4 Tips on How to Prepare for a Plastic Free July
Eight years ago a movement started out of Western Australia called Plastic Free July. Last year, millions of people in over 170 countries participated. The movement started in an attempt to convince people to move beyond recycling. To truly think about reducing waste, reusing things, and refusing to use some items that don’t serve a necessary purpose.
But the idea of ditching plastic for an entire month can be intimidating, even for those of us who are into minimalism and working towards a zero-waste life. And really, the strictness of your Plastic Free July is up to you. But here’s one thing to keep in mind, you can still use things that are plastic – like your food storage containers – as the idea is to reduce single-use disposable plastic.
Here are a few ways to eliminate your use of plastic next month (& maybe forever!)
- Have you ever realized that trash bags are single-use plastics made JUST to be thrown away? Crazy, right ?! Try lining your trash can with several layers of newspaper, instead of a plastic bag. Or even washing it out in between uses. If you’re buying fewer things that are prepackaged, you’ll probably have less trash. If that grosses you out, try compostable trash bags.
Extra tip: Look into your local composting options. Composting is for natural food items that could be donated to farmers. It will keep your trash can cleaner (and a lot less smelly).
Switch It Up
- Look for items that usually come in plastic in another container, like milk. Most milk also comes in cardboard cartons or you may be able to find some in glass instead. You can even find some water comes in a cardboard box.
- Bring your own water bottle to restaurants instead of getting a plastic cup of water. Places like Starbucks will gladly fill up your reusable container. Sometimes they will give you a bit of a discount for it!
Skip the Bag
- When grocery shopping, skip the plastic bags for produce by packing your own reusable bags. You can even make them out of old t-shirts. You can even ask the deli department to wrap your stuff in paper to avoid single-use plastic.
Remember, this is a challenge – not a competition. You may not be able to avoid every piece of plastic for the whole month, but every piece you can avoid is one less piece in a landfill. Are you ready to join us for a Plastic Free July?_______________________________________________________________________
Rebecca Alwine is an army wife, mother of three, and lover of her adorable pirate dog. Over the past 12 years, she’s discovered she enjoys coffee, lifting weights, and most of the menial tasks of motherhood. Her days consist of CrossFit workouts, listening to audiobooks, and pretending to cook while her Instant Pot does all the work. Her motto: work smarter, not harder.