Posted by Jane Cook

Image: by Bernard Pras


The amount of waste we humans produce is astronomical!

There is nothing more damaging to our natural environment, our wildlife, and our health than us and our rubbish! We are generating too much waste and struggle to deal with this sustainably. 

Fortunately, we have recognised this lack of sustainability as a major problem and we are taking action to become a more eco-friendly planet. But is this too little too late? Studies show that only a very small portion of plastics produced are being recycled – the majority ends up in landfills, and worse, in our oceans.

So are we doing enough? What more can we do?

It is all too easy to think ‘what difference can I make?’ But if everyone takes action, we will together make a difference. If we all make small changes within our households to reduce, reuse and recycle, we can minimise our impact on the environment. We can live the Lithe Life!


Minimise Using Plastics

Over 300 million tons of plastic are produced each year worldwide… and at least 8 million tons of plastic ends up in our oceans each year!

Although some countries have now banned the sale of single-use plastics, they are still out there. What we can do in our everyday lives to stop the use of these and reduce waste.  Avoiding the likes of using plastic plates and cutlery, single-use plastic bags, plastic straws, we do not need to search far to find other economically viable options. Bamboo plates and cutlery, reusable steel straws, non-toxic silicone food bags - these are just a few of the great eco-friendly alternatives, so we have no excuse. These alternatives are extremely fashionable and easily accessible.


Choosing products with plastic-free packaging

When we go to the supermarket, we need to get into the habit of taking our reusable shopping bags, so we are not forced to use plastic bags. Cloth bags are popular, a lot of these are made of recycled materials as well. Mesh produce bags are perfect for this occasion.

We should also consider buying food in bulk, so we are buying fewer packaged items. So many items are packaged unnecessarily in plastic, or on polystyrene trays. Some retailers allow you to bring in your reusable containers. This is ideal and should be supported. If we all stop buying plastic-packaged food then eventually the suppliers will realise how vital this decision is and stop using plastic packaging and switch to a zero-waste alternative. 

At The Lithe Store, all packaging materials are compostable or recyclable.



Buying shampoo bars, instead of the traditional shampoo in plastic bottles; natural soap bars; bamboo cotton buds; dishwashing bars… there are plenty of eco-friendly alternatives out there. But not just in the packaging, we need to look at the ingredients that are in our products and ensure these too are eco-friendly.

Some cosmetics from lipsticks to sunscreens contain micro and nano plastics, known as microbeads. When washed off, these end up being swept down the drain and end up in the ocean. They are then digested by fish and eventually revolve back into our food chain. Not a nice thought! A great reason to read the labels showing the ingredients of the products we are using. There is a smartphone App now with which you scan the label and it lets you know whether microbeads are an ingredient.

The Lithe Store has a range of sustainable personal care products where you can have peace of mind knowing you are doing the right thing for our planet.



If we do have to buy plastic containers, or drink bottles, keep them – to be used again – multiple times.

Using reusable wraps for food is a terrific substitute for cling film or tin foil. Silicone food pouches are another functional eco-friendly food container that can be reused.

Just the smallest of changes like using wooden or stainless steel clothes pegs, rather than plastic, can make a difference if everybody does it. Stainless steel will last a lifetime and they produce zero waste!

Making our families and friends aware of the impact on the environment from our everyday habits, and asking them to do their bit for the environment can be immensely beneficial.



Many city councils are encouraging the recycling of plastics, paper and cardboard, glass, and metals. This seems great, but it doesn’t always work if we don’t do it or don’t do it properly. A lot of what could be recycled cannot be recycled due to contamination. This occurs when, for example, glass gets in with the paper or there are food scraps mixed in, or plastic bags. We only have to take a few minutes to ensure we get it right.

If we buy products with biodegradable packaging, we can recycle these into our home compost bins with our food waste.


What about Bioplastics?

Just about all plastics are made from fossil fuels, but there is a tiny amount that is made from natural materials like corn, potatoes, and cane sugar. These are called Bioplastics. Great! These must be the solution then? But, alas, no! They may very well biodegrade over time, but only if they are broken down into tiny particles and composted in a specific industrial facility at 65 degrees Celcius!

We should also look for clothing made of natural fabrics such as wool, hemp, or cotton – you may be surprised how much of the fibers from our clothing also end up being washed into the sea!



We must remember that it is not only the environment around us that is being destroyed by plastics but also our health! Plastics contain many additives – some to make the plastic solid, some to make the plastic soft and flexible, some to make it less flammable. Many of these additives are harmful to our health and yet traces of them are found in human urine and blood samples.

We need to make serious changes here… and we need to make them now!

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