Plastic Free July has been picking up momentum! We think it’s really inspiring and exciting. But we also know that going completely ‘plastic free’ can be overwhelming. There is so much plastic and disposable products in our daily lives, that it can be difficult to figure out where to start. So we’ve put together our favorite Plastic Free tips to get you going for Plastic Free July and beyond.
Plastic Free July – How to Start
To begin with, keep in mind that going ‘plastic free’ or ‘zero waste’ is a lifestyle change that will take time. It’s a journey. Take it day-by-day and be proud of the little things you do, this will help build your confidence for the bigger steps. You don’t need to go out and buy all the zero waste products! Look around your home first, see what things you can upcycle and creatively use what you already have.
Plastic Free July – On The Go
Some of the biggest contributors to plastic waste are take away food containers and cutlery, plastic straws, drinking bottles and to-go coffee cups. By making a few adjustments to your routine you can easily avoid these. You can make a difference by simply changing your habits here.
Plastic Free July – Pro Tips
Refuse the straw! This is really huge and lots of restaurants are starting to get on board. It’s as simple as asking for no straw with your beverages.
Sit back and enjoy your coffee! If you don’t have a reusable coffee cup or forgot to bring yours, have a seat and enjoy your coffee. Coffee always tastes better from a mug in a cozy cafe!
Image: 1 Million Women
Bring your own container for take-aways! When ordering take away, ask if you can have it put in your own containers. It’s always good to keep a container handy in your bag or car in case you have leftovers or have a spontaneous pickup.
- Reusable Straw
- Drinking Bottle
- Food Container
- Reusable Cutlery
Image: Lusa Organics
Plastic Free July – Grocery Shopping
Bring your own bags! Grocery shopping with a few minor habit adjustments can make a huge difference. Maybe you already have a stockpile of reusable bags that you keep forgetting to take to the store. Or, look around the house for fabric that can be upcycled into bags.
Always have a reusable bag (or two or three) handy! Keep some in your car, your bags/backpack and if you use multiple bags or purses, keep one in each.
Buy in bulk!
You might be surprised by what you can find at bulk stores these days. Nuts, baking goods and candy are common place, but more and more stores now have a selection of nut butters, oils, spices and teas. Lots of bulk stores will let you bring your own container and don’t be shy to ask at your local store. Look around the house for old jars and containers that you can use for food storage. You can also check out thrift shops and garage sales for some fun unique containers. Awesome zero waste shops are popping up where you can refill household cleaning products and shampoos.
Check out your local farmer’s market! Buying local from the farmer’s market can avoid lots of the plastic packaging found at the supermarket. It’s also a great way to get into eating seasonally and support your local farmers. Don’t forget to bring your own reusable bags!
Rethink plastic packaging
Where you can, buy items with less plastic packaging or none at all. Do you really need to put produce in plastic bags? Bring your own produce bag or skip the bag and simply wash your goodies thoroughly before you use them.
- Reusable Grocery & Produce Bags
- Jars & Containers
Plastic Free July Bath & Body
Another major contributor to single-use plastic waste is bath and beauty products. The good news is there are some really great companies with lots of options available to help us out. But first, please don’t go and throw out all your existing products! Use them, recycle or upcycle the containers then seek out the plastic-free replacement.
DIY your own bath & body products! If you are big into DIY there are many great recipes out there for the majority of your everyday products that you can start to experiment with. And most of the ingredients are things you likely already have at home! Check out our zero waste sunscreen, it really works!
Ditch your disposable razors! Investing in a safety razor will not only reduce plastic waste, it will also save you money in the long run.
Make your period more eco-friendly! Yup, we’re going there – but there should be no shame. Also, feminine products create a huge amount of waste. There are an increasing number of products available such as menstrual cups, reusable pads and period friendly underwear.
- Baking Soda, Apple Cider Vinegar & Coconut Oil – These are three basic ingredients to help you start off with some DIY bath & body recipes.
- Bamboo Toothbrush
- Shampoo Bar
- Menstrual Cup & Reusable Fabric Pads
A Few More Plastic Free July Tips
Replace tissue with handkerchiefs. You can get creative and make your own, or find some at a thrift stores or garage sales.
Reduce food waste by composting.