Plastic Free July Challenge

Hi everyone! I’m doing the Plastic Free July challenge this month to help keep me on the Zero Waste track. Plastic Free July aims to tackle plastic pollution and raise awareness about the amount of single-use disposable plastic in our lives. You can sign up for as long as you want, one day or the whole month, and try to refuse ALL single-use plastic or simply try the refuse the Top 4 plastic offenders: plastic bags, water bottles, takeaway coffee cups and straws.

By 2050 its estimated there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans! I always have this in mind when people talk about how healthy fish is. All the more reason to go vegan 🙂

Even if you recycle religiously, by buying stuff packaged in plastic or accepting any plastic we are sending out the message that plastic is acceptable, and as we can see from the levels of global plastic pollution, it is clearly unacceptable and completely unnecessary.

Refusing is the most effective way of tackling plastic pollution, NOT recycling. Recycling is a last resort, not an excuse to consume all the plastic you want, guilt-free, in the name of ‘convenience’.

If you don’t know where to start with Zero Waste, try tackling the Top 4:

  1. Plastic bags: Surely every household in the country has a cupboard full of plastic bags they’ve accumulated over the years. Make a special effort this July to always have one in your bag or coat pocket when you leave the house if you need to pick up groceries.
  2. Water bottles: This really is a no brainer. Just bring a reusable bottle with you, it’s not that hard. Put it in your handbag so you’ll be more likely to remember it.
  3. Disposable coffee cups: Bring a travel mug from home in the morning, get a coffee/tea in a ceramic REAL cup on lunch or when eating out or invest in a reusable cup. You can buy Keep cups in McCambridge’s on Shop Street.
  4. Straws: Refuse these unnecessary monsters! You usually only get automatically given straws with to go drinks like milkshakes or when eating junk food anyway. You definitely won’t regret avoiding fast foods for a month! If there is an option to get a straw, go without. Bring your own straw-less drink to the cinema, because smuggling is fun. (Side rant: When did little kids become obsessed with straws? It seems like whenever I see a child in a restaurant all the adults have no straws but the kids couldn’t possibly drink without at least  one straw? What? Rustles my jimmies, it does.)

I’ve reduced my plastic consumption drastically but there are still some areas where I can improve. I’ve gotten really lazy lately when it comes to actually cooking at home and doing a proper weekly shop and preparing food every day. 😦 I am eating out too much and that is too pricey and there is surely a lot of waste behind the scenes! These are my plans for July – they’re not strictly plastic related but any Zero Waste step is a step in the right direction! 🙂 This Plastic Free July I want to:

  • Make ZW cashew milk.
  • Make ZW oat milk.
  • Repair a jacket with a missing button.
  • Continue Operation Declutter.
  • Make DIY toothpaste.
  • Make another batch of DIY deodorant.
  • Make a Zero Waste curry.
  • Make more Zero Waste tomato sauce for curries and pasta dishes. Zero Waste Chef has a great recipe!
  • Bake biscuits instead of buying Oreos (they’re accidentally vegan!). This is a big source of waste for me, although I’m saving the empty packets to send to Terracycle. Anybody know any Oreo alternative biscuit recipes?

 

I will keep you updated on my progress throughout the month. 🙂 Refuse single-use plastic as much as possible and have fun finding alternatives! What could be more fun than an eco-friendly challenge?

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