In honor of #plasticfreejuly I wanted to share a bit about what I'm doing to help reduce my plastic consumption. I’m still not there and I don’t know when I’ll be entirely plastic free, but I’m trying to focus on the little things I can do along the way because every little bit counts! We’re just a few weeks away from Plastic Free July so here are some things you can start doing now to reduce your plastic consumption.
1. Water Bottles. I live in a civilized country so it’s very easy for me to have access to clean water whenever I need. I recently added a que bottle to my collection. This is a silicone bottle that collapses and expands for easy toting. It’s also dishwasher safe! It’s been a great addition for traveling.
2. Reusable Bags. I’ve been doing this for years, but I’ve gotten more serious about this lately. I've had several bags throughout the years, but I purchased a couple of loqi bags when I moved to Sydney and I couldn’t be happier. I try to have one with me at all times. I LOVE their prints and they have a built-in clasp to keep the bag small enough to fit in a jacket pocket or small purse. I use this whenever I go shopping and not just for groceries!
3. Coffee Cups. Full disclosure, I don’t drink coffee so it’s rare that I find myself needing a take away coffee cup. Instead, my husband has born the brunt of this effort. He drinks Piccolo’s which are smaller than the average cup of coffee, so we super happy when we found KeepCup. Unfortunately, his first order ended up pink (of course), but he’s ordered two more since then and he loves them. They come in a multitude of styles and colors and the different sizes mean you can find the best one for your ritual. Ours are dishwasher safe and pretty easy to clean.
4. Produce bags. I gave up putting my produce in bags years ago. It just seemed ridiculous to put apples in a bag before they went into another bag only to empty them out 20 minutes later when I got home. I recently upped my game and found some reusable cloth produce bags that I can have on hand when I need something studier to transport produce in. I don’t have any specific recommendations for brands here, but a quick internet search will likely give you plenty of options.
5. Ziploc bags. A friend of mine recently turned me onto silicone ziploc bags. Life changed! She recently had a kid so she’s been doing a lot of research into good quality, kid-friendly stuff and she found Stasher Reusable Silicon Bags. They’re decently priced and available on amazon. Looking on their website they have a whole range of recommendations including sous vide! These little guys have come in bright colors, have a great seal and they’re dishwasher safe. Alleluia!
6. Balloons. A lot of people love balloons. They’re great fun! But talk about something with absolutely no purpose in your daily life. These are super easy to give up. Nothing a nice bouquet of flowers or delicious eco-friendly chocolates like Alter Eco can’t replace.
7. Straws. These are a bit trickier as they tend to sneak up when you least expect. Some restaurants and hotels are starting to reign back on their usage by not serving any unless the customer asks for them (I learned this at The Savoy). I personally don’t like how the paper ones fall apart by the end of your drink so I need to invest in a stainless solution. There are lots of options out there already! This is something that doesn’t take up much space in a bag, they’re pretty easy to clean (make sure you buy one with a cleaning tool!), and you’ll be saving sea life from ingesting these nasties.
8. Cutlery. I can’t recommend metal cutlery as I had a metal fork in my purse (that I had forgotten about) and traveled internationally with it at least twice until it was confiscated at Brisbane airport on my way home for being too sharp (?!). Clearly this is up to interpretation because the forks in the lounge were just as sharp, but I didn’t want to start a fight for a fork. [RIP fork]. So, I’d recommend a bamboo option — they’re sturdier than plastic and you’ll be less likely to get in trouble if you end up traveling with them. Finding one with a case is key, that way if they’ll stay clean in your bag and won’t get your back dirty if they’re not clean.
9. Take out. The best solution is to dine in… but we all have times when we just need something quick — bringing your own container is a super easy way to get things on the go. For those times when life happens and you can’t do all the right things, try researching restaurants that serve take away in recyclable or compostable containers. All you need is a few dependable options to get you through the week.
10. Take 3. The next time you’re out at the beach (or anywhere), why not Take 3 for the sea? This organization runs on the simple principle of taking 3 pieces of garbage with you when you leave the beach. It’s not a huge ask and you’ll be actively helping make the world a better place. Pretty awesome right? Of course, you’re not limited to 3, so take as many as you’d like. Be sure to take a photo and share it socially to spread the word #take3forthesea!
These are just a few ideas for you to start with. It can feel overwhelming trying to do it all, but you don’t have to do everything. Every little bit helps. Doing any of these is a step in the right direction. And like all new habits, the more you do it, the easier it gets! Got any more tips or products your recommend? Let me know!