Thinking about participating in Plastic Free July? But, you’re not really sure where to begin? Fear not. We’ve got some helpful tips to transform your home.

Upon initial inspection, many people are amazed to discover that plastics are everywhere in our homes. There are the more obvious ones like single-use water bottles and takeaway coffee. Then there are the daily use items like plastic wrap, plastic zip baggies, and Tupperware-style containers in the kitchen. However, a lot of items fly under the radar like shampoo bottles in the bathroom and cleaning tools like dust pans. With all this plastic, going plastic-free can all feel overwhelming.

Below are six handy tips to help you get started.

1. Reusable Wraps, Food Covers, Containers & Bags

Plastics are not the only way to store food and keep it safe. An easy switch is to swap plastic containers for glass. Cotton bags can be used to store flour, nuts and some vegetables. Linen or silicone food covers are an alternative to single-use plastic bags or plastic wrap for storing leftovers. Wax paper and cheesecloth made of cotton can also be used to wrap and store food.

2. Kitchen Tools & Utensils

Plastic hides in a lot of sneaky places in our kitchens. From chopping boards to kitchen utensils, it feels like there is no end, but there are stylish alternatives available. Instead of unsightly plastic chopping boards, there are plenty of wood boards to choose from. In addition, many common kitchen tools can also be found made out of silicon or bamboo – the added bonus of bamboo is that it is moisture resistant and therefore hinders the growth of bacteria.

An abundance of plastic is used in single-use cutlery, plates, straws and more. Reusable alternatives can be found for these must-have items, and most are dishwasher-safe.

3. Reusable Coffee Pods

It seems unthinkable to even consider eliminating your morning coffee, and that’s okay, because a quick fix is to switch to reusable coffee pods. This way, instead of buying capsules at the supermarket, you can buy your favourite blend from your local coffee shop to add to your reusable pod.

4. Reduce your Garbage and Ditch the Plastic Bags

Participating in Calgary’s compost program is an ideal way to reduce your overall garbage, and help cut down on the number of bags you use. While this won’t completely eliminate all your garbage, one way to cut out the plastic bag liner in your garbage bin is to line it with a few sheets of newspaper or an eco-friendly alternative bin liner. This way, you can completely eliminate that bundle of plastic bags lurking in your drawers.

5. Bathroom Swaps

Another room in our homes that collects a lot of plastic is the bathroom. From brushes to bottles to razors and make-up, almost everything is packaged in plastic. While it can be difficult (with the current limited number of alternatives), many brands are making changes to how we can buy these products.

Shampoo, conditioner and soap can be purchased as bars, and some razors on the market allow you to change the blade rather than dispose of an entire plastic razor every month. Toothpaste can be found in metal tubes, and there are even plastic-free dental floss alternatives. Combs and brushes with bamboo and wood handles are not only great alternatives, but feel better in your hand.

6. Cleaning Supplies

The good news about switching to plastic-free cleaning tools is that it is often a one-time purchase. There are metal, wicker or wooden versions of dustpans, brushes and brooms. Not only are these better for the environment than plastic, but they will give chore time a utilitarian charm.