Well ladies and gentlemen, July has come around again and with it comes, not only the cold, and rainy weather, but also the initiative to go completely plastic free for the whole month.
If you consider yourself to be a bit of an eco-warrior already then this month's significance isn't new to you but plastic free July aims to encourage people to works towards a world thats free of plastic waste.
Through participation in past years, plastic free July has seen a decrease in household waste and recycling by almost 5% per person and a total contribution of saving 825 million kilos of plastic waste each year worldwide (that's a whole lot of plastic wrap and disposable sandwich bags)!
Now you don't have to be a guru on all things sustainable living to be able to participate. The good news is that anyone can get involved and start doing their bit for the environment so whether you want to start out small or go big, we've put together some ideas to help you make your life plastic free! We've even separated our ideas for when you're both inside and outside the house so it's easier for you to implement (you can thank us later)! __________________________________________________________________________
Outside The House
Bring Along Your Reusable Coffee Cup
Now this one's a bit hard at the moment considering the pandemic we're currently facing but bringing a reusable cup to your favourite local cafe is a small step you can take that makes a huge difference. Many people have been worried that it's not hygienic to take your reusable coffee cup to your local barista but Frank Green have introduced a #contactlesscoffee movement that involves 4 easy steps.
1. Hold onto your lid and pop your clean cup on the counter
2. Your barista puts a shot of coffee in to your cup
3. They then pour the milk directly into your cup
4. Then you can pop the lid back on, pay for it and enjoy your coffee
Most coffee cups aren't recyclable and even if they're 'compostable', the chances that they actually get composted are very small. By opting to bring a reusable coffee cup from home, you're helping to eradicate single-use, disposable cups and change consumer buying habits.
The good news? There are heaps of colourful and fun reusable coffee cups on the market! Just take the Frank Green Reusable Coffee Cup 10oz in Blushed.
Making the perfect on-the-go coffee cup, this reusable item is made from high-quality stainless steel and durable ceramic so you can rest easy knowing you'll be enjoying coffee's out of it for a long time to come. Built with triple-walled, vacuum insulated technology, this cup features no taste interference, so you can get the maximum flavour out of your favourite beverage, as well as being spill, stain and odour resistant.
Be Smart When Buying Food
This is something we can all easily implement, and not only will it help the environment but it'll also save you some money!
We're all guilty of standing in the biscuit aisle staring at the Timtams whilst thinking 'do I really need this', and while you eventually put them in your basket, that kind of thinking can really help when it comes to being a smart shopper and figuring out whether there's a better alternative. In other words, before you buy an item of food, think about other low or no waste options.
This all has to do with the packaging of the item. When you're choosing an item, consider the brand that has the least amount of packaging, or the brand that has paper packaging instead of plastic. This could also include buying bulk fruit and veggies from a whole food store, instead of from the supermarket where they need to be put into plastic bags.
As an alternative, you can take the Appetito Mesh Produce Bags along with you when you go shopping!
Designed to help you eliminate the need for single use plastic bags for your produce at the supermarket, these bags are both reusable and lightweight, and feature a drawstring closure for easing use. Take your bags with you to the shops, load up, and unpack once you get home so that the bags are always ready for their next use!
Buy In Bulk
As we mentioned before, buying your food in bulk can save the environment a lot of unnecessary stress and yourself a lot of money, and it doesn't have to be a hassle.
Visit your local whole foods store once a month to stock up on all your essentials items such as flour, cereal, pasta and nuts.
Not only do most whole food stores offer paper bags to put your produce in, they also encourage you to bring your own! That's where mesh bags like the ones we've suggested above come in handy, but you can also bring your own storage containers too, like the Typhoon Living Pasta Storage Container!
Perfect for keeping your pasta all in the one place, the Typhoon Living Pasta Storage 2.5L - Cream will also look good on your kitchen benchtop! Made out of high-quality and durable tinware, this canister features an eco-friendly and sustainable bamboo lid to ensure the seal is air tight. Also featuring a seamless construction and a cream design that's bound to suit any kitchen's decor, this canister is a must-have if you want to keep an organised kitchen and a more sustainable lifestyle!
Once you're used to buying your food in bulk, why not head to bakeries, butchers and fishmongers to buy your fresh ingredients? Just remember to bring containers so you're still reducing the amount of single-use plastic being used.
Bring Your Own Straw
If you really feel like you need a straw when you're drinking a glass of coke, there's no reason to being sipping from a plastic one when there are so many great alternatives!
When ordering your drink, let the waiter know to make it without popping a plastic straw in at the end. This is important as if your drink comes out with a straw in it, it'll like go into plastic waste even if you don't end up drinking from it.
Single-use straws remain in the environment indefinitely, and are easily blown into drains and waterways where they'll end up in both rivers and oceans, harming our marine life as they mistake straws for food.
Luckily for us there are numerous alternatives, like that made of bamboo, stainless steel, glass or even foldable options that fit perfectly in your pocket or bag.
Check out the Avanti Telescopic Travel Straw!
Making it easier then ever to reduce your waste when you leave the house, the Avanti Telescopic Travel Straw folds down and is stored in a clever holder on your key ring. Never forgotten, the telescopic straw can go everywhere with you so it's never out of reach when you need it.
Inside The House
Stop Using Plastic Wrap
It's no secret that plastic wrap is a staple in most homes and many products that we buy come wrapped in it too but there are alternatives that are just as effective that won't hurt the environment.
One of the biggest ways to avoid using plastic cling wrap in your household is by storing your food and leftovers in reusable storage containers. Not only that, but you can also use, silicone bowl covers, reusable cloth, or you can even get crafty with an upside down plate to avoid wrapping up your food in plastic.
Why not try out the Glasslock Square Food Container?
Save your extra food in the Glasslock Square Food Continer Oven Safe - 405ml and enjoy it again later. Made from tempered glass these reusable containers are shock resistant and transparent, making it easy to see exactly what's inside. When it comes to reheating, this Glasslock container can be heated in the oven, without the lid of course, and gets rid of the need to use plastic cling wrap.
Beeswax wraps are also a great alternative to plastic ziplock bags when it comes to packing up sandwiches and other snack items too, and you can rest easy knowing that you're preventing the chance of lightweight plastic wrap blowing into the environment where it'll stay forever, and protecting our wildlife who can mistake it for food.
The Organic Beeswax Wraps from Buzzee are a great choice! Even if you happen to accidentally leave your food out of the fridge, as long as it's in the Buzzee Organic Beeswax Wraps Pack 4 in Aqua then it'll still remain fresh and crisp! These eco-friendly, reusable wraps help reduce plastic and paper bag use and are made out of natural, tropical bees wax and organic printed cotton fabric.