As the month of July is about to hit, I’ve seen a lot of support for the Plastic Free July movement. I’m super excited to see people getting involved and making small changes in their lives to eliminate single-use plastic. It can be a little daunting at first, but here are my tips for Plastic Free July.
Firstly, join the 120 million participants around the world in the Plastic Free July challenge. Head to this website, fill out your details and your goals and sign up! You can choose to eliminate plastic packaging, takeaway items or everything! Here are my goals; to make changes in my community through my weekly beach cleans, to go completely plastic free at home and commit to doing this all through July and forever!
1. Buy the real deal
Plastic packaging with food is probably the hardest thing to eliminate. We are habitual in what we buy to eat, and no one really likes change. But combating change is easy, when the change is fucking delicious. I’m talking about buying real food, from your friendly local farmers market! In Hobart ours is on a Sunday, but there’s also a great market in New Norfolk on a Saturday. You can also find local growers produce at places like Eumarrah and Unpacked, and lots of people sell their produce on the side of the road!
Food made fresh and grown locally is going to be a million times more delicious than plastic wrapped shit from the supermarket. You’ll thank yourself and forget why you ever bought from the big chain supermarkets.
2. Buy in bulk
Unfortunately, not everything is sold at the farmers market. So this is a great opportunity to get friendly with your local bulk buy store. If you feel like pasta for dinner, instead of reaching for the plastic wrapped stuff from the supermarket; take a container to your bulk store and fill it up instead. Most bulk stores have everything you need, and usually more! In Hobart, Unpacked and Eumarrah are my go-to bulk buy stores. Start collecting jars and containers for your bulk store trips!
3. Bring your own bags
Whether it’s to your local farmers market or a trip to the big chains, bringing your own bags means you don’t have to purchase those re-usable plastic ones or use those single use plastic produce bags. Find yourself re-usable shopping bags and some produce bags, and you’ll be able to shop for fruit & veggies plastic free.
You can simply make them from any kind fabric, buy some online or in store at plenty of local retailers. In Hobart if you head to Teros you’ll find a good supply. If you want some more advice about shopping bags, read up on my shopping + produce bag blog post.
4. Get a keep cup and re-usable drink bottle
There’s really no excuse to keep using take away cups and plastic bottles, because there are a million different options out their to avoid them! I have a ceramic, re-usable keep cup with a silicone lid (that my love bought for me) for take away coffees, it’s made by a local artist which is great! But you can find keep cups everywhere. Lots of coffee shops sell them too!
My re-usable drink bottle was part of a Corona promotion at Jake’s work and he got one for me. You can find re-usable drink bottles literally everywhere, Kmart, sports shops and camping stores. I’d recommend picking up one that is stainless steel like mine, as it keeps my water freezing cold, which means I drink it till it’s empty instead of throwing out warm water.
5. Find the right deli
Now I’m not a meat eater, but my other half is. So the best way to combat plastic with meat buying is by finding a deli that let you bring your own containers. I’ve labelled a few old take away containers that are now Jake’s to take for his meat supply shop. In Hobart, all the Hill Street stores are fantastic with accepting your own containers, but also most local butchers will allow it to. We have tried at both Woolies and Coles and they weren’t so keen on the idea.
6. Go natural and give up
Whether it’s with cleaning products, skin care products or make up, there’s plastic everywhere. Going plastic free often means giving up some of our best beloved products we’ve spent a long time getting attached to. I said goodbye to shampoo + conditioner bottles, expensive skin care products and traditional toothpaste without regret. It’s part of the deal, and there are always plastic free alternatives to everything. I’ve made my own moisturiser, facial serum, cleaning products and perfumes. You just have to do your research and learn to detach yourself and give up! I have recipes and recommendations for heaps of stuff, so go through my blog and see what takes your fancy.
Going plastic free for July is an extremely achievable goal. You’ll feel good about your contribution to the planet, and be amazed at how easy it really is. I’ve spent the last 3 months transitioning my home to a plastic free environment, and safe to say we are (almost) completely plastic free. Every little thing counts, so even if you just buy a keep cup then you are already contributing so much.
For the Plastic Free July challenge, head to https://www.plasticfreejuly.org/take-the-challenge/
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