Plastic Free July kicked off a few days ago and it's already in full swing! It's goal is to raise awareness around plastic use and challenge people to envision a life with less plastic. People pledge to give up specific plastic items for the month of July in order to reduce plastic waste and ocean pollution. There are varying levels in which you can participate from just getting informed to giving up all plastic completely! If you want to learn more about the movement, you can visit the Plastic Free July website directly.
I have participated in Plastic Free July to various extents the last two years with mixed results. If you missed my post about last July in Mexico, it's worth a read just because it's so NOT plastic free. Summer is usually filled with traveling for me and limiting my plastic use on the road is always tricky as I've discussed in previous posts. This July however I think I have a chance at actually sticking with the challenge!
You may be wondering how living plastic free is any different from living zero waste. And the truth is, they are very similar. However by giving up plastic completely, it means that I can no longer buy anything in plastic even if it could be recycled. Although I don't have a lot of recycling anyways, it definitely pushes me to the next level.
Participating this Month
If you want to join me in my adventure, there are various ways to participate. I'll be posting tips daily on Instagram and Facebook which you can follow along with and pick some to participate in. As with anything, even a small improvement is better than none so if you just want to pick one plastic item to give up, that's a great step! I suggest something like straws, water bottles, or plastic grocery bags to get started. You'll get many more ideas as we go along as well.
If you feel like you've already got those single use items out of your life, try thinking of this month as a plastic waste audit. Instead of trying to reduce the plastic you throw away with just one item, try to buy nothing in plastic that has to go in the trash at all. If you do end up using some plastic trash, collect it in a container. At the end of the month, you will have a visual representation of the plastic items you weren't willing to give up. It can be eye opening!
And the hardest and most intensive option, which will really show you how hooked on plastic we all are, involves avoiding plastic altogether. No buying plastic, recycling plastic, or throwing away plastic. This is what I'm attempting to do this Plastic Free July. I will be collecting all of the plastic I would otherwise recycle or throw away and also keeping track of any new plastic items I bring into my home. I'm moving into a new apartment in a new city so this may be tricky as well! At the end of the month, I'll tally up what I collected and explain how each item slipped through the cracks.
Let's make this month a plastic free one! Join in on social media to see what kinds of pledges people have already made!