It is that time of year again where we globally challenge ourselves to go plastic free.
Will you be having a go at Plastic Free July this year?
Plastic Free July is supposed to be a challenge. You can pick one disposable to avoid like single-use plastic straws or you can try and avoid the big four which are grocery bags, plastic straws, to-go coffee cups, and plastic water bottles. Of course, you can go all in and avoid ALL single-use plastics for the ENTIRE month of July if you want a real challenge.
Are you finding it easier or harder to reduce your waste during this pandemic? Maybe you're cooking from scratch more, or maybe you're ordering more delivery! I've definitely been seeing way too many single use masks blowing around outside on my walks and on the streets.
Without being too hard on ourselves, Plastic Free July is a great prompt to think about our waste and ways that we can reduce it.
I hope these tips help you out!
10 TIPS TO REDUCE YOUR WASTE
Analyse your waste
What are you throwing away? Are you recycling or composting everything that doesn’t need to go to landfill? Can you donate that to an op shop?Being aware of the waste we're creating is the biggest step forward!
Set up a recycling and composting station
Keep as much out of landfill as possible! I have in my kitchen: an Urban Compost Bin (for food scraps, compost (paper/cardboard),Eco Bali for recycling, soft plastics and landfill.
Reuse containers and packaging
Take away containers can be washed and reused for leftovers and meal prep. Jars can be washed and used for storing ingredients in your pantry or making your own preserves. Save boxes and packaging to reuse for any parcels you send.
Use what you have until you can't use anymore
Don’t throw out your plastic! Don’t feel like you have to go out and buy new glass or metal containers to start your new ‘zero waste’ life. Use up everything that you already have and only replace things when they run out or break.
Grocers and butchers are often happy for you to use your own containers. Farmers markets are brilliant for finding plastic free produce; there is less packaging used in their transit and storage, you will find bread and soap in brown paper bags rather than plastic and many stalls are happy to reuse their packaging again.
Get in the habit of taking a drink bottle and fold up bags with you everywhere you go. Eating on the run is one of the biggest contributors to the waste crisis, so cut out the plastic by carrying reusables, meal prep, bring a bag, water bottle, straw and coffee/tea cup whilst on the go.
Keep it affordable
You can make a reusable (and totally leak proof!) coffee cup out of a jar and some rubber bands. Making your own body scrubs and cleaning products is easy and fun. Metal razors work out much cheaper than disposable after a few uses. A lot of zero waste is using and re-purposing what you already have, so it can save you a lot of money!
Don’t you just cringe when you look at the snack aisle and see all those tiny portion-control bags of snacks or individual yoghurt pouches? Or better yet, choose snacks that aren’t wrapped in plastic at all.
Grow your own
Herbs and salad greens are the biggest waste culprits in the fruit and veggie section. Growing them at home is often incredibly cheap and easy and means no plastic and way less food wastage. When a herb plant costs less than a plastic package of the same herb at a supermarket, there's never been a better project than starting a herb garden!
Forgive yourself, and others!
It’s almost impossible to be 100% zero waste at the moment. Maybe one day we will live in a world that has detoxed from plastic, but as it is, it is extremely difficult to cut it out completely. Be gentle with others that may not be as educated about this issue as you. Leading by example is the most effective way to influence others’ behaviour.
Progress over perfection is key!
Which of these tips are you trying out this Plastic Free July?
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Happy Plastic Free july!