put a range of things into the pouch, from salad dressing to custard, to toiletries, the possibilities are endless.

Who said they were just for babies?

Coffee Cups

You knew this was coming, didn’t you? Join the movement and buy yourself a reusable coffee cup that will allow you to sip your beverage in style, whilst helping the environment in the process. They’re affordable, handy, and you can even design your own, check it out.

Shopping Bags

If you want to stop paying 15 cents every time you stop because you didn’t bring a bag, keep these trolley bags handy. When you’re ready to shop til you drop grab your bags and unload them in the trolley, but be warned you’ll probably get some looks from some envious shoppers who wished they had your bags. Not only will you make your shopping experience easier for yourself, but you’ll also do the same for the check out workers who will scan and pack your groceries. It’s a win-win situation.


If you still use your clothesline, stainless steel pegs are a great alternative to plastic pegs to hang up clothes. But if you’re like me and don’t have one that’s cool too, you can use these pegs as food sealers, filing clips or even a bookmark (I haven’t tested the last one, do it at your own risk).

Bamboo Toothbrush

Get ready to make those pearly whites spark from joy by using a bamboo toothbrush. It’s cute, cheap, biodegradable and it won’t take over 400 years to decompose.

Tea Infuser

Get ready to spill the tea into your cup with a cute tea infuser.  Teabags are some of the most avoidable waste. Many tea bags actually contain plastic, and some are not recyclable. To make things easier and to save money, buy a tea infuser for yourself or a friend. It’s efficient and will save you the hassle of accidentally staining your kitchen bench because you left the tea bag out.

Toothpaste Tablets

The most quirky product on this list is toothpaste tablets. Simply pop one in your mouth, chew and brush your teeth normally with a wet toothbrush and it instantly becomes toothpaste which will keep your teeth squeaky clean and smelling refreshed. This product is a great way to reduce the impact plastic tubes have on the environment as 1 billion are thrown out each year.


These products are a few easy ways you can help the environment. Small changes make huge differences, and you don’t have to spend a fortune to do so.