Plastic Free July! Easy ways to reduce plastic waste.

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Jul 2, 2020

Plastic Free July is basically what it sounds like! Doing everything you can to reduce your plastic waste for the month of July (at least!). I wish everyone was trying to reduce their single use plastic waste, but I know, with any new habit or lifestyle, it takes baby steps. Which is why I love that “Plastic Free July” is a thing!

I wanted to give a few things that I do/did to start out reducing plastic waste in everyday life.

01. Ditch the single use plastic water bottles

This is one of the very first things I did. I would make sure to bring a reusable water bottle with me when I had shoots or running errands, working out, going to work at my part time job, volleyball games, softball games, when I go to BBQ’s or cookouts.

Use what you have! No need to buy a new one.

Now, these things I’m going to list, don’t seem like a “big deal” if you don’t make the swaps. I get it, but it’s not until you have created that habit does it actually open your eyes to understanding how much waste we create for such silly things.

It’s kinda like when you are car hunting. You decided you wanted a 2015 Ford Escape, well guess what you’re going to be seeing when you drive around…Ford Escapes! It’s the same thing with sustainability. Once your mind is opened to it, you’ll start noticing not only the waste, but ways you can swap things out for more sustainable options!

02. Plastic Straws? Don’t need ’em.

If you go out to eat…if it’s allowed right now in your area (thank you pandemic), then just say “no” to the straw! If you are uncomfortable drinking out of the glass, bring your own straw with you!

03. Cut out the To-Go containers.

While you’re out saying “no” to straws at a restaurant, bring some reusable containers from home to throw your leftovers in when you’re ready to leave!

I have a mix of containers — don’t feel like you have to go out and replace everything! Use what you have. If you want safer, healthier options, using glass or stainless steel is better for food, as studies have shown that plastic containers leak chemicals into our foods. It might not seem like it’s affecting us now, but long term, it can cause health issues!

I tend to go for the glass containers to store and heat up leftovers. The stainless steel containers are great for any type of food or used as a to go container, too.

04. Let’s all just stop using the plastic bags from the grocery store.

I know that you can get a few uses out of plastic bags, but why keep getting more when you go shopping? I remember being at my parents’ house and they piled up! Even though we recycled them/saved them for bathroom trash bags, it’s still very wasteful!

You can cut out plastic bags by bringing your own! I just use the bags/totes I have lying around. OR you can bring your plastic bags back with you to use again!

Same goes for produce. There are many options of bags for produce, the majority made of cotton or a fabric. It’s the little things that make a huge impact.

The easiest way I remember to bring my reusable bags is creating a good habit of setting them by the door after I’m finished unloading my groceries, then putting them back in the car when I leave next. It’s all about making it a priority, but don’t beat yourself up if you forget. It happens to all of us! If I do forget, I either opt for the paper bags they have at our grocery store, or I will just not use any bags, and put the items back in my cart to take to the car. I know that’s not as easy for everyone, especially if you have children or have a lot of items that day, but it’ll help ya not forget the next time!

05. Plastic cutlery? No thanks.

It’s such an easy fix! When I first began my journey into sustainability, I thought I had to buy everything I needed that was *Better* for than the alternative. As it’s been a few years, I realize, it’s best to use what you have, and then buy things you need with more intentionality behind each purchase.

The easiest way — Grab some silverware from your kitchen drawer, wrap it up in a reusable napkin or container and keep it in the car or in your purse! That way, when you eat out, there will be less waste and you’ll still get to enjoy whatever it is you’re eating!

If you’re wanting a different alternative, I have this bamboo cutlery set! They are pretty handy. Already in a pouch that can velcro shut. A fork, knife, spoon and chopsticks can fit perfectly into the pouch. Store it and you’re good to go.

Products I use:

Water Bottles/Cups
they are 40% off with code FATHER40


Stainless Steel Containers

Reusable Bags

Produce Bags

Bamboo Cutlery

The Package Free Shop also offers bundles/kits! You can check them out here

Other blogs you might find interesting:

Four of my favorite reusable items when I travel

Why I became more sustainable

What is sustainability?

Let me know if there’s anything else you want me to cover! I wanted to keep this one focused on those just starting out. Making small switches instead of overwhelming you with an abundance. Just know, you’re amazing for reading this. For taking time to understand or learn new things. For trying new things and wanting to make change. It takes each of us individually to make a change in this world, and I know we can do it.

Send me your pictures or ways you are cutting out plastic!
Instagram: @MadiRichardson

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