Who's ready for a challenge!?Plastic Free July® is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution by committing to going plastic free for the month of July. Although you can sign up on their website (https://www.plasticfreejuly.org/) you are really only making a commitment to yourself to be mindful of how much plastic you use on a daily basis, and to consider alternative options.
It's really easy to 'choose to refuse' single-use plastic, and by keeping your commitment top-of-mind for the month, you will also be building some great new habits to carry with you for the entire year. Using less plastic means cleaner streets and neighbourhoods, cleaner oceans and forests, and an overall healthier community.
There's no shortage of ideas on how to go plastic free (in fact, Eco Shark is full of ideas!) and you don't need to overhaul your entire lifestyle to participate. Truly, one of the biggest impacts that Plastic Free July has is to highlight just how much plastic we use and how unnecessary it is.
Whether you're new to Plastic Free July or a Plastic Free Pro, here are some ideas on how you can participate:
Intro to Plastic Free
- Bring reusable shopping bags every time you go out. If you don't have fabric bags, ask around for extras, try making your own, or reuse the plastic bags you got from your last shopping trip.
- Pro Tip - keep a foldable bag near your keys, so you remember to grab it on the way out the door.
- Bring your own travel mug for coffee breaks, or to use at water fountains instead of plastic water bottles.
- Pro Tip - Many coffee shops offer a discount on beverages for bringing your own mug.
- Pack your lunch every day using reusable bags and food wrap, or make sure to eat at restaurants using plastic-free and compostable packaging.
Plastic Free Intermediate
- Shop as much as you can from your local farmer's market.
- Bonus points for directly supporting farmers, shopping locally, and eating clean!
- Plant a garden and grow the produce you eat the most. If you don't have a yard, try growing your own herbs in your window sill.
- Bonus points for finding a new stress-relieving hobby!
- If you have a car, take a close look at how much you're using it and whether you can combine trips, or walk/bike/public transit instead.
- Bonus points here for saving money and reducing gas!
Plastic Free Pro
Do a plastic audit of your workplace
Speak to local stores about their sustainability practices
Chatting with local store owners about their environmental impact will go a long way. Stores, particularly small business, really care about customer feedback and will value your input.
Write to your local political representative
Our political leaders are representations of our communities; Let them know that you're concerned about plastic pollution. Writing a letter or email doesn't need to be daunting - just introduce yourself, tell them know your concerns, why they matter, what you'd like to see as a solution, and then ask what they're doing to help solve the issue.
Join us this July!
There are over 100+ million participants in 190 countries who participate in Plastic Free July - just think what an impact that many people can have when they all work together. Each change that each person makes, no matter how small, will collectively add up to a massive improvement for the world.
What are you able to commit to? Share your goals in the comments - maybe you'll inspire someone else to join the team!