Plastic Free July Ideas to Try
It has been 12 years since plastic-free July began by Rebecca Prince-Ruiz and a small team in Perth, Australia. Who decided to refuse single-use plastic for a month.
Since then the movement has grown to over 170 countries and has participants who after trying the challenge, bring their new knowledge and changes through into their everyday lives. It is a fantastic challenge to try new zero waste ideas and such a rewarding feeling knowing those changes, when performed by millions across the globe can have long-lasting effects on the future.
Here are some swaps to try on your Plastic Free journey that we hope may give you inspiration.
In the Kitchen - The kitchen is a fantastic place to start. Most of the single-use plastic can be found in the Kitchen such as plastic straws, plates, cups and food items wrapped in plastic.
Trying a bulk food store and filling your own containers can save on so much single-use packaging, wrapping leftovers in food covers or beeswax wraps and trying a reusable straw are fantastic swaps to try.
In the Bathroom - Swapping over to a Solid Shampoo Bar and Conditioner can save on waste and money also. They are concentrated in bar form and contain no water. One bar equals at least three bottles!
Trailing a few reusable menstrual products over Plastic Free July could help you choose the best product for you. Ask friends and family what they recommend or use and see what reusable menstrual products might suit your needs.
A Toothpaste alternative such as Solid Oral Care is a fantastic swap to make. They are small-batch made in beautiful Titahi Bay, Porirua, Aotearoa.
With Babies - Reducing waste as much as possible, and approaching using less plastic with babies in a more minimalistic way can be a great way to approach Plastic Free July with a baby.
Simply asking if you need certain disposable items, or if you can use what you already have around the house such as a cut-up old flannel sheet instead of single-use wipes is a great low-cost alternative.
Try Reusable Nappies and Reusable Breast Pads if breastfeeding, also making your own baby food from in-season ingredients is also a fantastic way to reduce plastic waste if you are currently buying single-use squeezy baby food.
Out and About - When we are out and about often we tend to have very little choice when it comes to keeping our waste low.
Organisation is often key when out and about. Remembering a reusable water bottle is great and if you think you will get a coffee while out; a reusable coffee cup.
Bringing reusable bags and even keeping some reusable utensils in your car, at work or in a backpack while travelling can help you if you are a bit stuck and need to eat while out and about and reusable items aren't available.
Plastic-Free July is a way to reach out to more Kiwis and encourage them to start their single-use plastic journey. It is important to see this as a journey where we take small steps to get toward our end goal. This may take a long time but every step forward is a step in the right direction.
To be part of the Plastic Free July movement and learn more, visit www.plasticfreejuly.org.
You can find Plastic free July on Instagram as well.