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  • G.E Young

5 Plastic Free July Ideas: What do you need to Know

This month is 'Plastic Free July'! If you are beginning your journey of being more sustainable, this month is a perfect time to start and to set yourself some goals. These goals don't need to be ridding your home of every single-use plastic item you see but rather looking at what you really need and making practical changes to your lifestyle. The phrase 'plastic free' can sound quite daunting, but you can make it manageable for you.

Plastic causes significant issues for our wonderful planet and due to its convenience, we can't seem to escape it. The idea of cutting plastic out of our lives can seem utterly impossible, and that is probably true for most people.

The zero-waste lifestyle is not for everyone and is not practical for everyone. The most important thing is to try and use as little plastic as possible. That is why 'Plastic Free July' is so important! This campaign was created by Rebecca Prince-Ruiz, who is the founder of the Plastic Free foundation. If you would like to learn more about her work and campaign check out their website here and maybe even take their challenge.

5 Eco-friendly Tips for Plastic-Free July

Here at Practical Green Life, we are all about making sustainable swaps that suit you. For this July we have a few options for cutting down your use of unnecessary plastic:

  1. Try reusing your plastic bottles or getting a reusable metal or glass bottle to take with you on the go.

  2. Get yourself a reusable straw! As it's summer and cocktail season, straws could be making a regular appearance in your home. If this is the case why not try getting a pack of metal ones, or even a personalised glass straw. Some companies even make carry cases so you can take it on the go.

  3. Take a reusable bag to your next shop. I love a good shopping bag, especially as you can get them made from recycled bottles. This can be a very manageable sustainable swap for plastic-free July that also feels like a new accessory.

  4. Try out some bamboo cotton pads. If you have a regular skincare routine, why not try swapping to reusable bamboo cotton pads? Not only are they better for the environment than traditional single-use cotton pads but they feel great too!

  5. Coffee cups. Get yourself a reusable coffee cup. If you are like me it's more about remembering to bring the one you already have!

How Should I start?

Rather than getting rid of anything you feel is sinful plastic this month, just do your very best to not gather anymore. One of the bad habits of trying to be more sustainable is buying any new eco products you think you need. The reality is you are still adding to the consumerist problem by doing this.

One of the best things you can do is to re-use as much as possible until you need to replace it. Take a look at what you already have and make use of it! If you are like me, in the corner of your cupboard is a stash of old takeaway boxes that will be useful 'at some point'. Dig them out and use them to take lunch to work, on a picnic, or even just to store leftovers from last night's curry. It helps so much to reuse the things you already have!

Try not to throw them away, this goes for food as well. This doesn't mean eat it if it's gone bad, but rather look into getting or making yourself a compost bin. This helps prevent excess food from going to landfill. You might even find that developing the habit of reusing household items throughout July will save you money.

What If I Need Something New?

If you do find yourself needing something new, which can tend to be hygiene-related products, why not go for a shampoo bar or bar of soap for a change. They do the same thing but aren't covered in plastic (unless they are and then I suggest opting for something in a tin or cardboard box).

In the end 'Plastic, Free July' is a good starting point for making your habits more eco-friendly. Developing these habits is the most important difference you can make to the planet day to day.

The Takeaway

You don't have to go to zero waste for plastic-free July, but it really is worth taking the time to make a goal for this month and making a change. When you are being conscious about your plastic use, you are making a positive impact on our lovely planet!

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