In the wave of sustainability and eco-friendliness, a new hashtag has popped up: #PlasticFreeJuly. While it’s totally awesome people are reducing their plastic usage, it shouldn’t just be for July! Here’s my tips on having a plastic-free July every single month.
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Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably heard that we have a big plastic pollution problem. And it’s f*cking up the world.
From the tippy tops of mountains to the deepest parts of the oceans, plastic is EVERYWHERE.
But that’s not all. It’s not just the oceans, beaches, mountains, or deserts that plastic is f*cking up… it’s messing with the animals and humans, too.
Did you know we ingest, on average, one credit card’s worth of plastic per week?!
Now we have to worry about how plastic is polluting our bodies, too? Not cool, not cool. Clearly something needs to change.
Which is why I’m a huge fan of #PlasticFreeJuly. The growing hashtag is putting a must-needed emphasis on reducing plastic consumption… and it’s not just single-use plastics either.
Many who are participating are reducing their purchases of plastic-wrapped products, swapping out beauty products for environmentally-friendly options, and heading to farmers’ markets buy produce not wrapped in copious amounts of plastic.
Although, while I’m all for plastic-free July, why should it be for just one month of the year? Plastic isn’t just a problem in July — it’s a problem all the time.
So, I wanted to write a quick article on tips for having a plastic-free July every month!
Table of Contents
HOW TO HAVE A #PlasticFreeJuly EVERY MONTH
**Please note, I’m not sh*tting on the plastic free July campaign. I think it’s super important to bring awareness to the world’s plastic problem but I also think it’s important to point out reducing plastic usage shouldn’t just be for July! Let’s be sustainable 24/7, amirite? 🙂 Anyways… let’s do dis.
Take a Look at What You Already Have
Reducing your plastic consumption shouldn’t be all about buying new eco-friendly things, like stainless-steel containers, to-go coffee cups, or bamboo utensils.
While I do promote those things (as I do love and use them), you probably already likely have substitutes that’ll work instead (and you’ll save money, too!).
For example, a simple mason jar can be a to-go coffee cup, a container to put bulk foods in (such as seeds or rice), a jar for on-the-go lunch (like a salad or soup), or even a handy dandy cup for smoothies.
Here’s some items you might already have on hand to reduce your plastic consumption:
- Reusable containers to put food in
- Mason jars
- Steel utensils (wrap them up in a DIY cloth and tie holder for on the go eating!)
- Bulk nuts to make your own homemade nut milk.
- Old t-shirts (make a reusable bag!)
It really IS that simple to reduce your plastic consumption.
Swap Out Plastic-y Self-Care Products
A lot beauty and self-care products come wrapped or stored in plastic but times are changing!
Shoutout to all the new companies and brands are popping up providing plastic-free alternatives that tend to be not only great for the environment, but also great for your health and body!
A few of my favorite beauty swaps to help you be plastic-free all year:
- Shampoo Bottle → Shampoo Bar
- Conditioner → DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse
- Plastic Toothbrush → Bamboo Toothbrush
- Regular Toothpaste → Package-Free Toothpaste
- Liquid Body Wash → Package-Free Soap Bar
- Plastic Throw-Away Razors → Stainless-Steel Razor (LOVE this & it lasts forever)
- Hair Brush → Bamboo Hair Brush
- Deodorant → Natural Deodorant in a Jar
Go Green at the Grocery Store
Opting for package-free products and unwrapped, plastic-free produce is a great way to go green at the grocery store.
Additionally, purchasing things in bulk and sticking with canned or jarred items is another awesome way to further reduce plastic consumption.
Contrary to what many believe, plastic is pretty hard to recycle — and most of it isn’t recycled even if it says it can be (which truly sucks, but hey, that’s the world we live in).
Anywho, here are a few more things and tips for helping you go green at the grocery store:
- Stop getting the plastic shopping bags (if you haven’t already, get a pack of reusable tote bags instead — they’re stronger, last longer, and are eco-friendly).
- Go with items that’s in jars or cans, instead of plastic (aluminum and glass is SO much easier to recycle than plastic).
- Use reusable cotton bulk bags to load up on things like bulk rice, beans, and grains.
- Mesh produce bags are great when buying things like apples, potatoes, berries, and peppers (allows the produce to breath).
- Opt for mason jars to stick bulk things in, like beans and rice (as mentioned, if you have these things you don’t need to buy new things — use what you have!).
Being Eco on the Go
Despite what you might think, reducing plastic isn’t impossible if you’re always on the go (such as a frequent traveler, like me!).
While being a 100% plastic-free traveler isn’t attainable, as you might need to buy medication or you might be traveling in a remote location with limited options, reducing it is certainly possible.
My favorite 6 tips to being eco on the go:
- Opting for metal straws instead of plastic (somehow people still don’t want to do this easy swap!)
- If you’re in a place where you can’t drink the water, use a filtering water bottle instead of purchasing plastic water bottles. (I LOVE this one and took it with me to Southeast Asia!)
- Fly a lot and can’t carry metal utensils with you? Grab this to-go pack of bamboo utensils that I use!
- Always carry a reusable mug or cup of sorts to make sure you have something to put hot liquids in, such as coffee, tea, or even soup. (This is great for on plane rides!)
- Pack snacks in case you get hungry — I always get hungry on the road but don’t like buying packaged, unhealthy snacks at convenient stores!
- Have containers at home? Put a couple in the car or in your backpack for when you’re on the road! This makes it easy to get lunch or dinner to-go. (If you don’t have any, here are some stainless steel ones.)
With #PlasticFreeJuly in mind, there are my tips for going plastic-free. If you feel a bit overwhelmed, that’s totally okay! There’s no way to go 100% plastic free overnight and to be honest with you, most people can’t go 100% plastic free anyways.
The whole point is that reducing any plastic consumption is important and with just a few easy swaps, you can cut back on your plastic usage.
As someone once said, it’s not about a few doing zero waste (plastic free living) perfectly, it’s about thousands doing it imperfectly to have the biggest impact!
Are you trying to reduce your plastic consumption? Have any tips for other readers? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below!
For more tips on a plastic-free life, please head over to my more in-depth article here!
Or read one of these posts next:
- Why Vegan Travel is Part of Sustainable & Eco-Friendly Tourism
- 20 Simple Ways to Practice Ecotourism
- A Big Fat List of Unethical Animal Encounters to Avoid if You’re an “Animal Lover”
- Overtourim: 10+ Destinations Saying “Wish You WEREN’T Here!”
- Why You Should Never Go on a Cruise if You’re a “Sustainable Traveler”
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