Design: Replacing Plastics with Objects of Desire

Ultimately, if we’re being very honest we all know that plastic is not good for the environment. Every time we grab a 5p bag at the supermarket, there’s a tiny bit of guilt but… it just makes life easier sometimes.

To make the ‘eco-friendly’ choice the common choice, in my mind the green option needs to either a) be easier or b) more attractive. To that end, I’ve been looking at options that are not only better for the environment but are more aesthetically pleasing too.


The Humble Toothbrush

The Humble Brush handle is made out of 100% biodegradable bamboo – the fastest growing plant on earth. Whilst the bristles are still nylon, it degrades faster than other types. So it still cleans your teeth well and given it’s from Sweden – it has genuine Scandi credentials. It’s also very cool that every Humble Brush sold helps children in need participate in a comprehensive preventive oral care program.

The Beautiful KeepCup

Reusable cups mean less litter in my car, and consequently less disposable cups (and lids) ending up in landfill. The lid is made from a polypropylene but the main body is glass and recyclable. Lots of the larger coffee shops offer a discount to people using reusable cups so it’s win win.

Stainless Steel Drinking Straws

I couldn’t work out the allure of drinking straws given that most places would give you a plastic cup. Does a straw really make that much difference? To me, the value of these is slightly different. Some places don’t give out straws at all. This is a pain when your toddler is rubbish at drinking from open cups and you’ve left their sip cup at home (again).

Natural Bristle Dish Washing Brush

These have bristles made from plant fibres and the heads are replaceable and then compostable – massively extending the life span of the product and it’s green credentials. Why is it an improvement on the plastic monstrosity we pick up at IKEA? It’s actually better at washing dishes and it looks a lot nicer to boot. We’re not about to be hiding our dish brush in the cupboard so it’s on view all the time – looks are important.

LUSH Seanik Shampoo Bar with Tin

My bathroom is littered with a myriad of plastic bottles and I’m forever trying to cut down on the clutter. I’m pretty fussy about my shampoo but (after some great help from Lush on Twitter) I’ve found this shampoo bar with sea salt. Given I usually spray that on my hair this seems like a good addition for me.

Reusable sandwich wraps

Clingfilm is actually horrible. It’s hard to unroll and it forever sticks to the wrong place. Enter – ‘The Wrapper‘.

A reusable sandwich wrap – made in Scotland. Which actually leads to a cool story.

The owner of re-wrap it was really struggling to find a manufacturer in Scotland but eventually contacted Kilmarnock Prison! The inmates learn a skill, gain a sewing qualification and consequently improve their chances of employment when they are released. One guy even set up his own curtain making company with the skills he learned!

Glass Storage jars

Obviously, glass jars are a lot more attractive than bags of pasta in the kitchen. Now – admittedly, the supermarket is a very convenient place to shop – but you do end up with a lot of packaging to get rid of. That in itself is a pain given how small the bins are now in Edinburgh. The alternative?

The very cool New Leaf Co-op over in Marchmount. You can get all kinds of things refilled – including many cleaning products – so just shop there instead and have a nicer shopping experience instead!

What are your top eco-friendly tips for the home? I’d love to hear from you!

Every Friday, I like to feature an illustration by the beautiful Alison Soye. This week is no exception and please check out more of her work over on Instagram!

PPS. This contains some Amazon affiliate links. Use them and I might get 5p! 

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1 Comment

  1. craftcartwright
    August 9, 2017 / 7:34 pm

    Ooo! I need the straws! We get through so many in our house. #thelistlink

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