How to lead a plastic-free life: tips from Kathryn Nelson, Plastic Free Mermaid
Sustainability has always been at the forefront of MagicLinen’s list of priorities. From the linen fabric itself (which is made from waste-free flax plants) to the local supply chain, we always make sure to take an Earth-first approach. That is why this week we collaborated with Kathryn Nelson from Plastic Free Mermaid who shares the same values and agreed to share her experience with leading a plastic-free lifestyle. Happy reading!
Please introduce yourself and your mission
My name is Kathryn Nelson or Plastic Free Mermaid. I haven't used single-use plastics for over a decade and am committed to advocating for environmental policy change, educating about solutions, and uplifting inspiring brands and science that is important for the transition away from pollutants like plastic.
How did you start the journey on iquitplastics.com and @plasticfreemermaid?
I was working for a non-profit called Ocean Future's Society after graduating from college with a degree in Philosophy (environmental ethics) where I learned from the resident scientist that plastic does not break down but instead breaks up into millions of microscopic particles that are impossible to retrieve from the environment. I felt of all things impacting our planet, this was one thing I could personally take on, I didn't have to use any disposable plastics. SO I quit plastics then and there, 11 years ago, and I shared my journey online as I learned how to live closer to nature.
How did you quit using plastics? What tips would you give to a person who wants to do it but doesn't know where to start?
I just set a hard ethical boundary! I took a deep breath and reconnected to my sovereignty, knowing that I didn't need any of these items packaged in plastic and that I would rather make things myself or go without. The ocean, my playground, my temple, my source of awe and teaching--was worth it to make this sacrifice.
1. Audit your trash! Look at what plastics you already use, so you can make a plan to replace them with natural earth-friendly alternatives.
2. Get yourself some reusables that you LOVE! It's important to love them so that you actually remember to bring them! Also, make sure to wash or rinse them straight away and keep them clean so that you develop a positive association with them! <3
3. Make stuff yourself! I make all my own bath products, beauty products, cleaning products, and foods that are typically packed in plastics such as dips, nut milk, chips, etc. If you want more inspo, check my blog out!
What are the easiest tips and tricks towards a more sustainable lifestyle one can easily practice at home? Could you share some easy sustainable plastic alternatives which could be accessible for most people?
Use a bamboo toothbrush! My fav is the brush with bamboo brand because their bristles are certified plant-based!
Make your own deodorant! My recipe is super effective: 3 tbsp coconut oil, 2 tbsp arrowroot powder, 1 tbsp bicarb.
Shop at op shops or only buy natural materials for your home to reduce the release of plastic microfibres into our waterways when you wash your clothes and linens.
Buy food in glass jars with metal lids so you can repurpose the jars at home to store dry bulk foods!
Shop at farmer's markets so you are buying fresh, local in-season foods wrapped in their own skin directly from the farmer, supporting the local economy.
Use bicarb or vinegar to clean your house, don't fuss with the toxic chemicals packed in plastic bottles. They are unnecessary when natural products do the same job!
Sustainability is your priority and you're very careful when choosing the brands you want to collaborate with as well as the products you want to test. Could you tell us more about why you like linen and how you decide that MagicLinen is the brand you would like to use in your home?
As mentioned, I only ever want natural fibers and materials in my home. I know how synthetic fabrics shed tiny microplastics that linger in the air as well as enter our waterways flowing out the oceans, so I refuse to have these materials around me! <3 I love MagicLinen because of their commitment to sustainability like zero wasted, naturally grown, water-efficient flax plants in the production of their linen. This is so important to me. I also am pleased with the packaging, all bags are compostable and shipped in a cardboard box. Plus all of their products are so so SO BEAUTIFUL I just cannot resist and I love wrapping myself in their towels, blankets, sheets, and curtains! It feels so nice to be in something so lush, gorgeous, and natural.
To get even more inspired to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle, check out Kathryn’s blog or Instagram.