Are you ready to go plastic-free this July and beyond? Refusing single-use plastic is a great way to challenge yourself to live more sustainably and help the planet along the way. We’ve got some tips to help you kick that plastic habit for good.
Plastic is present in every part of our day. The problem is that much of it is designed to be used briefly but last forever. While some plastic can be recycled, most ends up in landfills or in the ocean, where it takes hundreds of years to break down.
Plastic has a terrible impact on our health and planet. It finds its way into the stomachs of fish and birds, and now even humans who eat seafood are ingesting small amounts of plastic as a result.
Did you know scientists estimate that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans?
That’s where the concept of Plastic Free July was born. It’s simple: participants are challenged to reduce their reliance on single-use plastics by eliminating one or more single-use items from their daily lives.
Trying to go plastic-free isn’t easy, but if we are going to curb plastic pollution, this challenge is a great way to start and it allows us to reflect on our habits as consumers and look for alternatives.
7 Ways For Avoiding Plastic
Just say no to plastic straws when you’re at a restaurant or buying a drink. It’s that simple. If you need or want a straw, there’s a reusable alternative to suit every need: stainless steel, glass, silicone, bamboo. There are even convenient foldable straws that fit in your bag or purse.
Read more about why you should think twice before your next sip and skip the straw.
Make it a Plastic Free July by remembering to take your reusable shopping and produce bags with you. From collapsible totes to canvas and mesh bags, these alternatives are more durable than plastic options and you won’t have to worry about harming the planet. And if you forget them at home, no worries. Just leave your items loose and give the produce a thorough wash when you get home.
This is an easy switch to make because there are countless varieties of reusable bottles and mugs to suit every situation and need. Bring a couple with you when you’re out so you don’t have to take a disposable coffee cup or buy bottled water. Better yet, make coffee at home and save money in the long run.
Almost every beauty product we use is heavy on plastic, not to mention those microbeads that hide in so many body and face scrubs.
Thankfully, stores like Lush offer a range of plastic-free haircare and skincare products, or you can head to your nearest bulk store and see what they offer. You can also do a quick swap of your cotton swabs to ones made from paper or bamboo, invest in (or DIY) a few fabric makeup removing pads and consider getting a safety razor.
Do you really need plastic wrap? Here are some reusable alternatives to choose from:
- Silicone bowl lids
- Parchment or wax paper
- Glass jars
Plastic packaging seems to magically wrap itself around everything. Somehow, we have allowed ourselves to be duped into thinking that everything must be packaged. The truth is, we don’t need all that packaging. Even more importantly, all this plastic packaging is made from non-renewable fuel sources.
Instead of buying individually wrapped cucumbers or plastic containers of peeled garlic, buy in bulk or shop at your local farmers' market.
The best way to avoid single-use plastic is to know where you use it most and give yourself an alternative. Too rushed before work to make your coffee? Have your reusable coffee cup ready and waiting next to your bag each morning. Always buying plastic-wrapped snacks on the go? Spend a few minutes extra at the end of each day to prep some snacks and pop them in reusable containers.