Many of us are worried about climate change and our effect on the environment. One of the easiest ways in which we can help reduce our carbon footprint and use of the earth’s resources is to live more sustainably in our day to day life.
Shopping zero waste and plastic free is now becoming easier than ever and doesn’t have to be expensive, I’ll show you how. And if you want to avoid reading about it – I’ve made this blog post into a youtube video – just scroll down to watch!
Why does going plastic free matter?
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation predicts there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050, so cutting down on plastic is a great way to help the environment.
It’s not always easy though. There are still lots of things that come wrapped in single use plastic or plastic packaging and it can be hard to find alternatives. Also, many people just don’t know where to start, get overwhelmed and give up. That’s why I decided to share how I do a zero waste shop at my local supermarket, to show how it can be easy and budget friendly.
Plastic is a huge problem to the planet. Giant garbage patches (one twice the size of Texas) can be found floating around in the oceans. 50% of the plastic we use, is only used once and then thrown away. And for those of us that recycle our plastic, I’ve got more bad news – according to an investigative report by The Guardian less than 10% of that plastic gets recycled.
So how can you find Plastic Free shops online?
Most people don’t have a zero-waste or plastic free shop nearby, and having a plastic-free kitchen, bathroom and home might seem difficult. But there has been a huge growth in affordable, online plastic-free shops
I spent hours researching the best and most affordable plastic-free and zero waste websites.
I’ve done the research so you don’t have to! I’ve found the best websites for groceries, household essentials and bathroom products online.
My main criteria were making sure there was plenty of choices and you aren’t paying more then you would if you were shopping in the city centre. I hope you find it a useful list and it inspires you to make some changes next time you need to buy something new.
As a minimalist, I don’t encourage buying things you don’t need so always ask yourself if you really need what you want or if you will really value and use it. Scroll down to find my favourite plastic free shops based in the U.K.
The best online plastic-free and zero waste stores
I’ve started of with places where you can also pick up food and grocery items, followed by home, fashion and health & beauty.
This is my go-to for the cheapest recycled, compostable loo roll. I also get huge bulk boxes of washing up liquid (15l) and laundry detergent which reduces my overall waste. They also have a complete plastic-free category making it easy to see what is on offer. I also love picking up good quality chocolate and my decaf coffee from here. While I can get these locally it helps top up my order to get free delivery over £50!
I also like to pick up store cupboard groceries from here that I can’t get plastic-free in my local supermarket. This is my main shop for when I can’t get what I need locally and because I often shop bulk, is cost-effective for me. If shopping in bulk is out of your budget, perhaps see if any of your friends will club together to get the benefits of a bulk order.
These guys produce something super hard to get hold of plastic-free – pasta! While I make my own or occasionally pick it up the bulk from my local zero waste store I know it’s not that easy for everyone. It is slightly higher in cost then the supermarket, but remember you can buy this in bulk and offer money off if you provide your own bags! They also have a wide variety of nuts, which I have struggled to find anywhere not packaged in plastic, even my local zero waste store.
What I love about this site is that it has the same items you would find in a large city centre or health food store which are impossible to find when you live away from those options. They also have tons of choice, over sixty different plastic free deodorants so you are sure to find something that works for you.
Recently I needed to get a new wooden soap dish holder as I started using shaving soap instead of shaving cream on my legs (yep, it exists!). I’m also on a budget so didn’t want to spend much so was pleased to stumble across this bargain for just three quid. I love that The Kind Store is a small, independently owned company and that they try and test every product in-house. They recently launched The Kind Box for ethical gifting which I might take advantage off over Christmas. I love how they make such an effort to weave their values into their business, from donating to charity to handwritten notes in each delivery. Highly recommended.
These guys have just come up on my radar as a sustainable grocery alternative. You pay a monthly membership fee and get wholesale prices up to 40% off the RRP and get a free delivery every month. I’m keen shop with them as they stock a lot of my favourite products, but they need to add in a plastic-free category for grocery items too to make it easier.
I’ve not shopped here yet, but they have recently announced their plan to go fully zero waste over the next few months, so well worth signing up to their newsletter to keep updated.
Full disclosure, I know the founder (Joe) of this website! Veo is a great alternative to Amazon and is the highest rated ethical retailer on Ethical Consumer. What’s interesting about Veo is they work with tons of independent businesses to help them grow and are completely vegan. Additionally, beyond looking at plastic waste they look at all areas in which they can create an earth-friendly business. Their carbon infrastructure is carbon neutral, as well as being a living wage employer and hold the fair tax mark. You can read more about why I think you should try and stop shopping at Amazon here.
For anyone wanting to find stylish sustainable lifestyle and fashion products, this is the place. Know the Origin has a vast range of stylish clothing for Men and Women, and top-rated as Ethical Consumer. If you do like fashion, or need a wardrobe refresh, this could be a great option for you. They also have a large section devoted to sustainable home, beauty and household items so is a great one-stop-shop for those of you that love a stylish home and look. Another great thing about Know the Origin was their blog, I especially liked their opinion piece on the recent TV programme on Channel for about the awful fast fashion brand Miss Guided. They wrote much more eloquently about it then I would.
I’m yet to shop at Acala as only just discovered them for this article. That said I had a look and love their zero waste DIY beauty kits which will make brilliant gifts. Additionally, they have lots of makeup options which are always hard to find in plastic-free. I’ve definitely bookmarked the website for if I need them in the future.
Another great website that allows you to shop by values (plastic-free, vegan, made in the UK) which I find so helpful when shopping online. As I’m a minimalist, for me, it’s more a place to shop for gifts. There are some great options to help start you on a zero waste journey, and lots of choices when it comes to the essentials.
I also love that all deliveries are carbon neutral and they have over 80% British brands on their website. Shopping with local, independent businesses like this is a great way to support a sustainable lifestyle.
Another huge choice for shopping, but for things for the home or gifts rather than groceries. What I liked about this is everything is affordable and useful. They have clearly put thought into what they decide to sell and I loved that there are some great alternatives here that even I hadn’t thought of yet, including a brilliant stationery and book section.
Again, the values of this business really come through, with committing to donating 1% of their profits to 1% for the planet.
My most important tip for shopping plastic-free
My motto when it comes to trying to shop more ethically and sustainably is ‘do what you can when you can’. Shopping on a budget is hard enough so don’t be hard on yourself and do your best.
If you have any websites, tips or ideas when it comes to trying to shop sustainably online I would love to hear from you. I recommend signing up to my newsletter to get more help in becoming more sustainable and earth-friendly!