Like the New Year brings a little motivation to make resolutions to improve our lives, Plastic Free July can do the same. It’s good to have an event where people from around the globe come together to get rid of some of the plastic in their lives. If you’ve been asking, how can I participate in Plastic Free July, we’ll tell you why and share 10 Plastic Free July activities.
How Can We Avoid Plastic in Daily Activities?
Unless you’re really thinking about it, a lot of the plastic we use can go unnoticed. This is strange, because we use A LOT. How are you reading this article? Surely the device you’re using contains plastic components, like keys or a phone case. Where are you sitting? That’s probably plastic, too.
If you were to look around you right now, it’d probably be hard to spot too many things that aren’t plastic. It’s in our clothes, furniture, and wrapped around the majority of our purchases.
As one of the most crucial Plastic Free July tips, it’s great to simply take stock about all of the plastic you bring into your life. Certain things—like furniture and medical equipment—make plastic hard to avoid entirely.
But by using July to assess your plastic intake, you may realize that some things are much easier (like those candy bar wrappers or single use bottles). Considering that the average American uses roughly 110 pounds of single-use plastic annually, there’s certainly room for improvement.
Which Day is Celebrated as No Plastic Day?
If you’re new to Plastic Free July, or No Plastic July, just think of it as a great excuse to refuse single-use plastics. You’ll be joining more than 100 million participants in 190 countries around the globe.
Think an entire plastic free month sounds too difficult? Realize that even small changes can have a significant impact. Even if you spend July learning to say “no” to plastic straws, and then continue that new habit for years to come, that’s great!
That said, you may want to start your journey into a less-plastic life by celebrating International Plastic Bag Free Day, which will be celebrated on Sunday, July 3, 2022. On this day, keep reusable bags with you, and start getting used to saying “no” to unnecessary plastic!
If you are ready to go big and spend 31 days reducing your plastic consumption, then read on for our Plastic Free July tips!
10 Plastic Free July Activities
1. Take the Plastic Free July Challenge
The Plastic Free Foundation is a good place to turn for momentum to help you curb your impact. If you’re new to eco-friendly living, officially participating in their challenge will help you truly make a challenge. When you sign-up, you can list your goals and any previous experience with plastic-free living. Then, they’ll share tips and stories to keep you motivated throughout the month!
2. Reduce Your Consumption of the Top 4
Bags, bottles, straws, and coffee cups are recognized as the top 4 single-use plastics. Fortunately, they’re easy to live without!
- Bags: Always have a reusable cotton tote with you—just in case!
- Bottles: Buy a stainless steel water bottle and forget about all those single-use ones! You’ll save the planet, and about $1,236 a year by avoiding plastic water bottles.
- Straws: A reusable, collapsible straw will make that iced latte taste just as good—but it won’t end up damaging the stomachs of birds or lodged in the nostrils of sea turtles.
- Coffee Cups: They may look like paper, but most coffee cups have a plastic lining that makes them impossible to recycle. A reusable, stainless steel bamboo bottle will keep your coffee hot for 12 hours, without warming up our planet!
3. Have a Plastic-Free Period
As if menstruators don’t already have enough to deal with… plastic waste is an additional thing to consider. Most conventional period products—pads and tampons—contain a lot of plastic. A single person will throw away roughly 400 pounds of these throughout their lifetime. But it’s not necessary!
4. Switch to Compostable and Reusable Kitchen Essentials
The kitchen isn’t just the heart of the home, it’s also where we generate a lot of plastic waste. But it doesn’t have to be.
Plastic bottles of dish soap can be replaced with a concentrated, zero waste dish soap.
Similarly, dishwasher detergent pods can cut out plastic waste, too.
Stinky mildewy sponges can make way for zero waste, plant-based cellulose and loofah sponges.
Plastic cooking utensils can be harmful for both planetary and human health. What better time than July to make the switch to organic bamboo cooking utensils!
Zip up single-use snack and sandwich bags once and for all by making the switch to Stasher’s silicone bags.
There’s gotta be(e) a better alternative to plastic food wrap—and there is! Food wraps made with beeswax and organic cotton will protect your food until their end of life, where they can be composted.
To clean while cleaning out some of the plastic in your life, get a refillable all-purpose cleaner bottle and use dissolvable tablets or make your own DIY cleaning products.
With a washable pail liner, you can take out the trash without disposing of a single-use plastic bag!
5. Brush with Better-for-Earth Products
Our oral care products result in a lot of waste. Plastic toothpaste tubes and brushes aren’t recyclable, and the average family will go through dozens every year!
For a white smile and healthy world, make Plastic Free July the time to celebrate some new oral care products:
- Zero waste toothpaste tablets
- Compostable bamboo toothbrush (just be sure to remove the bristles before composting!)
- Plastic-free, biodegradable silk dental floss
6. Use More Bars in the Bathroom
Do you ever read product labels while in the bath or shower? If you did, you’d probably notice that the first ingredient of most of our common products—shampoo, conditioner, body wash—is water. Isn’t this silly if you’re using these products with water?
Well, we’re not the only ones who think so. In recent years, many brands have revolutionized common personal care products so that they’re free from water. In doing so, they’re saving millions of single-use plastic bottles. Here are a few brands you might want to support during Plastic Free July:
- Zero Waste Soap: Corvus Botanicals
- Shampoo and Conditioner Bars: HiBar, Corvus Botanicals, Long WKND.
7. Buy in Bulk
As a solution to excessive packaging, bulk shops are popping up around the globe. They’re a great place to source groceries, cleaning supplies, and makeup products. Litterless has a guide to help you find a bulk grocery shop near you.
8. Try Some Sustainable Swaps
In all areas of our lives, we can make simple changes that can have a significant positive impact. Check out this blog for a list of 15 easy sustainable swaps!
9. Get Plastic Out of Your Wardrobe
About 60% of our clothes are made with synthetic fabrics like nylon, polyester, acrylic, and others. Washing them can release microplastics, teeny-tiny plastic particles that can pollute our environment and be consumed by fish and other animals.
That said, consider shopping for clothes that are made with natural fibers, like cotton, hemp, and linen. Also, while you wash your clothes, be sure to use a Cora microfiber catching laundry ball to keep these dangerous plastics out of waterways.
10. Buy Less
While ditching plastic and switching to products made with reusable or compostable materials is great, buying less is even better. As one of the most important plastic free challenge ideas, you can just use July as a time to reflect on the items you bring into your life.
Is all that stuff truly making you happy? Would you feel freer or have more time if you didn’t spend every weekend at the mall? Could you travel or start a garden if you saved money on online shopping purchases?
Plastic is undoubtedly a HUGE problem, but so is over-consumption. Celebrate Plastic Free July by challenging all of your purchasing habits, and really focusing on what brings you joy.
We Look Forward to Celebrating Plastic Free July with You!
While we urge you to buy less, Green Eco Dream is here to help with essential sustainable products you might need around the home, or for your personal care practices. We hope these 10 Plastic Free July Activities will help you transform your life for the better. We’ll be here to cheer you on in July and beyond!
Explore our Plastic-free July collection below and use code BLOG10 to save 10% on your first order. And remember — buy only what you need.
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