Hi everyone! Hope you are having a great summer.
We are quite excited and pumped about the month of July. My husband and I have decided to participate in #plasticfreejuly to extend our efforts to avoid using any more plastic in our lives. As i had shared before, we both have been trying to make conscious efforts in leading a more #plasticfreelifestyle and focusing on making small changes to reduce waste in our daily lives by looking for more eco-friendly alternatives to a lot of different things that we use on a daily basis.
#plasticfreejuly just like a lot of other campaigns that take place around the globe is aiming to help people realize and think about their ecological footprint & environmental impact and evaluate the use of plastic in their lives, for July & beyond.
Plastic Free July is a global movement helping people make small yet significant changes in their lifestyle that will make collectively bigger impacts on the environment for a month by avoiding & refusing to use any single-use plastic and find alternatives to those and try to adapt plastic-free lifestyle forever.
I started my journey to low waste more than a year ago and through my experience i can tell you that this kind of lifestyle change can easily become quite overwhelming at times, followed by mishaps and discouragement to continue any further but once you make up your mind and think about the environmental impact and how many lives you can save (marine animals) by taking small steps, it definitely becomes worth it.
One thing that we all need to understand is that ~ The day you decide to avoid using plastic is not the day you actually stop using it ~ We all have used plastic and other non-eco-friendly products almost all our lives and we still do since they are readily available everywhere, our household has thrived on it all these years.
Although we have been making a lot of changes since past one year, there’s still so much plastic lying around our house. For this reason, my husband and I sat down together to discuss and decide our goals for this month and what do we aim to achieve. We want to keep our goals realistic and achievable, not to get overburdened by responsibility.
#plasticfreejuly for us does not completely mean “no plastic” for us, it certainly means “no more plastic” in our house than what we already have/own but what it really means is using plastic responsibly. Which also means that we will continue doing what we have been doing all this time but at the same also take further steps to get closer to our goal to reduce plastic use.
A few efforts that we have been consciously putting in and will continue to do so are:
– Carrying a reusable water bottle to avoid single-use ones. We have also stopped buying any soda bottles, we either opt for soda cans or glass bottles which are more socially-responsible alternatives. Other materials that are environmentally-friendly are stainless steel, glass, or safe aluminum.
(Plastic bottles though recyclable are not recycled 100 percent and end up in landfills for years.)
– Bringing a reusable shopping bag along to avoid using single-use plastic bag, specially for grocery shopping. We have been using cotton fabric bags that i found lying around the house and have been keeping a stash of paper bags either in the boot of our car or close to our front door so we do not forget to carry one every time we head out.
(Plastic bags break up into tiny micro plastics and remain indefinitely in the environment. By choosing to refuse plastic bags, you can save around 500 plastic bags per year from entering our oceans and landfill)
– Reusable coffee cup. I recently bought a reusable coffee cup for my husband as he has been traveling a lot. As far as i am concerned, i am not an avid coffee drinker, the last time i used a plastic cup was in July 2018, exactly a year ago and feeling quite guilty about it, i bought it back to home, washed it thoroughly and re-used it for a variety of purposes (more on that later). FYI, still have those in our house, just like all other plastic cups we have used all our lives that are still out there in the landfills.
(Coffee cups are not recyclable in most locations. Even ‘compostable’ or cardboard cups contains a small percentage of plastic in it are rarely composted as they require very specific facilities and conditions)
– Refusing to use “plastic straws” and carrying our own plant-based compostable one. We are planning to switch to metal straws as soon as we use these compostable ones that were gifted to me by a brand to try out. Also, we carry them everywhere, even inside restaurants, which is kind of the whole point of refusing plastic ones.
(Single-use straws are used for a few minutes then discarded, but they’ll remain in the environment indefinitely, more than a lifespan of a human being. They are lightweight and easily blown down drains and into waterways, rivers and oceans and if mistaken for food and ingested can be fatal or can get stuck in the airways of animals)
– We had switched to the good old Soap bar a few months ago and and to an organic body lotion that comes in a recyclable jar and ever since then we haven’t bought a single bottle of any of those. We are yet to switch to shampoos bars (which exists by the way!).
– Also as i mentioned before that #plasticfreejuly for us does not completely mean “no plastic” for us, it certainly means “no more plastic” in our house than what we already have/own but what it really means is using plastic responsibly, for this reason we will continue to use and re-use the plastic we already own right now in the form of carry out boxes, ice cream boxes, oil cans and other types of plastic in the kitchen for different purposes. Will share more on that later.
This post doesn’t end here because i haven’t talked about our personal goals for this month but at the same time i do not want to overwhelm or discourage you guys if you are someone just getting started with evaluating the use of plastic in your life.
I will be sharing a series of different post throughout the month of July sharing our personal journey, mishaps or failures if any (really not ashamed of being real here) and will share some more ideas that might inspire you to join us in this journey.
If you would like to explore more about #plasticfreejuly, here’s a link to check: www.plasticfreejuly.org
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