WHAT IS PLASTIC-FREE JULY?
Plastic-Free July is a challenge to eliminate single-use plastic from your life. Most folks aim for the whole month and beyond, but many try 1 day or 1 week too! The movement was started by Rebecca Prince-Ruiz, founder of The Plastic Free Foundation in Western Australia.
HOW TO START.
The most important thing to remember is that you have not failed if you don’t achieve the picture-perfect, instagram-stereotype of a Plastic-Free July. The goal here is to pay attention to the plastic in your life, and try your best not to acquire any NEW plastic.
Do not throw away everything plastic you own, and replace it with environmentally friendly alternatives. You’ve done the earth no favors by putting all that in a landfill.
Single-use plastic sneaks up on you. You’re out running errands, you’re super hungry and won’t be home for another three hours. You grab a quick meal… it comes in plastic, and you eat it with plastic. You order something online that you actually need in less than 2 days… it comes wrapped in plastic. It happens. And it’s impossible to plan for every single unforeseen event. But it IS possible to keep a few emergency supplies in a tote bag, in the glove compartment of your car, in a saddle-bag on your bike… you get the idea.
YOU DON’T NEED TO BUY ANYTHING SPECIAL.
Chances are you have everything you need for a quick zero waste kit already in your house. The trick is not to forget it when you head out! If you use more than one vehicle, you probably still have enough stuff to make a kit for each of them. If you don’t want to use your everyday silverware, you can pick utensils up on the cheap at secondhand shops.
MAKE A QUICK, FREE ZERO WASTE KIT.
1) Mason jar(s)
2) Extra silverware and chopsticks
3) Cloth napkin(s) or leftover paper napkins from takeout
4) Old plastic container(s)
5) Travel mug
6) Tote bag(s)
7) Reusable glass or steel straws, or leftover straws from takeout
PLASTIC-FREE AT HOME.
You very likely won’t run out of anything you need here during the month. If that’s the case, just use what’s already there! Toilet paper, shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, make-up, razors, bandaids, toothpaste, floss…good grief, there’s an endless list!
If you ARE running low on something vital in your home, take stock and plan your replacements NOW. And if you don’t have time to shop for them in person, or they aren’t available in your area, there are LOTS of online zero waste shops who will ship products to you plastic-free. Us included! We’ve got you covered on soap, pain relief, and lotion, etc.
There’s a compostable, eco-friendly alternative to pretty much everything you have in your home right now. A quick google search will get you to bamboo cotton swabs, cloth make-up remover rounds, zero waste make-up, you name it!
We hope that helps you feel like this challenge is more approachable. If you’d like to join the movement officially, you can do so HERE! The Plastic Free Foundation has tons more helpful tips and tricks to keep you going.