I heard for the first time about The Plastic Free July Challenge a few days before July. And it took me just a few seconds to say: Yes Im doing this.
Before this month I already had my own reusable coffee mug, I always took my own reusable bags for shopping, before I had a reusable cup I always tried to order in a ceramic mug to drink in house (I actually hate to drink coffee while walking ;) or said no the lid for as long as I can think. But I didnt really thought about all the other plastics, so its been quite a learning and eye opening month for me.
I definitely learned a lot about the human consumption behavior. The easiness/the convenience is the number one thinking for many.
Ive been to an event and talked to a few people about reusables and coffee to go and I heard things like: "my bag is to small for a reusable mug" or "I really wanted a coffee this morning so I needed to take away because I was running late"(off to an event where you could get as much coffee as you liked and for free).
I learned that people want stuff now and if they cant get it they are getting annoyed and are freaking out sometimes. Isn´t that a kind of addiction behavior?
They even want to choose between every kind of products in the supermarkets or bakeries just a few minutes before the shops are closing, what causes all the food waste everyday because the supermarkets try to offer everything all the time.
They don't think about anything else than themselves (feeding birds with bread because they like that, don't thinking about if its good for the birds, eating cake with single use forks because, yeah why, it doesn´t even taste good right?) because its easier to throw it away?
A big problem is the to go trend. Because businesses don't want to step back because people want to take everything away.
And even Starbucks is so different from country to country.
Warsaw: real reusable cutlery,
Prague: reusable plates but plastic cutlery, and everywhere you must order a ceramic mug because if you dont you will get a to go cup also for having it in house.
And cold drinks? I had no cold drink in an coffee shop for a long time, because of the amount of sugar and because they always get served in a plastic cup. And thats the cause everywhere in every Starbucks and other coffee shop chains worldwide!
I learned about myself that even if I like to make something with Brokkoli for dinner, I dont need Brokkoli if they are pre packed in Plastic. I am a free woman, I can eat whatever I can get without plastic, just be creative and less stubborn and buy other stuff thats unwrapped. And you know what, if you find a plastic free Brokkoli once in a while it will make you so much more happy and grateful :D
Its crazy how people are crazy about the veggie plastic bags. Im not using plastic bags for veggies and fruits since so many years. And there are so awesome alternatives out there. so easy to make your own veggie and fruits cloth bags. And then if you look around you in a supermarket, on a farmers market: they put everything in bags. The bananas, one pepper, one apple, a melon!
What I learned while traveling plastic free:
So have I been successful during my plastic free july challenge? Yes!
Have I been 100% plastic free? No, but thats ok.
My plastic this month:
I am not perfect but are avoiding so much more than most people I met an my travel so far.
Its about doing your best, its not about living 100% overnight, thats just not gonna happen and would only be frustrating and you might just stop because you cant reach this goal.
Most people cant be a 100% plastic free, but if you look around, choose a different grocery store, choose to reuse and refill wherever you can, and avoid all the single use plastic stuff, you can achieve so much!
So no bad feelings if you cant make it a 100% plastic free forever and if you fail inbetween.
There're a lot of things you cant control, so don't be mad about things you cant control, like the straw stories or being served a plastic prepackaged jam portion.
Being mad about things you can change or control? Yes you may do so , or just change what you dont like ;)
Will I continue with my plastic free journey? Hell Yeah I will.
If you´ve seen trashy beaches and rivers because you are aware and sensitive about your environment, you cant close your eyes and say: "Well thats life, I cant do anything, there too many people who dont care." Well yeah, exactly, thats why Im trying to make a difference! Because I care! And I can make changes!
And thats what I tell people if I ask about a plastic free option, I say " Hey, I am on a plastic free mission/challenge, is it possible to fill my own container?Use my clothbag/Paperbag, etc.(while buying coffee I told the woman behind the counter that I am on a plastic free mission, and she said no problems, we have paper bags).
I havent been in a situation yet that somebody said no you cant. So if you experienced this, please let me know how you are trying to explain why you dont want to use plastic, and how people react.
So I guess that will be my lifelong mission: Mission Minimalistic Plastic Waste. I tell you, if you are on this road once, there is no turning back ;)
How was your Plastic Free July? Any Tips, thoughts, fails, success stories you like to share?
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Hi my name is Jule
I am a nature and ocean lover. A passionate runner and minimalistic traveller. On this blog I share my experiences, thoughts and ideas about the "sustainable lifestyle" and how you can stick to this while traveling.
You like what I share? If yes, feel free to buy me a coffee <3