With the start of July, it's also the beginning of Plastic Free July. This year is my first time participating in this challenge. By no means am I completely zero waste, but it's quite an interesting experiment to see how far I can go in reducing single-use plastic. If you're interested in participating in this challenge as well, check out the Plastic Free July website for more information.
For the month of July I have pledged to avoid the use of single-use takeaway coffee cups, straws, bags, and bottles. Here are some simple ways to avoid these items or completely swap them out.
Recently I have created a little "kit" of reusable items that I carry around with me. It may seem like a hassle, but it really just requires a bit of extra planning to remember to bring these items out. I absolutely love my KeepCup. I use it for everything from coffee to water. If you prefer to have a separate bottle for water, definitely go for a reusable glass or stainless steel bottle.
I have some Simple Ecology produce bags that I use specifically at Whole Foods. Unfortunately where I live, many grocery stores still don't have the option to use reusable produce bags and make the checkout process a huge headache. To combat this issue, I simply choose to buy my produce from Whole Foods instead so that I can avoid the thin plastic bags at other grocery stores.
Another simple and practical swap is to bring your own reusable bags when you go grocery shopping or even shopping. I often just let the cashier know that I don't need bags and it's such a easy way to get the conversation going about reducing our plastic waste.
Sometimes the "zero waste" lifestyle makes it seem like you have to go out and buy the most beautiful stainless steel containers or mason jars, or perfect bamboo cutlery. Honestly, it's less wasteful to use what you have! I bring out a small set of cutlery with me so that if I'm at a food court or have a little snack, I can use my own cutlery instead of using plastic ones.
That's it for now but let me know, how have you been reducing your single-use plastic waste?