Reduce plastic on student budget - Part 2 - Shorebox

How To Go Plastic-Free On A Student Budget: Part 2

Cutting down on plastic doesn’t have to be an expensive process. When you know the right tips, tricks and products to aim for, you can save money!

In part 1 of our student budget guide, we looked at how you can reduce plastic when you’re on campus, in the bathroom, and doing cleaning and laundry. Now, we’re going to think about the kitchen, your skincare routine, and general ideas around reducing, reusing and recycling. 

Part 1: On Campus, Bathroom & Toiletries, Cleaning & Laundry

Part 2: Kitchen, Skincare, Reduce Reuse Recycle

So, let’s get stuck in!

By the way, you can get 10% off everything on our plastic-free shop with the code BACKTOUNI until the end of September.


Plastic-free kitchen - Reduce plastic on a budget - Shorebox


Kitchen roll — Kitchen roll tends to be a uni house staple, but it’s extremely wasteful — in terms of paper and cellophane wrap. Bring some old tea towels from home and cut them into quarters to create reusable kitchen roll. Then, wash and reuse them!

Food storage — Take cling film off your uni shopping list with these plastic-free food storage hacks:

  • Wrap veg such as broccoli, lettuce leaves, cucumber, carrots, and rhubarb in a damp tea towel to store them in the fridge. It keeps them fresh for far longer than cling film, so it will also help to reduce food waste!
  • Cover bowls with plates.
  • Reuse takeaway containers (e.g. for leftovers) and glass jars (e.g. for chopped fruit).
  • Invest in a pack of beeswax wraps to never reach for cling film again! Don’t be put off by the price tag — if you look after them, beeswax wraps can last years, even with daily use. Or you can make your own.

Shop: Beeswax wraps

Browse more plastic-free kitchen items, including dish brushes and sponges (from £5.99).


Plastic-free skincare - Reduce plastic on a budget - Shorebox


Makeup removal

Makeup wipes are incredibly wasteful — they’re made with plastic, so each one take hundreds of years to break down. Here are our tried and tested alternatives:

DIY makeup remover — It’s easy to make your own makeup remover. This super simple recipe only requires two ingredients:


3x tbsp witch hazel
2x tbsp jojoba oil

Packaging suggestion:

Reuse a glass jar


  1. Pour both ingredients into a small container (e.g. glass jar)
  2. Shake!
  3. Apply to your face with cotton rounds.

Only apply a small amount to your eye area, and avoid getting it in your eye.

Source: Living Simply

Reusable cotton rounds — Buy one pack of reusable cotton rounds, and you’re set! You can wash and reuse them again and again, so one pack will last you years. Simply wash them with soap or put them in the washing machine.

Shop here: Reusable cotton rounds or Makeup remover set

DIY reusable cotton rounds — If you’re feeling crafty, you can make your own reusable rounds from soft cotton fabric. Here’s a great tutorial:


DIY makeup setting spray

Save on another plastic packaged and expensive product by making your own makeup setting spray. If you’ve been following the recipes we’ve mentioned in our post so far, you won’t need any new ingredients for this one:


2x tbsp aloe vera gel
2-3 drops of lavender essential oil
1 ½ cups of water

Packaging suggestion:

Spray bottle


  1. Combine the aloe vera gel, lavender oil, and water in a spray bottle.
  2. Shake!
  3. Spray onto your face after applying makeup, and let it settle and dry (no rubbing required).

Source: 100 percent Pure

Browse more plastic-free skincare including makeup remover (£8.00), face cleansers (£5.00), face cream (£8.99) and more.

Reduce, reuse, recycle

Zero-waste tips - Upcycling - Shorebox


The three Rs can help you cut down on all sorts of waste — and save you a pretty penny to. For instance…

Homeware & furniture — moving into a new uni house tends to trigger IKEA hauls and homeware binges. But could you reuse things from home, or buy second hand as a first port of call? Facebook Marketplace is a great place to look. Or older siblings or cousins may have boxes of uni gear that you could spruce up. You’ll save pennies, as well as the resources and packaging that comes with brand new stuff.

To recycle or to reuse? — remember that every local council in the UK recycles differently. Check what gets collected in your new area to avoid recycling errors. But before you throw away or recycle something, could you reuse it? Glass jars, tin cans, and even plastic food punnets can make for handy storage, room decor, or fun upcycling projects.

So, there you have it — your budget guide is complete! If you haven’t already, check out part 1 here. Don’t forget, you can get 10% off on our plastic-free shop with the code BACKTOUNI.

Plus, our Back To Uni plastic-free gift box (free delivery) is the perfect settling-in pack if you know someone heading to uni this month.

Let us know which tips you find helpful, and join our mailing listInstagram and Facebook for more.

Oh hello! Just a quick note to say, we’re an eco-friendly subscription box helping our subscribers reduce plastic waste step-by-step. If that sounds exciting, enjoy 10% off your first box today with the code FIRSTBOX. That’s all for now, cheerio.

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