What I’ve Learnt From Going Plastic Free For 24 Hours

What I’ve Learnt From Going Plastic Free For 24 Hours • Global Wake Cup #1dayplasticfree Challenge

*this post contains a gifted item

So last month I was invited by Global Wake Cup to take part in their challenge to go single-use plastic-free for 24 hours, and in all honesty, I thought it would be pretty easy. 

Boy was I wrong!

What I’ve Learnt From Going Plastic Free For 24 Hours • Global Wake Cup #1dayplasticfree Challenge

Sure I already use reusable cups (even when I’m in the house and not going anywhere) and have more tote bags than I can be bothered to count, including this one that they kindly gifted me with.

But what I didn’t realise was how much of the food I eat comes in single-use plastic packaging! 

Short of tinned products, almost nothing we had in the house wasn’t single use: chocolate wrappers, crisp packets, pasta pots, bread, cheese…even the fruit and veg are in bloody plastic wrappers! 

I know that sounds quite naive, but until now I’d not really paid much attention to what my food came in. 

Of course, I’ve always made sure to recycle anything I can, but somehow it hadn’t quite sunk in just how much unnecessary plastic we all use every single day. 

I’m quite lucky that our village still has a local market, where you can buy fresh fruit, veg, savouries and how made bread, and we try to buy from there as often as we can.

Not only is it supporting local traders and farmers, but there’s no plastic involved. 

What I’ve Learnt From Going Plastic Free For 24 Hours • Global Wake Cup #1dayplasticfree Challenge

The only problem is it’s only available once a week, and if the weathers bad they don’t turn up at all. When that happens you have to rely on the bigger supermarkets, where everything is in plastic. 

It’s been a real eye-opening experience doing this, it’s made me a lot more mindful about the products I buy and where I get them from. 

Every little change counts, and I’d encourage everyone to try this for a day to see how much plastic you actually use – even if you don’t think you use that much! 

Plus if you take part and sign up on their website, you’ll be entered into a prize draw worth £300; you can see the full details + enter here. 

It can be hard to know where to start when trying to cut back on the amount of plastic we use, so these are some of the things I’ve been trying to do more of recently to give you some inspiration. 

Tote Bags

I’ve been using tote bags for quite a while now, and I’ve built up a pretty big collection. 

But one of the things I always make sure to do is have at least one tote bag in Chris’s car for when we go shopping and another in whichever handbag I’m using that day. 

So even if I end up doing some unplanned shopping, I’ve always got a bag with me and I hopefully won’t need to buy any plastic ones.

Reusable Cups

Another item I have a huge collection of! 

I have a ton of different sized ones, from a full-sized Starbucks cup to my mini-sized KeepCup. I have different sized ones to make sure that I can still carry one even if I’m only using a small bag that day. 

Starbucks Reusable Coffee Mug

Plus I love using them when I’m in the house too; my Cath Kidston one is amazing at keeping drinks warm and since I’ve got a bad habit of forgetting about my drinks when I’m working, it’s a lifesaver! 

[Related Content: How To Make The Change To A More Eco-Friendly Lifestyle]

Buy Loose 

I try to buy as much loose fruit and vegetables as I can these days, but even then that isn’t easy as the bags they give you to put them are plastic too! 

I’ve actually just ordered these cotton mesh fruit bags off Amazon to take with me in future, which means I won’t need to use any plastic what so ever. 

Tulips in the Park • Nature • Nature Photography • Spring

They were only £8 and are eco-friendly and reusable, which is actually really good value. 

Grow Your Own

I’m not necessarily talking about growing your own fruit and vegetables here.

While that is something I want to do once I have my own house, I know it’s not going to be possible for most people; especially if you don’t live in the countryside. 

But something everyone can grow themselves are herbs. 

No matter how small your kitchen is, you can grow a few pots of herbs such as basil, coriander, mint, chives, sage, rosemary; which you can then use while cooking! 

Anyone should be able to grow them  – and this is coming from a girl who somehow managed to kill a cactus! 

[If you’re wanting to get started with growing your own herbs, this guide from the BBC is really helpful]

Jason and the Argan Oil Packageless Shampoo Bar • Zero Waste • No Plastic • Lush Cosmetics

Try Naked/Packagless Products 

I recently decided to try Lush’s packages shampoo bars a try and I’m not officially hooked. I’ve been using one called Jason and the Argan Oil and it’s perfect if you already love and use Rose Jam, as it smells exactly the same! 

I was really worried about them to lathering well, falling apart or being used up too quickly (especially for the price!) so I was really surprised when it ended up lathering better than my normal shampoo. 

Jason and the Argan Oil Packageless Shampoo Bar • Zero Waste • No Plastic • Lush Cosmetics

They last for a long time too, although I would definitely recommend getting a metal tin with it as it does stick to surfaces after use if not.

The first one I bought (without a tin) only lasted a few weeks before falling apart and it felt like a bit of a waste. 

But my second one (which I use a tin to keep it in) has lasted nearly two months now and it looks like hardly any of it has been used. 

Although keep in mind that I have very short hair… 

Jason and the Argan Oil Packageless Shampoo Bar • Zero Waste • No Plastic • Lush Cosmetics

Even if you can only change one little thing about your plastic use, you’re still doing something to help. 

I see a lot of people on social media being quite aggressive and nasty to other people for not doing absolutely everything, but the truth is not everyone is able to make huge changes straight away. 

Being mindful about plastic waste, the environment and your own personal footprint is a great start, and we should be helping and encouraging everyone to do whatever they can to make a difference! 

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What I've Learnt From Going Plastic Free For 24 Hours

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  • Anneka says:

    Great post Jade! It is so hard to stay away from single-use plastics in everyday life but at least we are trying to do our bit with the small things. I’m definitely going to take a look at the mesh fruit/veg bags you suggested – I’ve been looking for similar affordable bags for ages! Keep up the hard work lovely.

    Peace and love,
    Anneka @ New Shades of Hippy

  • It really is crazy how much plastic we go through in day to day life! At first I was thinking , I could do that! But as I read on I realized, like you, that I use a lot more plastic then I realized! Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I really need to make more of an effort in this department!

  • Nyxinked says:

    I’ve just signed up for this thanks to you! I’ve been meaning to do this for weeks but never got around to it. So, while I’m at home in my home town over the weekend (where we also have a market) I’m going to take the challenge!

    Thank you for the inspiration and thank you for saving the planet.

    P.S; I also tend to use my trusty reusable Ommm Sloth travel mug from Lidl, even when I’m just in the house.

    – Nyxie


  • Greatness Reinvented says:

    Great post with some top tips. We have been using reusable coffee cups for a while now which does help, but you are right pretty much everything comes in plastic. However in the supermarket we also buy loose and don’t use the plastic bags.

    We just need to bring back the old fashioned milk deliveries where all your dairy etc came in glass that was collected washed and reused every day.

    On the site along with our posts on a similar theme we have been moving over to T-Shirts made from recycled plastic bottles.

    GR | https://www.thegreat.uk/product-tag/eco-t-shirts/

  • I really like this post 🙂
    And I so agree with you on how much food has plastic packaging and how much of a shock it is when you notice it! I’ve been trying to do my bit to reduce the plastic I use over the last few months and sometimes it is so unavoidable.

  • I wish more big companies would give us the choice to be more plastic free. Sounds like you did immensely well with the challenge x

  • This post has really opened my eyes. I honestly have NEVER considered the fact that each chocolate bar, each packet of crisps, each yoghurt and things like that are single use plastic. I mean come ON, how naive can I be?

    When you order food online for delivery it’s so difficult because you have no control. Home delivery for groceries is a great option for a bunch of reasons and I like that you can now also untick the plastic bag option which, thinking about it now, I’ll probably do in future. If it takes a little longer to get the shopping in because everything is individual then so be it.

    We recycle a lot in our house, we have done for years, which is good but there’s definitely so much more I/we could be doing. As i work from home I don’t ever go to Starbucks or anywhere like that so I don’t use the plastic cups. The only time I ever do is if I get a takeaway on occasion.


  • This was such an interesting post Jade, it definitely sounds like an eye-opening experience! I really want to do more when it comes to using less plastic, those mesh fruit/veg bags sound super handy so I’ll definitely look into those. Loved reading this xx

    Elin | https://myblurredworld.com

  • Victoria Austin says:

    Great post Jade (love the photo of the tulips!) single use plastic is so hard to avoid. It does bug me the amount that is used in food packaging, we do try to recycle stuff here though. Back when we’d get plastic bags from supermarkets we’d put them into a bag of bags to re-use them as well. Ps. I hope this comment doesn’t post 3 times it keeps coming up with an error message when I try to reply.

  • arun says:

    Same thing I did last month. I am trying to reduce my use of plastics. And I had never given consideration this much we are using, till I started. It was tough , but I am proud I am doing my best.

  • This was what I was telling my friend the other day. It is unbelivable how much plastic there is in our world. How much we use it on a dayly bases. How much of our food is packed in it. For few years now my family has reduced the use of plastic by 80%, we grown most of our veggies, try to avoid plastic in anything we can. It is such a hard thing to do. Love to post.

  • These are some fantastic ways to reduce the amount of plastic we use! I also love Lush shampoo bars. I always carry a tote bag (or two) in my bag, but one thing I’m not so good at remembering to bring is a reusable cup! I do use reusable water bottles though.

  • Michelle says:

    I’m guilty of not thinking too much about what my food comes in, but I’m making some small changes. I’ve really focused on cutting down my plastic bottle use by using my own. I definitely need to invest in some mesh bags for loose fruit and try some farmer’s markets. Love the Lush shampoo bars and have found despite my long hair mine last for 5 months or more.

  • splitthenightj says:

    I had the same thought as you. I thought I didn’t use a lot of single use plastic but most groceries come in plastic bags. I want to try this challenge to get a better picture of how I can use less plastic every day.

  • I get all my toiletries from Lush and dental care from Georganics! I try and buy loose and always take a bag but it so much harder than you realise!

    Lola Mia x

  • Speaking Bipolar says:

    It’s sad how much garbage we produce. I read recently that the average American produces nearly 300 pounds of plastic garbage each year! My boss laughs at me because I bring my recyclables home because we don’t have a recycling bin at the office. Thanks for sharing!

  • Michelle says:

    I never thought about the small things such as candy wrappers! This would be really hard for me. I try to use reusable bags at the grocery store, but I end up forgetting them in my car. Everything seems to be plastic now. Great post!!

  • This sounds way harder than I thought it would be!! But honestly, this is so awesome that you did this! There is just so much plastic and waste in the world, I’d love to try to reduce all of the things that go into landfills everyday. You’ve definitely inspired me to try to live more plastic-free and try to use more reusable items (I have soooo many tote bags that are just begging to be used!) Thanks for the awesome post and the inspiration!!

    Emily @ http://www.thatweirdgirllife.com

  • Kim says:

    Great post Jade. It’s shocking how much one-year plastic we use, especially in chain supermarkets. I hadn’t given much thought to the smaller items like sweets wrappers though! I’ve been using resuable bags and drinks bottles for years now. Every little bit helps. 😊

  • Lellalee says:

    This is a really thought-provoking post. We try to reduce our plastic waste in the home – we’re huge fans of the Lush shop, we tend to use their shampoos and conditioners – they’re just amazing! It’s only when you really sit and think that you realise just how much plastic you use in a day. Well done for accepting the challenge! xxx

  • ktkinnes says:

    Some great advice for reducing plastic consumption! I changed a few months back to a solid deodorant bar from Lush, as well as reusable cotton wool pads that I can stick in the washing machine with my usual laundry. It’s crazy when I stop and think how many of those plastic bags I’ve saved by not buying more cotton wool!

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