So You Want To Go Plastic-Free For July? Here Are A Few Tips.
By: Casha Doemland
Did you know that 18 billion pounds of plastic waste flows into the oceans every year? It's no wonder scientists estimate that by 2050 plastic will be more prevalent in our ocean than fish.
So, for the entire month of July, individuals around the world are pledging to go plastic-free to raise awareness for the amount of plastic waste on our planet, and maybe even to kick-start their plastic-free life.
To those of you who have made the vow, or are at least thinking about it, we've compiled a list of tips and tricks to help get you through the month.
Determine Your Plastic Footprint
The Edgy Veg hit the sustainable nail on the head. The first tip to reducing your plastic waste footprint is to own up to it, and the best way to do that is by participating in Plastic Free July. By trying to remove single-use plastic from your life, you get a taste for how much of it surrounds you and how much of it can be switched out for a sustainable alternative.
Say Sayonara To The Worst Of The Worst
Yes, there is a convenience to the worst single-use plastic offenders, but it comes at a cost to the environment. So, ditch single-use items and switch it up for the reusable variety.
- Carry reusable shopping bags instead of opting for the plastic ones at the store.
- Give up plastic water bottles, single-use coffee cups and invest in the reusable variety, like S’well, Corkcicle, Klean Kanteen and JOCO Cups. Plus, a variety of coffee shops around the world are offering discounts to individuals who bring their reusable drinking cups.
- Purchase reusable straws, cutlery and containers for your take-out and on-the-go meal needs.
- Bring your lunch to work over ordering take-out!
- Get rid of plastic cling wrap, and create a new life with Bees Wraps.
Live Your Best Beauty Waste-Free Life
Thank your lucky stars people on the internet have created waste-free recipes so you can kick your plastic beauty products to the curb, and invest in glass containers with products made by you, for you.
From toothpaste, shaving cream and deodorant to shampoo, lotion and even cosmetics, you could dedicate a whole evening to making various products with your best friends.
To all my flossers out there, don’t worry we won’t ask you to make that. Instead, check out Dental Lace, which arrives in a glass container with an aluminum cap and works on the refill system.
As for disposable razors, kick them to the curb, and purchase one made from stainless steel or bamboo.
Grocery Shop Smart
This one is a little tricky, and even a privilege as far as time and money go. So, if possible take the following steps:
- Buy products like bread and paper towels that come in paper bags or naked/no packaging.
- Shop at the farmer's market and bring your own produce bags.
- Buy in bulk using your own bags or glass jars for your beans, grains, nuts, etc.
- If you have to buy processed food, opt for items that are sold in paperboard, cardboard or aluminum cans. Try to avoid plastic as much as possible!
No one is asking you to completely change your life overnight, because let’s be realistic, living a sustainable life is a significant transformation. Not only can it take a toll on your bank account, but it takes up a lot of time and several trips to a variety of stores to do it right as the world is not ready to be plastic-free.
It's 100% okay to fail, especially if you're just getting started. Heck, it's even okay to cut corners sometimes and be like "I have dietary restrictions, and I can only find this in plastic!"
Remember, the point of Plastic Free July is to discover your plastic waste footprint and discover ways you can lessen it. Just opening your eyes to the amount of plastic you come across on a daily basis can create a massive shift in your thinking and what you purchase.
LA-based and Georgia-bred, Casha Doemland spends her days crafting poetry and freelance writing. Over the last two years, she’s been published in a variety of publications and zines around the world. When she’s not nerding out with words, you can catch her watching a classic film, trekking around the globe or hanging out with a four-pound Pomeranian.