Plastic free July is a campaign that started in 2011 and last year had over 230 million participants.
It’s a campaign to not only reduce our plastic consumption but also allows us to analyse our everyday dependance on it.
It’s a light, waterproof and versatile material created from mostly crude oil and is a major achievement in human history. One of the first inventions of plastic was originally created to replace ivory in a bid to reduce the dependance of a limited natural resource.
It is used on a daily bases by millions of people and is so versatile and durable that it is used in ventilators, glasses frames, clothes, mobile phones, car parts… the list goes on and on.
So why reduce our plastic ?
Like every other technology it is misused and not respected.
Some of this plastic abuse is what we call ‘Single Use Plastic‘(SUP). So named because it is produced to be used once and then discarded.
The big problem with SUP’s is that they can take decades and even centuries to degrade and are often non recyclable. They often end up in our water ways, polluting the environment and oceans and killing marine wildlife.
I wanted to advocate for Plastic free July because I want you to see that plastic is to be respected. Used correctly, it is a great resource. When I saw how much unneccisary plastic I was consuming, it really changed my perspective and I know it will change yours too.
Where do I start to reduce my plastic ?
It may seem like a daunting task but it’s doable. You can take on one day, a week or the whole month. Here are some tips to help you out.
Refuse plastic when you’re out and about. If you know you are heading to the butchers, bring a container for them to pop the meat into. If you forget your reusable mug, ask for no lid at the coffee shop if you are getting takeaway whenever you can.
If you have a water bottle, try and remember it before you leave
Think KEYS, PHONE, WALLET, WATER.
Keep a bag with you if at all possible. Reusable plastic bags can be folded and tucked away neatly in a pocket.
If you know you’re out for the day and might grab a coffee, bring a reusable mug with you. Most coffee places are accepting reusables and they can also refill your water bottles too if needed.
Trying to do ten things at once can be mammoth, so don’t overwhelm yourself. Focus on a specific item to reduce and stick to that. If desired, you could pick an item a week to reduce and see your results. Single use plastics one week, recyclables the next.
Try not to fall into the trap of buying fancy expensive eco-friendly bits. If it helps you kick start you eco-friendly journey then great but over consumption, whether it be plastic or cotton is still bad. We want to reuse what we have and reduce what we consume.
Why not save that beautiful organic cotton tote as a special treat when you know you will reuse it over and over.
Sometimes you can be on auto- pilot and end up grabbing the sliced cheese all individually wrapped. That’s okay. None of us are perfect and nobody expects you to be either. Just try again and learn from your mistakes… (easier said than done)
Thank you for trying
It means a lot you’re giving it a go. If you want to check more info on plastic check out The Story of Plastic . Also check out on Netflix ‘Home’ and ‘Earth’ for some harrowing docos about what we are doing to our planet.