Forget dry July, Plastic-free July is what everyone's talking about this year and for good reason. No one is asking you to give up your favourite drop of vino; plastic-free July is all about making a few small changes in your routine that add up to make one big difference to the planet.
Plastic bags, take-away containers and one-time use plastic bottles are designed to be used for just a few minutes and yet they stay around forever. Yup, these plastics break up over time but they don't break down, which leaves them as permanent pollution. That toothbrush you used when you were 7, it's still around somewhere today. Can you believe that every single bit of plastic ever produced still exists? Just in the first ten years of this century, the world economy produced MORE plastic than we did in the entire 20th century. If you want to learn more on what affect all of this plastic is having on us and the environment, check out the Plastic Free July website for all the info.
Most importantly, what can you do about this trend in plastic consumption? A whole lot, that's what! Granted, going entirely plastic-free seems like a mammoth job, and in a lot of ways it is. When you think about shampoos, dishwashing liquids, nappies, your favourite Chinese take-out from down the road, they all come packaged in some sort of nasty plastic.
We get it, it can be difficult. But you don't need to cut it all out, just making minor changes and reducing your own plastic consumption will make one huge difference. Join the movement and choose to refuse single-use plastic with us! Check out the little tips below that you can easily take on board, not just for July but for life.
Grab your own reusable coffee cup, simple. Not only are they cute and handy to have if you want to make your own coffee at home but they save hundreds of single-use coffee cups being used each day. Think about how many times you get takeaway coffee a week, maybe 3 (if you're lucky)? That's over 150 plastic lids that you could be saving from heading into landfill this year alone. Plus, you'll usually get a sweet little discount on your cuppa at the cafe if you take your own cup.
Carrying a reusable water bottle saves you money on buying water, saves the planet from that extra plastic and it also makes you more aware of how much water you're drinking in a day. Head to K-mart, and grab a stylin' new addition for your handbag. Aldi often has glass waterbottles on special also, which means you could stock up while they're cheap. You could also check out these stainless steel water bottles (these are more pricey but will really last) they look great and will keep your water hot or cold for hours.
This one is actually quite fun. People are so shocked when you say 'no thank you' to plastic straws in drinks that clearly don't need a straw in the first place. Simply saying no and drinking without a straw when it's not necessary is so easy but you can also grab a metal straw or cutlery set if you often find yourself taking food away. These sets are great for the kids lunch box; no more kitchen cutlery will go missing in the school playground, give them their own cool set to look after.
Coles and Woolworths have announced, along with their plastic bag removal, they won't be stocking plastic straws from the end of this year. Get ahead of the movement and grab your own metal straw today.
Reuse any jars that you buy at the supermarket; your pantry and the planet will love you for it. Don't spend your pretty pennies on buying glass jars, just keep the pasta sauce jar from last nights dinner, wash it out and use it as pantry storage. You could even make one of these healthy salad jars for lunch rather than using a plastic container.
Have you ever thought about how much plastic is produced for everyone in the world to use toothbrushes? Each of us will use about 300 toothbrushes in our lifetime (that's about 4 per year), which means we'll throw away more than 5 kilograms of plastic toothbrushes in our lifetime. Times that by 3 or 4 for a family and man-oh-man that's a lot of plastic waste that goes unthought of. Unfortunately, biodegradable toothbrushes are currently kind of hard to find in stores in Australia. So, in honour of plastic-free July, we've brought in these great Humble Smile Bamboo Toothbrushes. Proceeds help the humble smile foundation prevent suffering caused by oral disease. The organisation explain that they 'do this by promoting effective oral health initiatives anywhere in the world where unmet needs are great'.
So if you've been thinking of swapping over that old plastic toothbrush for a while, now is the best time to do it. We're running a special plastic-free July offerfor this month only!
Try out plastic-free July for yourself. Take on board these little tips and join the movement against single-use plastics. Let us know in the comments below if you have any other helpful tips to share.
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