This post was originally written for, and appears on, the Loving Earth blog.
We’ve recently celebrated the ban of the single use plastic bags at Woolworth’s, one of the major supermarkets here in Victoria. We’ve bought (and lost, and rebought) a stainless-steel straw, we’re well practiced in remembering our KeepCup at the coffee shop, and now we’ve opened our eyes to the plastic epidemic, we see it EVERYWHERE. From toothbrushes to face washes, clothes to ice cream containers, plastic is as prevalent as your ex the month after you break up.
It’s just been Plastic Free July & we’re loving all the changes made this past month, we’ve compiled our list on how to live footloose and plastic free for the rest of the year!
The supermarkets may have banned the plastic bag for all your shopping, but not all outlets are making the change. Wherever you come across plastic that you can choose to say no to, do.
In a world where a million things are happening at once we know remembering to bring canvas bags, stainless steel straws, and KeepCups can be a pain, but it seriously is a game-changer in the habit changing game. Keep a couple of bags in your car or keep your re-useable’s in easy to see places so it’s super simple to grab them and go.
Swapping plastic for non-plastic alternatives can take a bit of getting used to but there are some great items out there to make the transition smooth. Glass, paper, wood and tin, are all great materials that you can sub in for where you’d normally reach for plastic.
We know the Tupperware cupboard can be like the biggest game of skill ever (where do all the matching lids go?!) but re-using the plastic that we already have can make a real difference. Instead of using things like sandwich bags once, give them a rinse and use them again. Got loads of old takeaway containers? Use them for packed lunches, or as storage.
Buying new or replacing a broken item is often more about convenience and time saving than anything else. Why not hit two birds in one and learn how to repair something you’ve relegated to the hard rubbish pile. Upskilling AND saving the planet.
On a day to day level, replace the automatic choice with plastic-free alternatives. Biodegradable rubbish bags, using bars of soap instead of plastic containers washes, choosing fresh bread in paper or cotton bags rather than plastic are all small swaps that can have a big impact.
Change can be overwhelming when faced with more than a few things to remember, or if you think that you can’t make a difference being only one person but reframing your mindset can make a real difference. Start slowly and pick one thing a month to focus on.