Well the day is finally here!
If you haven’t already heard of Plastic Free July, let me recap for ya. The impact is global and the motto is “Choose to refuse”!
It started out in beautiful Western Australia (top of my bucket list!) and has since reached millions. We all know that plastics are taking over the world but I think it’s easy to forget the scale of this issue! Our garbage and recycling is “out of sight, out of mind” and instead of trying to cut back on our initial usage we think we’re helping out because we’re recycling! Sadly, the regulations behind recycling plastic are way more complicated than we think and 79% of recycling actually ends up in a landfill. Seventy-nine percent!!!! So the creators of Plastic Free July are trying to create awareness of our individual plastic-use and our impact on the environment. For the whole month of July – join me and say no to single-use plastics.
What are single-use plastics??
Easy – those plastic shopping bags, to-go cups (especially the lids!), straws, disposable razors, cutlery, toothbrushes…. sadly it’s not too hard to find plastic around us. Razors and toothbrushes might not qualify as “single-use” but when you think about it their lifetime in our hands is minuscule compared to their lifetime on the planet! Plastic was built to be durable, which is why it takes 450+ years to break down! I’m not good at math but I think that means the straw or razor you use today will still be on earth when your grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-grand child is roaming around. (That is only if there is enough green space on earth for them to exist on at that time!!)
If we don’t plan it can be easy to get sucked into the “convenience” of plastic. That’s how this substance has taken over the world without us even realizing… it’s just too easy to find it! But once you get a couple things sorted and prepped you’ll be all set and you won’t even have to think about being eco-friendly! If you’re going for dinner with friends, throw a small container in your bag for leftovers (styrofoam is one of the worst culprits for ocean pollution and harming wildlife!). Keep an old coffee mug in your car for those impromptu coffee stops and carry a light reusable bag in your purse (check out this one!!). Choose less processed foods at the grocery store and skip on the produce bags. If you feel weird putting produce straight into your cart without bagging it, use the paper bags by the mushrooms for all your veggies! If you’re looking to buy some reusable items I’ve shared the items I use on my shop page. **Please note – these items will come shipped to you in a plastic bag! 🙁 It’s kind of countering the goal of July but you can reuse the bag as a garbage bag or use it for cleaning up after your pets. I know it’s not ideal but I also know that by buying a few products now I am saving hundreds of bags, toothbrushes, and forks/knives later! And I won’t have to ever order these again either, so it was kind of like a one-time plastic bag use**
There are so many little steps you can take to cut back but it really all starts by being aware. If you absolutely must buy something from the shop, try reusing the plastic for something else (like using the chip bag as a mini garbage bag). If you need ideas or help finding alternatives to something you usually buy, check out this link here. There are plenty of suggestions, recipes and different articles for making your own item for something that usually comes wrapped in plastic. I’m excited for Plastic Free July, and I hope you are too! Sign up for the challenge on the website and make the pledge to eliminate some or all plastic for the month! Nobody will be perfect but every little bit adds up!!