Preparing for Plastic Free July – quick tips

Sunday, 1st July is the first day of Plastic Free July for 2018. Are you excited?

I’ve already shared a big tip about how to avoid overwhelm, but today I wanted to share a few other quick tips before the start of the month.

Take stock of your plastic use

Consider keeping any plastic you do use, that you can’t, or don’t, or forget to refuse throughout July.  This will happen. Do not despair or give up. Learn from it.

Then, at the end of the month, spread it all out, grouped by category.

This will show you clearly where your plastic is coming from. Then you can search for alternatives to your main offenders.

Snap a photo while it’s all spread out so you can compare from year to year!

Keeping it real. Our Plastic Free July wasn't totally plastic free.
Our household’s plastic from Plastic Free July 2017. Keeping the plastic we didn’t/couldn’t avoid for the month was a good way to see where our plastic was coming from.

 

Use what you already have

Rushing out to impulse-buy a heap of reusables is not only expensive, but often you already have something that will do the job.

Pork sausages in a plastic lunchbox
This is a lunchbox I’ve had since high school. It’s at least *ahem* years old and still going strong.

Don’t have a reusable coffee cup already? Ask your barista to make your coffee in your mug from home (or the office!), or commit to spending 5 minutes drinking your coffee at the cafe in their crockery cup.

Lusting after a new bamboo spork? How about stashing a plain old fork and spoon you already own in your bag instead?

If buying, buy well

Decided to buy something to help you on your journey towards plastic-free? There are so many great reusables out there that it can be hard to choose the ‘best’ one.

What is ‘best’ for me may be different to what is ‘best’ for you.

Take your time, do your research. Find the one that is

  • the highest quality you can afford
  • that you love and will look after
  • that will last a long time
  • that is made to your values (eg fairtrade, cruelty-free)
  • and preferably is made from materials that won’t cause harm once the item is no longer useful.

There is no rush.

Getting ready for the plastic bag ban that starts in Western Australia on 1 July?

Check out Lindsay Miles at Treading my Own Path answering Is There a “Best” Kind of Reusable Bag?

 

Don’t let insta-perfect inspo get you down

I would love to have all my food stored in glass. A lot of it is, in mismatched jars, but some of it is still stored in reusable plastic containers. It would be more wasteful to throw out a functional plastic container and replace it with a beautiful glass or stainless steel container, than to use the still-working plastic thing I already own.

Going plastic-free is a journey.  Be inspired by, but don’t beat yourself up about, where others are on their journey (or what their journey looks like on social media!) Set your own pace.

Keep going

I can’t say it any better than Sir David Attenborough in this short video.

Plastic Free July - Say No to Single Use Plastic 300ppi

Want more Plastic Free July ideas? See my other posts on getting started here and a big tip to avoid overwhelm here – and follow this blog for more ideas throughout July.

 

2 Replies to “Preparing for Plastic Free July – quick tips”

  1. Some good tips. Definitely important not to let the ‘perfection’ ideal get in the way. RE: the pic of last year’s plastic – did you find an alternative to plastic for milk or just accept it? Dairy is definitely my nemesis when it comes to reducing waste and making at home – a dream of a house cow (but the dream of it not the reality of actually milking it etc..).

    Like

    1. Hi Laura, I actually have a draft blog post about this very issue on the backburner!
      Basically I’ve just accepted that since we all thrive on dairy, until I can find another alternative, plastic milk bottles will be part of our lives. The irony is that since I’m now making yogurt at home there will probably be even more plastic milk bottles this year! I’ve accepted that and am focussing on all the other plastic things that are easier for us to move away from.

      Yes I too would love shares in a cow, or goats. Do you know Pip Permaculture magazine? I haven’t read the latest edition yet, but see it contains an article called “House Cow Dreaming” that might be right up your alley 🙂

      Like

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