Did you know July is a month to make changes to use less plastic? Get all the info at https://www.plasticfreejuly.org/ where you can learn more about how to reduce your plastic this month and go waste free! Remember, small steps add up and you don’t have to be perfectly zero waste to make an impact. Here are 7 great ways to get started:
Avoid pre-packed fruit and vegetables
One of the most wasteful uses of plastic is wrapping produce that already comes with natural, protective packaging that is totally biodegradable! Like clementine's packed in plastic netting and carrots packaged in plastic bags.
Try bringing your own reusable produce bags to pack multiple items. Look for options that can be carried in paper, and shop at farmers markets or small independent stores to avoid packaging.
Refuse plastic straws with takeaway and dine-in drinks
While this one has become trendy, it really is a simple switch. While companies are creating paper options for take out, the best way to be truly waste free is to refuse unnecessary things all together. Drink directly from an open cup when you can, pack your own reusable straw, and remember - some folks actually require the use of plastic straws to make drinking accessible. Do what you can, but be kind to yourself and others!
Avoid lining bins with plastic bags
In our house, we have multiple trash cans. One in each bathroom, the kitchen, and my kids’ rooms. We recently made the switch to not lining our trash cans excluding our kitchen one. If we have wet or messy trash, it goes in the kitchen one, but all the other trash cans can be lined with a wet bag just in case (because kids) and simply be dumped into the main kitchen trash when full. This cuts our use (and cost!) of plastic trash bags down in a BIG WAY!
Start using reusable snack bags
Speaking of plastic bags, one of the best ways to be waste free is by ditching Ziploc bags for reusable bite bags. They are way easier for my kids to use, stronger, and better for the environment! This is our zero waste switch I love the most, because these beauties are just so much more functional for our family than flimsy disposable options.
Pick up litter in public places
When it is safe to do so I encourage my kids to do this too. Picking up a snack wrapper at the park, or old newspaper along our walk helps us keep our neighborhood clean and beautiful. It helps my kids learn to be good citizens, and take care of the environment too. This one doesn’t cut down directly on our own plastic use, but some good karma and keeping trash where it belongs is an important part of the spirit of waste free living.
Don’t want to handle trash? Keep a small wetbag and a pair of tongs in your bag, for hands free eco-cleanup!
Choose bar soaps in place of liquids in plastic containers
This is one that has become so normalized, many of us don’t even realize how much plastic we are consuming for our soaps. Choosing shampoo bars and soap bars eliminates plastics from our bathrooms in a big way. Prefer the liquid option? Try shopping at a refillery for less waste on your favorite products!
Choose cloth diapers or menstrual pads
Disposable products for dealing with bathroom waste takes up a lot of space in many of our households. Cases of disposable diapers and monthly trips to the grocery store for menstrual products add up, in the landfill and on your wallet. Switching to a reusable option for diapers and/or menstrual pads is an investment that pays for itself in time and reduces your plastic use significantly! Make laundry not landfill is the mantra of waste free living, and we encourage you to give it a try, even if only part time! Remember, small steps for big impact.
Did we miss anything? How will you reduce your plastic this month for plastic free July? Just like a new year’s resolution, this is a great opportunity to commit to more waste free living. Leave us your own zero waste tips in the comments below!