The plastic-free July challenge: One month without using single-use plastic
A few weeks ago I stumbled across “Plastic Free July” . It’s an organization from Perth, Australia.
They developed the idea about the plastic free July in 2011 to raise the awareness about the huge amounts of plastic in our daily life.
It has been a locally initiative until 2013, where they decided to invite the whole world to join the one month challenge of “Plastic Free Living”. You should check out their website and join the challenge! http://www.plasticfreejuly.org/
You can also follow them on Instagram: Plastic Free July
I think this is a great idea and a good way to encourage people to think about what they consume and buy and throw away these days.
Also I am already refusing single use and plastic in general (as much as I can), I am definitely joining the challenge.
I am really excited how it goes.
I will also travel a bit in July, so this might cause a few extra challenges. I will keep you updated on the Blog.
For all of you stepping new into all this, I will share the 5 easiest things you can do to reduce and refuse plastic or to get aware about plastics in your daily life. Take small steps, if you want to become plastic free from 100 to zero you will just get frustrated too quickly and might just stop your journey because getting totally zero is really hard work.
The month of July should be a month of getting aware how much plastic you use and how much plastic is around us. Try to avoid as much as you can. You will see even if there is so much plastic wrapped stuff around us, there are a lot of alternatives too.
Everybody can do this and you still have a few days to get used to a few things and get ready for a plastic free month in July. So lets get started.
1) Bring your own reusable bag
The first an easiest thing is: take your own bag for shopping. Refuse the plastic bag! I bet everybody got a jute bag or a backpack or any other reusable bag in the house. Go get them and always have one or two in your car and in your handbag/backpack.
I am doing this since I can think. Long before I even heard about zero waste and plastic free living.
2) Refuse single use plastic bags for veggies/fruits.
Buy only unwrapped fruits and veggies (you will be shocked if you realize how many veggies and fruits are wrapped in plastic).
If you just buy a few carrots or apples you don´t need any plastic bag
(I noticed some people even get a bag for just one apple or for a banana). If you buy cherries or strawberries take a small net, or container (remember that you need to tare these before you put the fruits in there) for these. (And to avoid food waste, buy only as much as you really need.)
3) Refuse single use coffee cups, straws, cutleries.
If you go out at weekends or order cold drinks in a restaurants/Café always say : No straw please!
Always have your own coffee cup with you or take your time to drink coffee in the café out of a ceramic cup.
Always have a reusable spoon/fork in your bag to avoid single use cutlery.
If you want to take one step further: if you don´t want to avoid take away food, take your own food container, reusable box to take away your lunch.
Easiest way to avoid single use take away plastic: make your own lunch at home to take with you. Mostly this is even cheaper and more healthy than take away food, so two good things in one.
4) use a reusable water bottle.
If you live in a country where you have drinking water out of the tab, drink it! You can refill your bottle everywhere!
It will not only save money, it will save a lot of plastic water bottles!
If you live in a country where the tab water is not drinkable, there are filters out there you can use to make it drinkable, or buy reusable water tanks. Normally there are companies around who deliver and pick up the empty ones to refill. (How to avoid plastic bottles while traveling)
5) make a clean up
If you go for a walk or planning a day at the beach, take a bag with you, you will need it, because you get aware about how much plastic trash is laying around in our beautiful environment. Take at least 5 minutes to clean the beach around you, or if you are out for a walk, take the trash you see on your path to recycle at home.
Spread the word:
If you are a social media person check out #Take3forthesea or #5minutesbeachclean up to get inspired and post your own pictures to inspire your friends and family. Feel free to tag #thehappychoices also.
If you are participating “Plastic Free July” let me know how it goes and what your biggest challenges or problems are.
Have fun and enjoy the new challenge!