Plastic Free July 2019

Here it is, July, and that means the plastic free July challenge is amongst us. If you’re not familiar with the concept, Plastic Free July started out in Australia and has grown across the globe, where you take the pledge to reduce your plastic for the planet. I for one believe that it is important to be environmentally conscientious all year round, but I’m always up for a challenge to significantly reduce my waste and plastic in a way possible. I’m not perfect and I never hope to put that persona out. I am human, and I too sometimes forget my bags at the grocery store, buy coconut water in plastic bottles, forget my reusable cup, but it’s truly about doing what you can with what you have each and every day. Making swaps from plastic straws to metal, to wearing ethical and sustainable clothing, thrifting, and walking instead of driving distances is helping our planet.

However, that’s not to say I can’t step up my game, and by that I mean reduce my impact on the planet. To start out, I sat down and wrote the things that I catch myself doing in my day-to-day life, and thereby observing my habits. So here are my tips and I’m writing them down here to hold myself accountable for my actions or inactions for the next month and for the future. Let me know if you have any tips/tricks on how you “choose to refuse” plastic.

  1. Bring your own cup/mason

    I often carry around my KeepCup, however, that’s not to say that I don’t forget it at times. This month (and beyond), I’ll be stocking my car up with mason jars, a reusable coffee cup, and a couple of water bottles. I recently discovered the “Cuppow” which is a lid for your mason.

  2. Stock up the car with masons

    Getting back to the mason jar thing again, but, I often find myself going to the Bulk Barn without reusable bags or containers, which forced me to opt for the single use plastic bags. Stocking up on a box of mason jars allows for myself to have them on hand at all times.

  3. Reusable containers

    When eating out, so many of us opt for the plastic containers that are provided in cafés and restaurants. Why not bring your own metal container or tupperwear.

  4. Shop at farmer’s markets

The produce in the grocery store is packed full of plastic packaging, and what’s better than supporting local? Grab your reusable bags, and hit up the market on a Saturday. It’s good for the soul too :)

5. Utensils!

Eating out? Grab a set of reusable utensils so you don’t use utensils that will have less than an hour lifespan.

6. Bulk up your bags!

Sometimes I catch myself not having my bags on hand, which results in myself trying to carefully carry everything out of the store in my hands, stuffing it into my backpack, or results in me taking a plastic bag to carry my items. Either way the situation isn’t good for myself or the environment. Stocking up my car with lots of bags to stay accountable!

7. Plastic Wrap/Storing Food

I cook… like a lot, so food often needs to be covered in order store it properly. Using bee’s wax wraps and stasher bags are real lifesavers for me.

These are just a few ways we can help reduce our waste, and I haven’t even touched the surface on how plastic is negatively affecting our planet. I just hope that these notes help me and possibly you stay more accountable for your plastic consumption.

Emma Hyslop