The end of June 2019 marked the return of the world’s largest festival of contemporary music and arts at a place where you will see many large charities such as Water Aid and Greenpeace. But where on Earth would you be more likely to be heard about something environmental? You’ve got it, Glastonbury Festival. And one man did just that. Sir David Attenborough made a surprise appearance taking centre stage – talking to thousands of people about one thing. The one thing that is now at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Plastic.
“Now this great festival has gone plastic-free,” he said. “That is more than a million bottles of water have not been drunk by you in plastic. Thank you! Thank you!”
“The ocean covers two-thirds of this planet of ours … land only covers one-third of the globe. There are seven great continents on which we human beings live. Each of them has its own marvellous creatures – birds and mammals, animals of all kinds. Each of them has its own glory, each of them has its own problems.” This was part of what he said on stage to a crowd of hot and sweaty festival-goers.
This has made me think that we need to change even more and I thought I wanted to show you how, as a consumer, I’ve changed the way I live my life as well as show you how you can too with some simple quick wins. Saving you money, saving the planet and having something nice to look at too.
Since I can remember, I’ve always used antiperspirant either in a spray bottle or a plastic roll-on tube. These have always been a lifesaver on hot days. But actually, they do a lot of harm to our environment and ourselves.
Pressurised spray cans especially deodorant ones contain high levels of propellants which does a lot of harm to the environment. Have you ever wondered what is still left in that can when it no longer sprays?
Unfortunately, the chemicals that are still in that bottle makes it non-recyclable. What’s more, these pressurised cans lead to increased packaging, increasing the amount of rubbish that enters our landfills and harming our planet. Snowball effect!
Therefore one way I have managed to reduce this consumption is Nuud.
“Nuud is an all-natural and vegan deodorant.”
There are plenty of things that you will not find in Nuud such as aluminium.
The intense process of retrieving aluminium from its ore, uses immense power and energy and it’s also known as being the most common water pollutant and this is one of the reasons why Nuud is bettering our ecosystem and the life in our waters.
There are also no artificial fragrances, no parabens and in their own words, ‘no crap’.
So for a small €12, you can get yourself a 15ml bottle that could last you up to 6 weeks. This longevity is down to its concentration. You’ll only need to apply a pea size about (per pit) every 2 to 3 days. It’s not a spray, it’s a cream.
What’s even better is that the packaging is made from recycled materials in the form of bioplastic derived from sugar cane. Not a single piece of plastic insight. And to be fair it not a bad looking piece of packaging design either. Nuud’s convenient size also makes it perfect for air travel.
Their website is a source of nice simple user experience and clever marketing.
Moving on, another way to save on plastic consumption is switching to toothpaste in a jar rather than a plastic tube.
Meet Georganics all-natural toothpaste.
They use natural ingredients in every product they produce and avoid the synthetic chemicals that have been proven not to be very good for both our health and the environment. What’s more, they use packaging that is minimal-waste. They ensure that these process values are their strongest commitment to improving the way of life and the environment.
As well as the deodorant, toothpaste is something that I’ve had for all my life. I’m not sure how many tubes of toothpaste I’ve used, but I am sure it’s in the thousands which means I’ve taken all those tubes to landfill and it’s polluting this planet. What I can tell you is that Georganics marketing campaigns are top-notch and allows you to buy into it.
There are so many different toothpaste brands to choose from so making yourself heard can be difficult. This is amplified by celebs that endorse toothpaste telling you if you buy that toothpaste you’ll be like them and the companies that dominate those is Colgate and Oral-B. I bet you didn’t know that Colgate used to do ready meals?
Yes! You’ve seen it! It’s strange and the power of their current brand and looking back at that photo you might think – “Err!!! Why would you eat a mint flavoured Lasagna?”
Another unlikely brand that tapped into a different market is Yo-Sushi! They have recently branched out into hospitality in the form of Yotel.
Enough about brands and their wild adventures… Georganics an all-natural toothpaste has been produced to save all that hassle and make you become a better you (a person who is thinking about the environment). What’s also good with this is that the packaging is glass and wood, with a cardboard packaging. With the paste, you’ll be able to place 100gs in a pot to take on trips instead of buying other travel-sized versions adding to more waste.
With looking at the packaging, it’s simple and stylish making you feel that you are saving the environment every time you’re using it. To be honest with you, you are!
Lush is another brand that has my heart. They have lots of recycled or recyclable packaging on their shelves. They swear by their mantra of “ Approximately half of our products can be taken home with you with zero packaging.” This means they save “ 6 million less plastic bottles, globally, from selling shampoo bars alone”.
I love these shampoo bars. Not only do they smell great, but they also clean your hair and are super environmentally friendly with absolutely ZERO plastic waste. Lush goes further and recycle 90% of their products that are packaged as recycled. If you do look at the packaging that Lush has to offer it’s durable, light and says exactly what it is in the tin clear and concise.
Something I have learned only very recently is that there are materials that we think are fine to use but contain plastics. What are these products I hear you say?
Wet Wipes. There are hundreds of wet wipe brands out there. There are wet wipes for all sort of domestic chores such as cleaning your kitchen counter right to specific wipes to clean your dog’s eyes and ears.
There are wet wipes that are pure and very very kind to your baby’s bottom such as Water Wipes.
Water Wipes state on their packaging (which on reflection is true – bar a few things) is made from 99.9% water and 0.1% grapefruit seed extract. You think that’s all and the wipes are made from cotton of some sort. Unfortunately, this is wrong. Nearly 80% of most wipes, including Water Wipes, are made of plastic. You’ll even find “flushable” wipes get clogged up in the sewage pipes. This gets filtered through into our water supply and eventually end up on landfill anyway.
In the long term, we need to know what’s in things. Especially in such essential items as wet wipes. it shouldn’t be hard to place a well-designed piece on the wet wipe packaging to state that this product contains plastic. This will give us a choice. If you feel you need to use them, I’m not saying don’t, we should just be able to know and have a choice. Ignorance is bliss.
But the fight for this is nearly over. In approximately two years time EU Legislation will take effect forcing wet wipe producers to provide clear information relating to their environmental impact. Don’t worry we will see this in the UK regardless of whether we leave the EU. Instead of using wet wipes use reusable wipes such as a flannel.
In all these examples, the packaging might make you think differently to a certain type of product. With this in mind, I feel much better for helping the world out slightly with some of the products I buy and use.
At Fifteen we do our part to help the environment too. We work with printers who use 100% renewable energy and even recycled stock across a wide range of products – from an exhibition stand to a printed brochure.