PLASTIC FREE JULY
/ TIPS ON LIVING PLASTIC FREE
This month, I have decided to take the challenge to go plastic-free. I do take active steps to try and minimise my plastic consumption, but I figured by challenging myself to a whole month of no plastic what so ever was a great way to make a great impact as well as to find out new ways to live plastic free in the long run! This post is part one of living plastic free until I learn more along the way! I hope this is helpful for all of you wonderful humans who are joining me on this challenge!
These first two ways are the simplest and easiest way to reduce your use of plastic!
1. Give up bottled water.
Aside from the fact that they come in plastic bottles, the process to get it there – to extract, bottle and transport bottled water uses tremendous resources.
Simply buy a reusable water bottle, steel water bottles use no plastic at all and keep your drink cool. Carry this with you throughout the day and fill it up along the way. If you live in a country where you cannot drink the tap water, there are water bottles available with built in filters!
2. Use reusable shipping bags.
You can use these for all the shopping you ever need to do, products, groceries etc.
You can get the ones that fold into a tiny pouch that fit in your purse, or use a large tote bag or basket. It’s all about preparation! A couple of canvas bags in your car, handbag or backpack and you won’t ever need a plastic bag again.
SO MANY MORE
The easiest way to avoid packaging is by cooking at home. The second easiest way is by opting to dine in instead of getting take out. The third easiest way is by bringing your own container for them to give you your take out in, you can bring your own lunchbox, tin, jar or bowl.
Ditch the chewing gum (other than being a carcinogenic – did you know it’s usually made from plastic?) Replace it with Peppermint Essential Oil, just a drop with give you that fresh feeling.
Take lunch to work or school in a lunch box, or glass jar, bring your own reusable cutlery and bring it home again for the next day! You will find yourself eating way healthier and saving money! Triple bonus!
Carry a stainless steel mug or coffee/tea thermal, water bottle or glass bottle for coffee, tea, juice, smoothies or other drinks. Refusing a plastic lid and a plastic straw is a great start but most paper cups are lined with a paper coating so brining your own cup alternative is the best option!
You can even bring your own reusable steel, glass or bamboo drinking straw if you miss straws when you go plastic free.
If you drink wine, choose a cork bottle instead of a screw top lid.
We don’t actually need any plastic bags for produce! Lots of fruits and vegetables are clever and come in their own packaging (aka skin! like bananas, oranges, lemons, cucumbers, carrots etc.) Also, we don’t need to be worried that they will get dirty as they grew in the dirt – they have been handled by staff and other customers and we are going to wash them when we get home anyway! ps. they also don’t mind hanging out with their fellow fruit and veggie friends in your basket or cart! I usually put most of my product directly into my basket or cart then they all go into my reusable bag after checkout. If you are buying a lot of something small (grapes, mushrooms, limes etc.) cloth bags are super useful here aswell as for the other stuff (if you don’t want them hanging out with each other!)
Shop at the farmers market where possible! I usually bring a straw basket, I load it up with all the fruits and veggies I buy from each vendor as they weigh it along the way – no plastic required!
If you are shopping at a grocery store, bring your own cloth bags to itemise the produce you buy!
Staples and Snacks:
Bulk Stores are the absolute best for this! You can bring your own jars and they will subtract the weight of the jar from the weight of the goods & which is also perfect for storage at home!
If you are buying bulk from a larger supermarket, the cloth bags work for these things too!
Things to buy bulk: rice, quinoa, chia seeds, legumes, beans, chickpeas, seeds, nuts, granola, oats, cereal, flour, nut butter, tea, coffee & yummy snacks like banana chips and dark chocolate covered almonds!
Buy fresh bread (this comes in a paper bag) instead of plastic packaged (& usually full of preservatives) bread.
6. FOOD at home.
Choose glass jars / containers to store your food in.
Make food from scratch! This is so much easier than you think! You can easier make your own sauces, salad dressings, dips, nut milk, condiments & snacks! (check out cleancookingrecipes.com) for lots of my recipes!
Stop using plastic trash bags.
If you don’t already, start an urban compost at home and start composting! This way you won’t have any wet things in the garbage and won’t need garbage bags. You can line your bins with old magazines or newspapers.
Bring your own water bottle on the plane. Fill it up after security, then while you are on board you can ask the staff to fill it up for you (instead of going through 20 tiny plastic cups throughout your flight)
Bring your own snacks! You don’t want to eat plane food anyway, trust me! You can bring your own sandwich, crackers, avocado, raw veggies, fruits, nuts & seeds.
Bring the utensils & travel mug you have started bringing everywhere with you!
Pack your own headphones so you don’t use the disposable ones!
Use a big scarf as a blanket or pack your own – it’s nice to have throughout your travels!
Bring your own personal care products, most hotels have tiny single use plastic packaged soaps, shampoos, conditioners and lotions.
TAKE CARE of what you already have! I’m not saying throw away things that you own that are plastic, use them until they are not usable anymore, then, replace them with non-plastic items. Remember most things we own can actually be repaired and if we look after our things they will last longer!
Plastic not only causes environmental problems but can also be detrimental to our health so minimising and ideally cutting plastic out of our lives is good for everyone! Let’s start with the small things and work our way up. Thank you to everyone who is taking part in this challenge with me!
Remember, don’t be too hard on your self, everything you do counts & if you have any questions, comments or new ideas, leave me a comment on my instagram page @nataschaelisa.
LOTS OF LOVE & GOOD LUCK!!!!