Tips and tricks for Plastic Free July
Here we are, in the middle of #PlasticFreeJuly, and it's not too late to join 🌸
This is my fourth year participating and it’s always such an amazing eye opener! Each year I am so impressed with the side effects. Not only does it help the planet, I save money, end up healthier (from not eating professed foods like tofu) and feel good about voting with my cash for the kind of world I want to live in.
I consider myself relatively ‘good’ at avoiding plastic, but it isn’t until I do this challenge I realise the little things I am have become ‘ok with’ in my day-to-day...these small habits definitely need a yearly reign in 🍽🥡🥢
Inspiration to join:
🥤 Only 9% of plastic is actually recycled. The other 91% ends up in landfill (It doesn’t matter what bin you put it in).
🥤Over 1 million seabirds and 100,000 sea mammals are killed by plastic pollution every year.
🥤Plastic has been found in the most remote places on earth (eg Antartica) - your waste doesn’t necessarily stay in your home country.
🥤Reducing plastic isn’t about just helping the earth and reducing carbon emissions, it is directly affecting you. It’s IN your food and water sources.
🥤Non-natural clothing (such as polyester, and elastane used to make things such as underwear and yoga tights) release micro-plastics every time you wash them. Micro-plastics are now found in every ocean on the planet, and even the placentas of unborn babies.
🥤We don’t need plastic. It was only brought into mainstream production in the 60s. There are plenty of alternatives these days, but remember it's important to still use what you already have first - even if it doesn't look like a sexy sustainable item.
Some simple tips:
🍃 Make yourself pick from the veggies at the supermarket that aren’t plastic wrapped. I made it a game last year, where I had to cook from that lucky-dip each time! (This year, due to Covid lockdown, I'm opting for a local, organic, seasonal fruit & vegetable delivery...which is still lucky-dip cooking!)
🍃 For online shopping, check the packaging section for information on how it will be wrapped and sent to you.
🍃 Take your own containers & cutlery when you know you’re going to buy takeaway.
🍃 Make a new habit of going to the takeaway store, with your reusable containers, rather than ordering delivery (I got a discount recently for doing this!)
🍃 Avoid supermarkets. It will be much easier to stick to this if you shift your weekly grocery shop to independent stores or markets. These aren’t always available though so be gentle on yourself for trying.
🍃 Seek out a whole-foods store for things like pasta & grains (also soaps and detergents) and bring your own containers/jars.
🍃 Make your own mylk (cashew is the yummiest).
(Thank goodness these have gone mainstream, but here is a reminder to keep going!)
🍃 Bring your own water reusable bottle where ever you go (I also use mine for take away juices and iced coffee, so always have one on me).
🍃 Invest in a reusable coffee cup. This will take a while to get in the habit of remembering to bring! I still leave mine at the office on occasion. Just be kind to yourself for trying. Drink in where possible if you forget!
🍃 Don’t use straws. Remember when ordering a drink out ask them not to put one in! If you use one regularly, there are reusable options such as steel or bamboo.
🍃 Bring your own shopping bags to get groceries.
🍃 Always carry a canvas tote in your hand bag for last min purchases. They roll up really small so are super easy to have handy.
My main sustainability tip is always just use less. If we stop and evaluate our habits, we will find we don’t need so much anyway, and that reduction in consumption makes a huge difference to our wallets and the planet!
For inspo you can check out the following IG accounts who are advocates for the cause: