Plastic Free July: An approach towards sustainable living
We are always hearing about how plastic is affecting the ecosystems, specially the Ocean Wild Life, and that we need to take action in this issue, making an urgent effort to change it. We see the documentaries and news, we see the activists messages and the researchers articles. Everything is so real and heartbreaking! But the real question is: Do we really know what to do? With so much information available, sometimes it can be overwhelming. So don’t worry, we’ve got you! In light of the Plastic Free July movement, we wanted to share with you some very practical examples of changes that you can do in your day-to-day life, working together for a plastic free lifestyle.
In the beginning, it’s important to choose wisely and not bury ourselves with all the options that we can embrace. So, our advice to you is making changes one-step at a time, slowly but steady.
Takeaway coffee cups
Starting with the basics, if you’re wanting to commit to this lifestyle, you should opt for using reusable coffee cups, whether you buy a glass or stainless steal one or bring your own mug from home with you.
We have keep cups available at our store, in Embaixada, Príncipe Real. They’re a great option and you can personalize it according to your taste.
- Impact: Most of the coffee cups are not recycled, and if you bring your own cup, you’ll be showing others how easy it is to reduce waste and create a trend in your inner circle.
Plastic shopping bags
Another simple change is to start carrying your reusable water bottle and shopping bags.
When shopping for groceries, you can choose to buy the vegetables and fruits without any bags or prefer the ones packed in a cardboard. If you have a farmer’s market in your neighborhood, the use of plastic bags is less likely, and you will be buying local, supporting your community at the same time.
- Impact: By refusing the use of plastic bags and water bottles, you can avoid about 500 plastic bags and 200 water bottles per year from ending up in the landfill and oceans, sparing the animals from confusing micro plastics with food.
In regards to straws, the advice is to avoid straws and specifically tell the person in charge of that decision for you, that you do not want a straw, when you order your drink. But if you like to use straws, there are great portable options available for you to purchase, like the bamboo straws.
- Impact: Straws are the main product that enters the Ocean, breaking into micro plastics, staying indefinitely in such sacred environment, destroying all the existing nature, like the coral reefs and the animals. And yet, is the easiest item to refuse to have in your life.
In the bakery, you can also bring your own bread bag, like our grandma’s used to do. Remember those? The typical handmade from scrap fabric bags, they have so much character and you can make your own! How awesome is that? Or you can also give preference to the farmer’s market or bakery that uses paper bags.
- Impact: Again, you will be saving plastic bags and plastic clinging film from changing the Ecosystems.
Going a little bit further, as bins goes, you can choose a certified compostable bin liner bag or use a bin without a bag, and washed it afterwards.
- Impact: We use it daily, and no matter how many plastic bags we refuse in our shopping routine, this one’s are, in most peoples point of view, impossible to refuse. But, that’s actually not true and if we don’t refuse it, we are still using plastic bags. A great idea would be to start composting your waste, and you can put the rest of the trash in a big glass container that you can easily clean.
Plastic cling wrap
Choose using wax-wraps instead of plastic cling film and reusable washable cloth bags as an alternative to zip lock bags, to store and pack food on-the-go.
- Impact: Plastic cling wrap, like straws have become a plague. They are everywhere and can be so easily lost in the recycling process. The alternative is not hard to do, and will save so many animals from fatal ingestion and suffocation.
Personal hygiene packaging
In respect to personal hygiene you can pick solid deodorants and soaps, and there is already a lot of options of products stored in recycled containers like Dr. Bronner’s items. You can also go explore and see if you can find these products in bulk stores, and reuse a glass container.
- Impact: You will be saving the environment from so many plastic bottles being thrown away. Think of how many products you have in your bathroom than are stored in plastic? To many! And it can all be avoided.
House cleaning products
The same applies to the house cleaning products. Pure Castille Soap by Dr. Bronner’s is a great product, if you want to reduce your plastic waste, because in one bottle you have 18 uses, from taking care of your personal hygiene to cleaning your house. And there’s always the option of making your own personal hygiene and house cleaning products.
Everything in this new lifestyle is about researching, but once you find it and test it out and choose what you like and what will suit you, you will never go back to having more than 10 plastic containers in comparison to a few reusable alternatives. It will be good for the environment, for your wallet and for a cleaned and organized house.
Impact: By choosing just the products that you need, or buying a multi-use one, or even making your own, we are sure that you’ll be saving so many plastic bottles from entering the landfill and Ocean.
We gathered in this post all the tips that we thought would be useful, and of course you don’t have to do it all. The idea is to choose the actions that you think are possible for you to do right now, and the others can be considered in the near future.
Keep in mind that even the smallest change will go a long way on avoiding single plastic consumption. And remember the consumer has the power, if the consumers stop wanting and buying something, in the long run, there’s no purpose and profit for the companies to produce it, and the single plastic items will have they’re expiration date. We all want that so bad!
So let’s start our work as a community! For a better Planet and for us!
Source images: pinterest.com