Let's start with something we use everyday, like soap. It is amazing how committing to this small change makes a big difference due to the factor called "regular use".
IMHO, change difficulty rating - Easy! :)
>> DISCLAIMER: This blog's aim is to share experience of small changes I've made to reduce plastic and other waste in hopes to contribute at least a tiny bit to the Planet's health. All opinions expressed are my own and I have no affiliation with any of the mentioned brands. It is just an experience of an average person with a humble salary living in Cork. <<
The first change I've made was from liquid soap to soap bars in my bathroom.
I do use soap a lot and I must confess that I do like till this point liquid soap as it is mostly mess free. Also I have quite sensitive skin and most days I have pole training, so going crazy with hand creams would not be an option. Therefore, that liquid soap was usually containing moisturising cream, so I my hands don't dry out.
Such soap was also more expensive, around 5-6 EUR per bottle at least. And I would need a new bottle every 2-4 weeks depending on the size.
Bottom line, on average I would throw out about 16 plastic bottles a year that are recycable, but we all know that only small amount gets actually recycled. Doesn't sound like much, but add another 16 bottles from another bathroom and kitchen, in the end we get 48 bottles from just one household. And that's is a rather big bin bag of trash.
So a recap if I use liquid soap for a year.
> About 48 bottles used and wasted;
> About 192 EUR spent on soap with average price of 4 EUR per bottle;
> Some brands have really nice soaps with moisturisers for dry skin;
> Less mess;
> Looks pretty.
So an obvious answer would be eliminate plastic bottle waste at all and start using soap bars instead. It was an easy switch and not costly at all.
Soap bars can be found mostly in carton packaging in every supermarket and shops like Deals or EuroGiant starting from 1,49 EUR per bar. Then there is one-time investment in a soap dish with a starting price of the same 1,49 EUR and up depending on your preferences.
Being picky with my cosmetics in terms of ingredients and looks (I do like colour matching in my bathroom ^_^), I went a bit further to look for cruelty free and palm oil free soaps in paper packaging that are suitable for sensitive skin.
Living in Blackpool, (Cork) I found such soap bars within price range of 3-7 EUR per bar (approx. 100g) in Lush and Natural Choices while doing my usual shopping and didn't need to go somethere far just to get those. Obviously you can choose other brands like L'Occitane, Blue Pool Soap, Soap Dreams and other producers found in your local pharmacies, health and beauty shops, including Boots, Holland&Barret, McCauley, etc.
The best part is that they mostly don't have packaging, those are wrapped in a piece of paper or you can use your own compostable bag. Also they look nice and one 100g soap bar is enough for about 8-10 weeks.
Also my friends started to bring me soaps from different countries like France, Greece, Latvia as souvenirs which I find very sweet and thoughtful.
Just on the side note, some of soaps bars are covered in film on the picture, I got them long ago before thinking much of that extra plasticwaste. So I will still use them, but going forward obviously will choose paper or compostable bag packaging.
So a recap if I use soap bars for a year:
> 0 bottles wasted, instead paper or compostable bag used for packaging;
> About 72 EUR spent on soap bars with an average price of 4 EUR per bar
> Invested in a few soap dishes that came to 15 EUR (based on my choice)
> Wide choice of soaps with natural ingredients cruelty and palm oil free
> 100g soap bar lasts for about 8-10 weeks
> Looks pretty
> Need to clean soap dishes from time to time
In my opinion choosing eco-friendly option is totally worth it and actually saves me money which is a sweet bonus.
So I would rate this change as Easy. Hope that it was or will be easy for you, too! :)