We don’t have to tell you that we’re facing environmental doom, everyone and their auntie will be sharing articles about it on your timelines; but what you might not know is that its Plastic Free July!
A campaign led by the Plastic Free Foundation, the point is to get millions of people around the globe to refuse single-use plastics for a whole month, with the hopes of seeing a future without plastic waste.
A WHOLE month? Without plastic? Sounds impossible! But with more and more businesses from cafes to healthcare stores stocking products in alternative packaging it has gotten significantly easier to break unsustainable habits.
We’re all about finding ways to reduce our negative impact on the environment, from our reworked vintage line or our collaborations with No Planet B, so we’ve compiled a handy list of no-fuss ways to ditch the plastic and fully embrace Plastic Free July.
10 Ways To Reduce Plastic Waste
Okay, let’s start with the basics. It’s become more common for bars, pubs and restaurants to no longer offer plastic straws, which is great! It can be tempting to take one if they are available but just remember that picture of the turtle and stay strong.
2. Carry A Water Bottle
Reusable water bottles come in so many styles, with so many fancy designs there’s no reason to not have one. Invest in a sturdy metal bottle that will keep your drinks cold or alternatively any cheap, refillable one will do. Go forth and hydrate smugly as you do your bit to fight pollution.
3. Shop at local grocers/don’t bag your fruit and veg
Whether you’re lucky enough to live near a nice greengrocers or only have the big high-street chains there are ways to reduce waste in your weekly shop. If you can shop locally-sourced produce that comes without packaging, that’s amazing, but if you can’t, then you can still make swaps- for example if you can get broccoli that is un-packaged choose that over the ones wrapped in plastic. Of course don’t forget to bring your canvas bags and reusable shopping bags with you too!
4. Switch out meat for vegetarian or vegan options
Whilst the carbon footprint of the commercial agriculture industry is one huge problem in climate change, the plastic used in packing these meats is another big issue. For some, cutting it out altogether might seem impossible but if you can make swaps to vegetable-based diets even once or twice a week you will immediately cut down your waste production. Remember, it’s about the small, daily actions that can help make a big impact.
5. Switch from face-wipes to reusable makeup removers or face cloth
Not only do face-wipes come in plastic packaging but they are not biodegradable and often contain plastic fibres such as polyester. Reduce your spending and your environmental impact by investing in some reusable cleansing pads or simply using a good face-wash with a face-cloth. Don’t forget to also steer clear of scrubs that contain microplastics and go into the ocean.
6. Invest in a good lunchbox
In the same way water bottles have had a makeover in the last couple of years, so have lunch boxes. Find the right kind of box to fit the kinds of foods you like bringing to work and know that you’re also saving money on those pesky, plastic-heavy meal deals.
7. Invest in and carry a metal straw and cutlery set to carry with you
It’s crazy to think about the amount of throwaway plastic involved in daily routines such as breakfast and lunch. With everyone leading busier lives than ever, bad habits tend to form around the ease and availability of plastic. Cut-out the temptation by getting a portable set of straws and cutlery to keep in your bag. Opt for a long-lasting metal set or a cheaper reusable plastic option, that way even if you do treat yourself to a meal deal you can still refuse the plastic fork you’d normally pick up.
8. Kick your fizzy-drink habit
A mid-afternoon fizzy pick-me-up might be a normal part of your routine but the daily cans and bottles of drink can add up to a mountain of waste every week. If cutting it out altogether is too hard then try setting yourself a goal to not have more than 2 or 3 a week.
9. Make coffee at home/work
A morning coffee is, for many, the perfect way to start your day, but that quick fix on the way to work is doing a lot of harm. Instead of making a coffee stop in the morning, take 5 mins extra in bed, save a ton of money and make it when you get to work.
10. Get a plastic free buddy
Like with achieving all goals, it is often much easier to have someone doing it with you to cheer you on and keep you strong. Round-up your friends, colleagues or family, start a WhatsApp group and see who can go the longest before using something single-use! A fun way to make a big change!
These easy steps are all small, everyday things but if everyone tried to do at least 5 we could reduce our impact significantly. If you want some more handy tips on reducing your waste check out the Plastic Free July website where you can find loads of helpful resources, like this action plan maker.
You can also read our blogs on how to make 2019 your most sustainable summer yet and our easy-read guide to how we need to fix the fashion industry’s consumption and pollution.