4 Habits to Start for Plastic Free July
Jul 10 2020
Plastic pollution is a global issue with plastics being found everywhere from the Mariana Trench to rainfall and even our food and drinking water. In an effort to combat the ubiquitous use of plastics, Plastic Free July challenges people everywhere to actively reduce their use of plastics.
While reducing plastic use may seem hard right now with so many stores and cafes not allowing reusable bags or mugs, there’s still lots of ways you can take action. (Though it’s worth noting, that some scientists are insisting that reusables are safe).
This is a great time to take a step back and assess where you could cut back on plastic in your daily life. We’ve got a few suggestions to get you stared.
Carry a Reusable Water Bottle
Get into the habit of packing a (full) reusable water bottle whenever you leave home. Though you may not be able to refill it while out and about, it will certainly reduce the need to buy a plastic water bottle when your thirst needs quenching. If you don’t have a reusable bottle, Kleen Kanteen is a great option. They offer replacement parts, are a 1% for the Planet member, a Certified B Corp and Climate Neutral Certified. Lifefactory is a good choice for glass: they offer a 1 year warranty, replacement parts and manufacture the bottles in the USA with parts from the US, France, and Poland.
Avoid Excess Food Packaging
When buying juice, yogurt, chips, cookies, coffee beans, and more skip the individual-sized portions and buy the larger container (so long as you’ll eat it before it spoils). Opt for loose produce instead of pre-cut or bagged items (and skip the plastic produce bag). You can dole out individual portions in reusable baggies or containers to take on the go instead. If you’ve got a k-cup machine at home, try out a reusable stainless steel k cup filter to reduce waste.
Swap Bottles for Bars
Avoid plastic bottles in the shower with shampoo and conditioner bars. There are tons of brands out there that have popped up providing options for all types of hair. Some we’ve tried and liked include ethique and Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve. These brands also offer sample size bars if you’re a bit nervous about making the switch. With any bar soap you purchase, you’ll want to double check that they don’t wrap or ship their bars in plastic. If you want to go further to de-bottle, you can get solid lotion and deodorant bars too.
Consider your clothes
Synthetic clothing is a major source of microplastic pollution in our water. Tiny fibers that are too small to filter out shed off our clothing during washing. These make it through wastewater treatment and end up in waterways, drinking water supplies, and wildlife. So, what are you to do?
First off, wash less! Clothing only needs to be washed when it’s visibly dirty or smelly. Air drying also reduces how much lint comes off your clothes. This will also extend the life of your clothing plus – who wouldn’t want to do less laundry? When washing, there are filters you can install on your washing machine or you can use a Guppyfriend wash bag or Coraball to capture microfibers – the science shows they work.
Going forward, avoid synthetic fibers when you shop. Opt for natural fibers as much as possible such as cotton (preferably organic), hemp, linen, silk, and wool and even Tencel.
In reality, living 100% plastic free isn’t really possible (yet!). The important thing about Plasitc Free July is to make progress. Find a plastic-free habit that works for you and commit to it this month. It will take getting used to and you may stumble a little in the process. You’ll learn along the way what works for you and slowly you’ll find new ways to reduce plastic use in your life. Before you know it, you’ll see you’ve made a big dent in your plastic use.