Happy July! It's hard to believe that summer is in full swing, July is here, and many of us are still doing our best to do everything we can to fight the infection rate from Covid-19. But this is also the time that many of us reflect back on bigger issues, like plastic pollution and waste.
Here’s something scary: Did you know scientists estimate that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans? This means that our children’s children won’t have quite the beautiful beach vacation we might be dreaming for them, and even worse, marine biology will die off at a staggering rate. Plastic finds its way into the stomachs of fish and birds, and doesn’t end its journey there. It’s been discovered that even humans who eat seafood are ingesting small amounts of plastic. So that single-use plastic that seems like no big deal to us today, just may come back to haunt us in the belly of our trout! That's why we are joining the Plastic Free July challenge that has rapidly grown into a global movement engaging millions of people in more than 170 countries around the world.
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How can you join Plastic Free July Movement?
Here’s the good news: there is so much you can do to fight this plastic storm, and an entire community is behind you in your fight to go plastic-free! Are you ready for the challenge? Whether you’d like to count yourself as a beginner (committing to eliminating one disposable item from your habits this month), an intermediate (avoiding the worst offenders: single-use plastic straws, coffee cups, grocery bags, or water bottles) or an expert plastic fighter (no more single-use plastic for you), you are invited to this plastic-free party!
1. Switch To Reusable Cups and Bottles
We love using reusable cups or our water bottles. In fact, some businesses like Starbucks even give you a discount for bringing in your own cups.
2. Use Reusable Shopping Bags
While we know that some grocery stores are restricting the use of your own bags, many others are lifting that ban. In our family, we always have several reusable shopping bags in our trunks. We love the cold insulated bags for bringing home ice cream during the hot summers.
3. Support Companies That Pledge To Go Plastic Free.
There are some great companies that are seeing the damaging effects of plastic packaging and doing their best to reduce their consumption. We like Dropps for our laundry and dishwashing detergents because they make a huge effort to reduce packaging and don't use plastic.
4. Ditch The Plastic In The Bathroom!
Plastic in the bathroom is a huge contributor to the problem. From plastic toothbrushes to single-use feminine products, enough plastic is thrown away EVERY YEAR to circle the earth FOUR TIMES!
This year I've switched to the reusuable Diva cup to reduce my own personal plastic consumption and I freaking LOVE IT! It takes a little time to figure it out. But I wish I'd done it 20 years ago!
And you can even swap out disposable razors and toothbrushes for bamboo alternatives.
5. Buy From The Bulk Section
Simple swapping can reduce your waste by half. Some grocery stores like Whole foods allow you to bring you reusable non-plastic bags for the bulk products. (Again, this was pre-covid. So check with your grocery store for their policies.)
6. Use Reusable Straws Or Skip It
One of my favorite things about living in Seattle was their ban on straws. Unless you bring your own, straws won't be found in restaurants. I began carrying my own and tossing them in my bag. I have a fun collection of bamboo, metal, glass, and even boba straws for any occasion.
7. Refill and Reuse Your Cleaning Supply Containers.
We make an effort to reuse the containers in our house for our cleaning supplies. I have my favorite bottles that are refilled with vinegar for cleaning. We also choose to buy from companies like Dropps that don't use plastic containers.
We know that the environment is a hot topic for a lot of people. It's not easy to break free from the masses and do your own thing. But we are learning and growing right along with you. It's worth the effort to make simple changes. I was shocked to discover that the average person living in North America or Western Europe consumes 220 pounds of plastic each year, mostly in the form of packaging.
Whatever you are doing, we would love to hear your tips for reducing plastic waste. Join in the conversation on our Facebook Page!