Green Opportunities – Plastic Free July

This week begins a series I hope to write about fairly often – Green Opportunities – which will chronicle different green initiatives. As July is only a few days away, (can you believe it?!) I thought I’d take this time to introduce all of you to an amazing opportunity to test out reducing your waste.

plastic-free-july-logo-straight-lge

Based out of Australia, Plastic Free July is all about spending an entire month rejecting single-use plastic items. This includes plastic bags, bottles, cups, and straws – just to name a few. Their mantra “Choose to Refuse” is at the core of the zero waste movement and it’s a great opportunity to give some of the zero waste principles a test drive for a short period of time.

While I think the zero waste lifestyle is amazing, I certainly feel that it can be a bit overwhelming at first to try and figure out what it is that you need to cut down on. Plastic Free July is phenomenal in that it’s practicing the tenants of the zero waste lifestyle in both a short period of time, and honing the waste reduction to a select few items. Instead of grappling with all of the different kinds of waste we produce (or in some cases hoard in our homes – I’m a total clothes horse), Plastic Free July allows us to focus on single-use plastics.

This all sounds great, but I’m not from Australia. Worry not! Although it’s based out of Australia, and many of its promotional materials center around Australian statistics, Plastic Free July is for everyone. As a country surrounded by ocean, Australia is primed to witness the devastating effects of discarded plastics wreaking havoc on ocean ecosystems. Understandably, Plastic Free July uses a sea turtle as it’s logo to remind us that every single-use plastic item has a chance of ending up in some of our most fragile aquatic environments.

So how do I get involved?  To officially count towards the global Plastic Free July participant total, you first have to sign up. To do this you can head over to the Plastic Free July website and register. Then you can take a look at their Getting Started page to see some of their resources for the challenge including a quiz which helps you to evaluate where most of your single-use plastic items are coming from.

There are several different levels to the challenge including reducing your waste in an even more targeted area like takeout containers, all the way up to completely cutting out single-use plastics from your life for a period of time. With Plastic Free July everyone is encouraged to take part and spread the word – even if it’s not possible for you to go completely free for the whole month, if you can reduce your waste even a little then you’re helping the planet.

I’m personally planning on taking part in Plastic Free July by pledging to reduce all of my single-use plastic waste for the entire month. I’ll be posting an update mid-month to talk about my successes, failures, tips, and challenges followed by a final round-up in early August. Hopefully all of us Conservationalists can band together and make a difference by choosing to refuse those plastics we simply do not need.

Are you interested in taking part in the challenge? Do you have any tips for reducing plastic waste? Let me know below what you’re hoping to cut out in July! Hopefully we can help hold each other accountable and strive for a brighter, greener future.

The more the merrier (or in this case should I say LESS?).

Best of Luck,

Eileen

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2 thoughts on “Green Opportunities – Plastic Free July

  1. Great post! Cutting out non-reusable plastic is a constant struggle, and I think making a ‘challenge’ out of it such as Plastic Free July is a great way to introduce people to it. The biggest area I struggle in is the category of food, mostly food storage, but there are so many great products like washable sandwich bags that make it easier!

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    1. Thanks for your comment! As someone who also struggled with trying to cut out plastics, I jumped at the idea of taking part in Plastic Free July. Food is definitely where we get hit the hardest as well. Since both myself and my fiancé work full-time, there are plenty of weeks where we’re either working too late to cook or one of us is sick and delivery is just that much of a better option. We do try to order from places that deliver in paper bags and recycled containers, but it’s always a tough thing to remove entirely. Hopefully we’ll get there one day!

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