Next month is Plastic Free July and in celebration of this I'm giving myself the challenge of going zero single-use plastic for the month! I'm going to try to avoid using single-use plastics all month - including shopping bags, takeaway cups, clingfilm, bottles and even plastic packaged foods such as meats (I think this is going to be one of the hardest ones!).
We're already doing quite a few plastic-minimising efforts in our household so it will be interesting to see what we can do to further reduce our plastic consumption. We're away to a photographer's conference in Wellington for a week at the beginning of the month which I'm sure will prove challenging trying to be plastic-free while travelling but I'm looking forward to finding ways around plastic conveniences.
Here's the parameters I've set myself; anything that is already in the freezer or fridge isn't going to be count towards the challenge I've set myself, but anything we buy during the month does. (And much to Matt's despair this doesn't mean we will just stock up on a whole month's worth of packaged meat to see us through!!!) I've also decided I'm going to use the hair-styling and makeup products which I currently own and are in plastic containers because it would be wasteful not to use them up & it will force me to think of alternatives once they run out. Aside from those exceptions everything else must be single-use plastic free! I'm sure I won't be perfect so if I do stuff up & use a single-use plastic I'm going to keep track of any plastics I go to put in recycling so that I can be even more conscious. I'm hopeful this month long challenge will help reset some of our plastic habits for the future too so that we can continue to be as plastic-free as possible going forward! I'll be updating my Facebook page and blogging about my progress during the month, sharing any good alternatives I find along the way.
Join me and set yourself a challenge for Plastic Free July 2018! Whether you're way ahead with your plastic reduction than me, or just starting out. Give yourself a goal; big or small. It can be as simple as no plastic bottles for the month. Or perhaps a goal to always remember your reusable shopping bags. Or join me in the challenge of zero single-use plastic at all for a whole month! It all makes a difference.
Four easy ways to reduce your plastic consumption:
1. Always use reusable shopping bags. Everywhere you go that you need a shopping bag - not just the supermarket. Our #1 trick to remembering them, is to replace them back in the vehicle immediately after we empty our groceries at home, then they're never left behind for the next shop. I also carry a couple of small reusable bags in my handbag so I've always got an option on me when I'm out.
2. Take your reusable cup for that coffee fix. And if you forget it don't get a takeaway coffee - sit in the cafe and enjoy a 'slow' coffee instead.
3. Say no to straws! I've got into the habit of refusing straws with my drinks - whether it's with fast food or at a restaurant. There's actually hardly any drinks you really need a straw for and if you do; keep a reusable one in your bag or car glovebox. I have a stainless steel one that I carry in my handbag.
4. Stop buying drinks in plastic bottles. This one is hard for the juice & fizz lovers (like my husband), but don't get me started on why we should be cutting these sugary drinks out of our diet anyway! We're so lucky in NZ that we have access to clean, safe drinking water straight from our taps. And yet we get fussy about how tap water tastes (which a simple water filter can fix). Use a reusable water bottle and if you want something a little tastier than water look for drinks that come in glass bottles or add a tasty fruit teabag to your water bottle.