Plastic Free July is an amazing initiative but let’s be real: Committing to a less-plastic lifestyle for just one month out of 12 isn’t really going to make any lasting difference to our environment.
We need to be thinking longer-term and finding ways to reduce our use of plastics, especially those icky single-use ones, day in and day out. If you’ve seen the recent film 2040 you’ll know that it’s not too late — there’s still a real chance we can get our environmental health back on track. But it’s gonna take a commitment from all of us. And reducing our reliance on that not-so-fantastic plastic is a crucial step in the right direction. Chances are you’re already using reusable grocery bags and enjoying your morning coffee from a reusable cup (maybe even our very own Camino Cup!), but there are a few other very easy ways to eliminate plastic from your everyday. Here are some of our faves:
Ditch the plastic food wrap
Goodbye, Gladwrap! As convenient as it is for leftovers and lunches, cling film takes hundreds of years to break down in our landfills. And, like plastic bags, if it makes its way into the ocean, can easily be mistaken for jellyfish and choke turtles and other creatures that try to eat it. Instead, save your sandwiches and salads with reusable wax-lined like these super cute Honey Bee Wraps. Or, invest in some quality air-tight storage containers in a range of sizes, making sure that they’re both freezer and microwave safe.
This one’s a no-brainer. Instead of buying a brand new bottle with a plastic spray head every time you need to restock your cleaning cupboard, buy refill pouches of your favourite products instead. You’d be surprised how many everyday items can be found in refill pouches — from laundry detergents and floor cleaner to shampoos, conditioners and body wash.
Buy in bulk
Buy in bulk wherever possible, and never buy food in pre-portioned packaging. This goes for all those cute lunchbox favourites! Skip the single yoghurts and chippie packs and opt for large tubs and packets of food that you can portion into containers for single use. You’d be amazed by how much waste you save with this one rule.
Have you ever noticed that fresh salad leaves and herbs nearly always come wrapped in plastic at the supermarket? Skip the store-bought greenery and try growing your own at home — even for apartment dwellers, all it takes to grow herbs is a few pots on your window sill. Or, make a Saturday morning ritual of visiting your local farmers’ market and take advantage of fresh, packaging-free produce.
Be a party (plate) pooper
We know that hosting a party can be stressful and the last thing we want to do is add to your chores… but seriously, you need to avoid using those disposable cups, plates and cutlery! Even if you choose paper over plastic, you’ll still be creating heaps of landfill waste as they typically can’t be recycled. Use your own plates and cups if possible and wash them, or invest in some biodegradable party plates and compost them afterwards.