Plastic waste turtle for plastic free july

Are you up for a challenge? Join the Plastic Free July

Have you heard of the Plastic Free July-movement? It is a global movement that helps people be part of the solution to plastic pollution.  If you join the Plastic Free July movement - and spread the word to familiy and friends (without preaching), together we can minimise our impact on nature. 

Today millions of tons of plastic end up in landfills and later in the ocan. Sometimes I get overwelmed and think that there is no point in trying. But you have probably seen pictures of a seahorse gripping on to a cotton swap or pictures of turtles wrapped in plastic or a birds beak stuck in a plastic lid. And even worse - bird stomaches filled with plastic waste. And then I think what if that exact cotton swap is mine - or what if that plastic lid I threw out gets stuck on a birds beak causing it to die a painful death. 

To many people the thought of living a plastic-free life seams impossible and to much trouble. I don't like to judge other people and I am definitely not perfect myself. 

Plastic is everywhere, it’s unavoidable but single-use plastic is the worst culprit, being made solely for one use only before being discarded, using precious resources in its production and then highly likely to end up in landfill or floating in the ocean.

Plastic Free July aims to raise awareness of the problems with single-use disposable plastic and challenges people to do something about it.

Originating in Western Australia, the Plastic Free July campaign now has people taking part all over the world, raising awareness of the problem of plastic pollution. Once you start the challenge, your eyes will be opened to just how much single-use disposable plastic we actually come across on a day to day basis. If you haven’t already done so, I urge you to sign up and take part.

Sticking to the challenge will be a whole lot easier if you are properly prepared, so here’s our top 10 tips for staying plastic free throughout July.

You can sign up HERE - or just make your own little plastic free july...august...september and so on. But signing up will make you a little more comitted and you will get lots of tips and tools to learn and get good results!

10 TIPS FOR SUCCEEDING DURING PLASTIC FREE JULY

Shopping bags

I know it’s an obvious one, but don’t get caught out without a shopping bag or totebag!

Shop in bulk, take your own containers/bags

The term shopping in bulk or in "weigh your-food"-stores are not the most common here in Sweden, but we do have a few though and I'm sure it's more widespread in the Big 5(USA, Canada, Australia, NZ and UK).

You simply bring your own shopping bags, reusable cloth produce bags, jars and other containers with you to a store with dry food in bulk. You fill your containers with food, pay for the weight (you weigh the containers first and withdraw that from the total weight) and you never have to throw away any plastic packaging. Another cool thing is, that you get the exact amout you need.

I wish this will be much more common in the future.

Invest in reusable coffee cup and water bottle

A reusable coffee cup is really useful for your coffee on-the-go. Make your own coffee or bring the cup to your favorite coffee shop and ask them to use your cup instead of a disposable cup. And I think we all can imagine how many water bottles we throw away in a year. Well maybe not because it is mountains. And it is so unnecessary. Sure sometimes we forget our reusable bottle at home and we have to buy one now and then. But the reusable bottle can save you so much money - and so much waste. You can altso use it for  juice or any drink while you’re out but also a handy container if you need one. (Olive anyone?)

Carry containers with you

To really succeed for Plastic Free July, carrying stainless steel lunchboxes with you is a great way to succeed. You never know when you might need them; use them for leftovers when eating out, food purchased from a deli counter or even some lunch from a food stall.

Straws and cutlery

I always carry stainless steel straws and cutlery around with me, refusing throwaway plastic straws and cutlery is easy when you whip out your own and you might inspire others to do the same, everyone always comments on our lovely stainless steel straws!

Sign up for a milk delivery

Look up your local milk delivery service and have your milk delivered in reusable glass bottles, the milk is slightly more expensive admittedly, but fresher. You can probably fint both organic and non-organic options. 

Support local farmers market

Farmers markets are popping up all over the place these days, as more awareness is growing on where our food comes from. There’s nothing better than chatting directly to the producer, showing interest in their food and asking questions about its production. It also means that, as long as you are prepared with your reusable produce bags and reusable containers there is no need for packaging waste!

In Sweden we have something called the reko-ring. Local farmers sell their products in local reko-ring groups. Once a week the farmers write in the group what they can offer this week. It can be vegetables, meat, herbs, eggs, milk, chocolate, bread etc. The buyers write to the farmers they wish to buy products from and on thursdays the farmers go in to town to a certain spot (in my town it's actually just across the street from my home) and we can pick up our groceries. I always bring my own containers, egg tray and milk bottles. I return the bottles and get new ones so they are always in circulation. 

Buy shampoo and conditioner bars

Some people say that once you make the switch to shampoo bars, you’ll never look back! There are more coming onto the market but you can also use baking soda and vinegar. Or you could do like me - NOTHING. Yep, you read it right. I don't use shampoo. At all. I rinse my hair with water 2-3 times a week. It took some time for my hair to get used to that. I had already prepared it with washing it with low poo shampoo for a year or so when I decided to try it out. My hair and scalp is so much more healthy now - and I suddenly have lots of curls. And no, my hair is not greasy and it doesn't smell :-D

It's probably not for all, but if you decide to try it out you can find lots of informaton and help on Youtube, facebook, google and so on.  

Make your own food

So it’s houmous you love? Make your own! Yogurt is your thing? Make your own! Honestly, you’ll be really quite surprised at how easy many things are to make yourself and it also means you can choose the best possible ingredients to go into them.

Take a break from consumerism

Ok, I thought I’d put this one in here as the final point. For the month of July, see if you can refrain from buying anything other than essentials (food) for the entire month. If you’re a shopaholic who loves buying new clothes, shoes, things for the home, kids toys etc etc then see if you can completely stop for this month. Questioning every possible purchase we make is a great habit to get into, and if it is a new dress you need then hit the second hand shops! At least then you can purchase something with no packaging, and support the second hand market at the same time.

You can sign up for the challenge here

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