Plastic Free July saves millions of tons of waste from ending up in the landfill. While it's incredibly difficult to go plastic free for the whole month, I think its worth the effort. Even if you can't go fully plastic free, it still helps to do something. Believe it or not the combined efforts of ditching plastic, specifically single use, prevent a significant amount of plastic of getting into our waterways. A little history on the month, the Plastic Free Foundation created "Plastic Free July" in 2011 to encourage people to adopt reuse and ditch plastic. Of course part of the movement was to help raise awareness to the plastics issue and show how there are solutions. For more info on the movement check out their website here. The goal of this post is to give you eight specific tips to make a difference this july and hopefully after!
Skip Any & All Plastic Bags
Not only are tote bags super cute and trendy these days, they're also eco-friendly! You can make your own designs with your friends or make them for your friends as a gifts. This is a great way to gift give without feeling guilty and will hopefully encourage them to rethink their habits. While you're at it, try to find sustainable or plastic free paint as well. Earth Hero has what I think to be the cutest tote bag, that you can get using my link to help me get that bag! They have other designs that you can check out here and then simply search tote bag. Oh, I almost forgot, use my code DRAGUN10 for a discount :)
Ditch the Plastic Straws & Cutlery
Try to make it a habit this month to bring a reusable straw and cutlery set with you wherever you go. When getting take out, ask that they don't include utensils with your meal. And even if you're sitting down to eat, these may come in handy as I've seen restaurants using disposable silverware due to COVID. As we all know, restaurants always give you plastic straws instead of reusable ones so it never hurts to have in your bag. Earth Hero now carries the convenient collapsible straw, that you can get using my affiliate link here. Best of all, you can store them in your new tote bag!
Visit a Farmer's Market
One of the biggest challenges I face in Plastic Free July is when it comes to food. I'm not going to lie, I do buy food packaged in plastic. What can I say I love my vegan chicken nuggets! Although, I do try to buy produce that is package free, and a great place to do this is at a farmers market. I highly recommend checking them out because sustainability but also it's great to support small businesses.
Shop Bulk Foods
Again, food gets me and another alternative to plastic packaged food is to shop in the bulk section. You can find nuts, grains, and snacks here and you can use your own container to take them home with. If you have a co-op or refillery near you, they probably have more of a variety of bulk food than your local grocery store. Buying food in bulk is also better because you can choose your own portions and hopefully this prevent anything from going to waste.
Make Coffee or Loose Leaf Tea at Home
As you know, coffee is a weakness of mine and I do occasionally love a warm cup of sleepy time tea before bed. So this month, I've ditched the tea but have been making coffee at home for the most part. But good news - Starbucks now allows you to bring your reusable cup to be filled! They reinstated their policy at the end of June just in time for Plastic Free July.
Try Homemade Ice Cream/Dessert
If you're looking for a refreshing snack in this heatwave and want to avoid plastic, I suggest trying to make something at home! Ice cream might be a little tricky, but there are hacks. Like the "nice" cream that's basically a reaaaally thick smoothie or even using an ice cream machine. A simpler dessert would be to make ice pops, healthy, refreshing, and yummy. You really can't go wrong with a fruit pop in the summertime.
DIY Cleaning Supplies
Cleaning supplies almost always come in plastic, so to avoid this try making your own this month. It's pretty easy given vinegar is like an all-purpose cleaner and you can use lemons or limes to do an even better job. You can apparently even make your own reusable disinfectanct wipes. However, if you'd like to avoid the whole DIY cleaning thing, I recommend checking out Grove Collaborative either online or in Target stores. They sell cleaning concentrate, soap, and sponges among other things but their products come in aluminum so that they are infinitely recyclable.
Switch to a Safety Razor
The majority of us choose to shave and most people I know use a disposable plastic razor. There's no better time to ditch the disposable razor than for Plastic Free July. Say goodbye to it and invest in a reusable, durable, and sustainable safety razor. There are companies that have recycling programs for the blades as well so they are truly a zero waste alternative.
I hope these eight tips not only help you ditch plastic for July, but also for the rest of your life! As they are timeless and encouraged throughout the entire year. Remember to do your best and it's okay to not be plastic free.
Let me know in the comments how you're ditching plastic!